What is the Dora rule in Riichi mahjong

In Riichi mahjong, we often see tiles that are a different color than the rest of the tiles. Usually these tiles are red in color. What are these tiles? Let me introduce it to you!

These tiles are called Dora. Dora is a special tile in the rules of Riichi mahjong that increases the scoring value of winning tiles.

To better understand Dora, let’s first explore the following questions:

  • How to determine the Dora tiles

After the hand is opened, the dealer flips over the tile from the top of the third stack of tiles, counterclockwise from the opening position, as the indicator tile for Dora. The next tile after the indicator tile is the Dora tile.

  • When does the number of Dora tiles increase?

The count of Dora tiles increases under the following circumstances:

Kong–After a Kong is declared, the first tile counterclockwise from the original indicator tile is flipped over and referred to as the Kan Dora indicator tile. For each subsequent kong, an added tile is flipped over. The Kan Dora indicator tile can be flipped up to four times.

Double Dora–When the Dora tile itself is also a Dora tile, it is referred to as a “Double Dora.” This means that the scoring value of that Dora tile is further doubled, providing players with a greater opportunity for higher scores.

Riichi and winning handA player who declares Riichi and wins a hand can flip over the tile below the Dora indicator tile, known as the Ura Dora indicator tile.

  • The types of Dore tiles

Dora–The Dora tile revealed at the beginning of the game serves as the Dora indicator, with the subsequent tile becoming the Dora tile itself.

Ura dora–The tile below the Dora indicator tile is the Ura Dora indicator tile, and the next tile after this tile is the Ura Dora tile.

Kan Dora–After a Kong is declared, the first tile counterclockwise from the original indicator tile is flipped over and referred to as the Kan Dora indicator tile.

Dora in the Kan–The tile below the Kan Dora indicator tile is called the “Dora in the kan” It indicates the Kan Dora tile for scoring purposes.

Red Dora–In some mahjong rules, certain tiles are painted red to replace the regular tiles. These tiles are known as “Red Dora”. Typically, the red tiles include the 5 Pin, 5 Sow, and 5 Man. If a Red Dora tile is also the next tile in line for the Dora indicator, it is counted as a Double Dora tile for scoring purposes.

Dora tiles can only be counted as bonus scoring points. If you have no Yaku, then you cannot add more points. Dora is not a Yaku in Riichi Mahjong.


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