There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
-- The Buddha
We just got back from our weekly MahJong session. We play with Phil, our Englishman friend, and a Japanese couple. We play Japanese rules which is seeing how high a score you can get and a lot of devious strategy. The Japanese man, Wada is the epitome of the inscrutable Japanese. When he draws his tiles he doesn't arrange them but fixes all the possibilities in his mind. I have been watching him closely and practicing/learning how he thinks. For me that takes a semi interesting game and adds a lot of flavor to it. Though Wada never lets on in words some of the thinking involved, I have picked up some interesting pointers. When playing with other Japanese pros, you never arrange your tiles. That gives the other players hints as to what you have. If you turn the tile upside down it's a character, wind or dragon, as example. Arranging in groups then putting a tile in the middle is a run. The Japanese are geniuses when it comes to noticing little subtleties.