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Who is an intermediate player?

Have you ever thought, what are the standards that define an intermediate-level player? When you started playing mahjong, you may have thought that the players who started before you are intermediate players. Or, after having played for a while, you may consider yourself an intermediate player compared to newcomers. Generally, players judge other players’ skills with respect to themselves, despite the fact that they have no definite criteria. When players feel like they have gotten used to the game, they may consider themselves to be intermediate-level. Because of this, the number of self-appointed intermediate players is on the rise.    


A problem for self-appointed intermediate players is only wanting to play with players who they think match their skill level. That can cause conflict among players. They avoid playing with beginners, and they do not want others to play slower than them. They want to play with advanced players, though advanced players may not want to play with them for the same reasons. The more these types of players play mahjong, the more they are dissatisfied with the game and other players. But if you remember when you were a beginner, other players spent their time to lead you down the mahjong road.


Before you complain, please try to examine your own skills fairly. Have you set a goal for yourself every game? Do you try and learn from each game? There is something to learn from every single game and with players of any level.


You may very well be the brave guy who jumped across the language barrier into the riichi mahjong world. In all honesty, Chinese characters and yaku names were so complicated to remember, but you have already accomplished that and more. That is why we want you to keep playing mahjong and stay in the riichi mahjong community for a long time.


It is very easy to get stuck at the intermediate level. There are only a few strategy books in English. When you want to move up to the next level, you will have to face a technical challenge. We hope this page for intermediate players helps you to advance to the next level.    


Below is the list of what we at MAHJONG STARS recognize as skills of an intermediate player.


  • Can teach new players effectively

  • Good understanding of game procedures

  • Memorized all yaku

  • Calculates points accurately

  • Handles tiles and makes the wall smoothly

  • Follows proper etiquette in game

  • Has the knowledge to understand any kind of ruleset

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