A mahjong play record is a record of single a hand of play. It includes each of the four players' starting hands, their discards, and the final result of the hand. With its special notation, a play record helps players and analysts look into a player's play and possible thought process of a particular hand and of an entire game.
A play record for a player's hand consists of four main parts:
- Starting hand. The first row shows the tiles initially dealt at the beginning of a hand.
- Draws or calls. The second row shows the tiles drawn or called. Any moves for chii, pon, and/or kan are noted. If the same tile is drawn and discarded (tsumokiri), then a downward arrow is used to indicate that.
- Discards. The third shows the tiles discarded.
- Finishing hand. The last row shows the tiles at the end of the hand.
The image to the right displays one of Saki Miyanaga's play records. It details Saki's decision making process throughout the hand of play.
There is no current picture for the downward arrow notation, so the tile drawn is pictured instead.
- Saki's starting hand:
- Tiles drawn row:
- Tiles discarded row:
- Final hand composition: