Step 5: Example of a dealt hand
Let's suppose you have the following thirteen tiles displayed on your stake in front of you:
The two identical tiles on the left are 1 Bamboos, represented by a bird, not to be confused with the Flower and Season tiles which look similar, see The Tiles.
You need to try to get an idea of what strategy you want to follow. The idea is to memorize tiles that you can use to make Pungs, Kongs and Chows (that is, three identical tiles, four identical tiles and a sequence of three tiles of the same suit, respectively).
In this example you need another 1 Bamboo to make a Pung; 2 or 5 Bamboo to make a Chow with the 3 and 4 Bamboo that you already have; another 7 Circle to make a Pung, and possibly a 1 or 5 Wan to make a Chow of 1, 2 and 3 Wan or 3, 4 and 5 Wan. But this last one is not necessary because you already have a complete Chow of 2, 3 and 4 Wan on your stake!
It is good to have a strategy, but you should also remain flexible and ready to change your strategy as you watch for tiles discarded by other players that you can pick up and of course tiles that are dealt to you.
See also Tactics.