I love mahjong. A lot. So when my friend introduced me this anime, I was hooked. However, the anime being a mahjong game is not the only reason I liked it.
Saki is, a the very basic, a female mahjong tournament game. Like most animes involving competition and growth, there are mahjong players with so-called 'powers'. Thankfully, most of these 'power' or rather 'attributes' of the players can be quite realistic to a certain extent. So far the only players with "Goddess of Mahjong" powers (ever seen those chinese gambling shows where a person has a certain affinity to the cards/tiles/dices?) are the main heroine, Saki, and loli-trap Koromo, both which some characters in the anime regard as 'demons'.
Aside from mahjong, the anime also seemed to promote yuri. The fact that every girl blushes all the time, occassional turn-on liners (eg "Your eyes are beautiful..") and the yuri-buildup scenes. It seems that for 90% of the female characters in the game have a relationship with another female character. The whole damn show is a total turn on half the time.
But what makes a gambling game good to watch are the effects. "Saki" captures it by exaggerating even the slightest moves (as they should, no one like just watching people pick tiles off the table). In fact, they probably overdid it, in a good way. Suddenly wings will start growing on backs, suddenly a character will be on a wasteland surround by spears, suddenly water floods the room, the list goes on. Other than that, the animations and the viewport (or camera...wtf do they call it in animes?) sequences are also done nicely. It comes close to being a shonen anime if not for the yuri scenes and the female dominanace of the anime.
I would really recommend this anime. It can get really exciting at many parts (except for filler episodes of course), and if you love mahjong, all the more you should take a look!
You can stream this anime @ AnimeSpark: Saki
Here's a sample episode.
"Saki - Episode 11":