Author Archives: Mah Jongg and Me

About Mah Jongg and Me

Mah Jongg is not just a game. It has become a part of my life that allows me to entertain my Mah Jongg-playing friends, cook great meals to serve to them and test my mental skills during our game play (which, hopefully, is often).

A GIFT FOR ALL OF US…

meyerson

Karen, a new reader of this blog, has taken on an amazing project and told me that I can share the fruits of her labor with all of you. Karen learned to play when she moved to Florida 6 years ago and now plays in a weekly game in her development – she sends many thanks to the neighbors who agreed to teach rookies so they could have a regular game!  She also is part of a small group that plays using vintage sets and the old NMJL cards. Her husband is part of that group as well, and helped Santa bring her one of her favorite sets! 

Karen has analyzed every card published by the NMJL from every year starting with 1937 (except for 1939 – does anyone have this card for her?). 

Karen wrote: “Attached is my chart –  as I said, we’re an amateur group, so there has been no ‘official’ source that provided info for us.  It’s been gathered by reading the cards and the few rule books we could find.  If you see anything that doesn’t look right to you, please let me know and I’ll try to find confirmation of the correct information. Also, we did not address rules on betting and miscalls.  The early cards played with a kitty and double payments for East, but our group agreed to just play for $.25 for those years – we had enough trouble trying to play with 24 flowers that were all wild cards while figuring out the hands!!! “

The document she sent to me was on a spread sheet but I have not been able to figure out a way to get it on this blog with all of the pretty colors and special placements that is in the original document. Suffice it to say that what follows – although not as pretty as what she originally sent to me – is an amazing gift that Karen has given to all of us. I can’t wait to read your comments!

Karen, thank you so much for sharing this amazing project with all of us! And now, here it is:

NMJL CARDS, NOTED RULE CHANGES

 NOTE: 1937 was the first year for the National Mah Jongg League. The rules noted below for 1937 are a short recap of those found in the 1937 edition of “That’s It” by Dorothy Meyerson, Vice-President of the new National Mah Jongg League. The rules for the years following 1937 indicate changes in bold type. These represent changes from the previous year’s card, and are not meant to be a comparison to modern rules. They are also meant to be brief enough to make it fairly simple to start to play and are not meant to be a complete list of all rules. Refer to actual cards or rule books for specific rules regarding dealing, betting, miscalled tiles, and/or Mah Jongg called in error.

Year Flowers Jokers Notable Rule Changes/Highlights
1937 6 N/A Rules:·       Scoring based on Kitty & bonuses·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       No comment on card re discarding flowers·       A tile may not be taken for pung, kong or MJ after player next in turn has picked and discarded (We interpreted to also mean no picking up for a single or pair)

·       Second Charleston & courtesy pass are optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Optional Courtesy pass is for 2 or 3 tiles

Categories of Hands: Honors, Gates, 369, Numeral Variations (including Scrooge hands), 2468, 13579

1938 Card is silent – 6? N/A Rules:·       Scoring based on Kitty & bonuses – Value for East is double·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       No comment on card re discarding flowers·       A tile may not be taken for pung, kong or MJ after player next in turn has picked and discarded (We interpreted to also mean no picking up for a single or pair)

·       Second Charleston & courtesy pass are optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Optional Courtesy pass is for 2 or 3 tiles (only 3 for East)

Categories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, Gates, Swings, Sequence Pungs, Kongs, Kong-Pungs, Pyramids, 2468, 369

       
       
1939     Unknown – No Card or rule book acquired yet
       
       
1940 Card is silent – 6? N/A Rules:·       Scoring based on Kitty & bonuses – Value for East is double·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       Flowers may be discarded if named same as previous tile·       A tile may not be taken for pung, kong or MJ after player next in turn has picked and discarded (We interpreted to also mean no picking up for a single or pair)

·       Second Charleston & courtesy pass are optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Optional Courtesy pass is 3 tiles only

 

Categories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, Dragons with Matching Suits, Gates, Swings, Sequence Pungs, Kongs, Kong-Pungs, Pyramids, 2468, 369

 

       
       
1941 Card is silent – 6? N/A Rules:·       Scoring based on Kitty & bonuses – Value for East is double·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       Flowers may not be discarded for dogging or to clear hand for extra bonus ·       A tile may not be taken for pung, kong or MJ after player next in turn has picked and discarded (We interpreted to also mean no picking up for a single or pair)

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       No courtesy pass

 

Categories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, Dragons with Matching Suits, Gates, Swings, Scrooge, Kongs, Pung-Kong, Pyramids, 2468, 369

 

       
       
1941-42 8 –Additional flowers permitted N/A Rules:·       Value for East is double, bonuses are still calculated, but Kitty is no longer on card (not confirmed whether it has disappeared, or is referenced in booklets)·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       A flower can never be discarded·       A tile may be called for Kong or MJ (We interpreted to also mean no picking up for a single, pair, or pung)

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       No courtesy pass

Categories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, Dragons with Matching Suits, Gates, Swings, Scrooge, Kongs, Kong-Pung, Pyramids, 2468, 369

       
       
1943 12 N/A Rules:·       Each player takes 1 flower before building the wall (each then takes 12 tiles in usual manner, East takes 1 more)·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card (not confirmed whether it has disappeared, or is referenced in booklets)·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       A flower can never be discarded

·       Tiles may be claimed for Kong (4), Quint (5), Sextette (6) or MJ – No claiming for pairs or pungs except for MJ

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       No courtesy pass

Categories of Hands: Sextette, Quints, Winds, Dragons, Gates, Swings, Scrooge, Kongs, Pyramids, 2468, 369

1944 14   Rules: Same as Previous Year except for number of flowers Categories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, 13579, 2468, 369, Same Nos., Consecutive Numerals, Consecutive Addition Quints, Ration Point Hand
1945 14 –Additional flowers permitted   Rules: Same as Previous Year except for additional flowers option Categories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, 13579, 2468, 369, Same Nos., Consecutive Numerals, Consecutive Addition Quints, Consecutive Addition Sextettes
1946 16 N/A Rules: Same as Previous Year except for number of flowers Categories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, 13579, Same Nos., 2468, 369, Quints, Consecutive Addition Quints, Consecutive Addition Sextettes, Multiplication Same No. Sextettes
       
       
1947 18 N/A Rules:·       Each player takes 1 flower before building the wall (each then takes 12 tiles in usual manner, East takes 1 more)·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       A flower can never be discarded

·       Tiles may be claimed for Kong (4), Quint (5), Sextette (6), Septette (7) or MJ – No claiming for pairs or pungs except for MJ

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       No courtesy pass

 

Categories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, 13579, Same Nos., 2468, 369, Same Nos., Consecutive Addition Quints, Consecutive Addition Sextettes, Multiplication Same No. Sextettes

 

1948 18 N/A Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, 1’s & 9’s, 2468, 369, Same Nos., Consecutive Nos., Consecutive Addition Quints, Consecutive Addition Sextettes, Multiplication Same No., Multiplication Odds, Multiplication Evens
1949 20 N/A Rules: Same as Previous Year except for number of flowers Categories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, 1’s & 9’s, 2’s & 8’s, 369, Same Nos., Consecutives., Seven Hand, Addition Sextettes, Multiplications
       
       
1950 24 N/A Rules:·       Each player takes 2 flowers before building the wall (each then picks 4 tiles for 2 rounds, East then takes 4 more tiles, other players take 3 tiles each)·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       A flower can never be discarded

·       Tiles may be claimed for Quint (5), Sextette (6), Septette (7) or MJ – No claiming for pairs, pungs or kongs except for MJ

·       Charleston is completely eliminated for this year

 

Categories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, 1’s & 9’s, 2’s & 8’s, 369, Consecutives, Seven Hand, Addition Sextettes, Same No. Septettes, Multiplications

 

       
       
1951 24 N/A Rules:·       Each player takes 2 flowers before building the wall (each then picks 4 tiles for 2 rounds, East then takes 4 more tiles, other players take 3 tiles each)·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       A flower can never be discarded

·       Tiles may be claimed for Quint (5), Sextette (6), Septette (7), Octette (8) or MJ – No claiming for pairs, pungs or kongs except for MJ

·       No second round of Charleston

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

 

Categories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, 369, 1’s & 9’s, 2’s & 8’s, Seven Hand, Addition Sextettes, Same Nos. Multiplications, Septettes, Sextettes, Octettes

 

1952 24 N/A Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: Winds, 369, 1’s & 9’s, 2’s & 8’s, Seven Hand, Eight Hand, Dragons, Addition Sextettes, Same Nos. Septettes, Sextettes, Octettes
1953 24 N/A Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, 369, 1’s & 9’s, 2’s & 8’s, Seven Hands, Eight Hands, 12 Hands, Septettes, Sextettes, Octettes
       
       
1954 24 N/A Rules:·       Each player takes 2 flowers before building the wall (each then picks 4 tiles for 2 rounds, East then takes 4 more tiles, other players take 3 tiles each)·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Flowers are wild cards and may be substituted for any tile in any hand except for restrictions on Bouquet Hands – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       Flowers may be discarded

·       The only time a flower may be claimed is to complete the Flower portion of a Bouquet hand for MJ

·       Tiles may be claimed for Quint (5), Sextette (6), Septette (7), Octette (8) or MJ – No claiming for pairs, pungs or kongs except for MJ

·       No second round of Charleston

·       Flowers may not be passed in the Charleston

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: Winds, Dragons, 1’s & 9’s, 2’s & 8’s, 12 Hands, Natural, Consecutives, Sextettes, Octettes, Bouquet Hands (Limited Flowers)

       
       
1955 24 N/A Rules:·       Each player takes 2 flowers before building the wall (each then picks 4 tiles for 2 rounds, East then takes 4 more tiles, other players take 3 tiles each)·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Flowers are wild cards and may be substituted for any tile in any hand except for restrictions on Bouquet Hands – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       Flowers may be discarded

·       The only time a flower may be claimed is to complete the Flower portion of a Bouquet hand

·       Tiles may be claimed for Kong (4), Quint (5), Sextette (6), Septette (7), Octette (8) or MJ – No claiming for pairs or pungs except for MJ

·       No pick up for pairs, singles, or pungs except for MJ

·       No second round of Charleston

·       Flowers may not be passed in the Charleston

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: Bouquet Hands, Winds, Dragons, 369, 1’s & 9’s, 2’s & 8’s, Septettes, 7 Hands, 11 Hands, Consecutives, Sextettes, Octettes

       
       
1956 22 N/A Rules:·       No free flowers taken before deal (Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks next 2 tiles, others take 1 each)·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       Flowers may be discarded

·       Discarded flowers may be claimed:

o   To complete required # of flowers for MJ in a concealed Bouquet hand

o   To complete the septette of flowers for exposure or MJ in an exposed Flower hand

·       Flowers may not be used for numerals, winds or dragons in Bouquet hands

·       No claiming for pairs or kongs except for MJ

·       No second round of Charleston

·       Flowers may never be passed in Charleston

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: Bouquet Hands, No Flower Hands, Winds, Dragons, 369, 1’s & 9’s, 2’s & 8’s, Same No., Consecutives, Odds, Evens

1957 22 N/A Rules:·       No free flowers taken before deal (Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks next 2 tiles, others take 1 each)·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       Flowers may be discarded

·       Discarded flowers may be claimed:

o   To complete required # of flowers for MJ in a concealed Bouquet hand

·       SPECIAL NOTE: Exposed Bouquet Hands have additional rules on use of flowers in those hands only (See Card)

·       Flowers may not be used for numerals, winds or dragons in Bouquet hands

·       No claiming for pairs or kongs except for MJ

·       No second round of Charleston

·       Flowers may never be passed in Charleston

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: Bouquet Hands, No Flower Hands, Winds, Dragons, Same No., 369, Odds, Evens

       
       
1958 20 N/A Rules:·       ALL tiles face down and mixed – No reference after this year to any free flowers·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks next 2 tiles, others take 1 each·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair

·       Flowers may be discarded and called “flower”

·       Discarded flowers may be claimed:

o   To complete required # of flowers for MJ in a concealed Bouquet hand

o   To complete the quint, sextette, or septette of flowers for exposure or MJ in an exposed Flower hand

·       Flowers may not be used for numerals, winds or dragons in Bouquet hands

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Flowers may never be passed in Charleston

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: Bouquet Hands, Odds, Consecutive Runs, 2468, 369, Any Like Numerals, 7 Hands, Winds, Dragons, Any Combinations, Unlimited Flowers

       
       
1959 20 N/A Rules:·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks next 2 tiles, others take 1 each·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Flowers are wild cards – no rule against using as a single or in a pair·       Flowers may be discarded and called “flower”

·       Discarded flowers may be claimed:

o   To complete required # of flowers for MJ in a concealed Bouquet hand

o   To complete the pung, kong, quint, sextette, or septette of flowers for exposure or MJ in an exposed Flower hand

·       Flowers may not be used for numerals, winds or dragons in Bouquet hands

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Flowers may now be passed in Charleston

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: Winds & Dragons, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, Any Combinations, Any Like Numerals, Unlimited Flower Hands

       
       
1960-61 14 2 Rules:·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks next 2 tiles, others take 1 each·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Jokers may replace any tile in any hand·       Flowers are no longer considered wild cards (see special note re Quints)

·       Jokers may be discarded if named same as previous tile

·       Jokers may not be replaced in exposures

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Discarded flowers may be claimed only to complete pungs, kongs or septettes of flowers in exposures, or for a pair or pung of flowers to declare MJ

·       SPECIAL NOTE – Special Rules apply to Quints hands:

o   Jokers only replace tiles in Kong (4)

o   Jokers or Flowers may replace tiles in Quints

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, Any Like Numerals, Winds & Dragons, Quints

1961-62 14 2 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1961, Any Combination, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, Any Like Numerals, Winds & Dragons, Quints
1962-63 12 4 Rules:·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks next 2 tiles, others take 1 each·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Jokers may replace any tile in any hand·       Flowers are no longer considered wild cards (see special note re Quints)

·       Jokers may be discarded if named same as previous tile

·       Jokers may not be replaced in exposures

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Discarded flowers may be claimed only to complete kongs or quint of flowers in exposures, or for a pair or pung of flowers to declare MJ

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: 1962, Any Combination, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, Any Like Numerals, 7 Hands, Addition Hands, Winds & Dragons

       
       
1963-64 12 4 Rules:·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks first and third top tiles, others take 1 each·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Jokers may replace any tile in any hand·       Jokers may be replaced in an exposure only when picked by that player

·       Jokers may be discarded if named same as previous tile

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Discarded flowers may be claimed only to complete kongs or sextettes of flowers in exposed hand, or for pair or pung when declaring   MJ

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: 1963, Any Combination, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, Any Like Numerals, 7 Hands, Addition Hands, Winds & Dragons

       
       
1964-65 12 4 Rules:·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks first and third top tiles, others take 1 each·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Jokers may replace any tile in any hand·       Jokers may be replaced in an exposure by any player, whether picked from the wall or the player’s hand

·       Jokers may be discarded if named same as previous tile

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Discarded flowers may be claimed only to complete kongs or sextettes of flowers in exposed hand, or for pair or pung when declaring   MJ

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: 1964, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, Any Like Numerals, Winds & Dragons, Addition Hands, Multiplication Hands

       
       
1965-66 12 4 Rules:·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks first and third top tiles, others take 1 each·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Jokers may replace any tile in any hand except in No Joker hands·       Jokers may be replaced in an exposure by any player, whether picked from the wall or the player’s hand

·       Jokers may be discarded for “dogging” only if named same as previous tile

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Discarded flowers may be claimed only to complete kongs or septettes of flowers, or for MJ

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: 1965, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, Any Like Numerals, Winds & Dragons, Addition Hands, No Joker Hands

       
       
1966-67 8 6 Rules:·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks first and third top tiles, others take 1 each·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Any hand made without Big Jokers is paid double·       Jokers may replace any tile in any hand, no exceptions

·       Jokers may be discarded if named same as previous tile

·       Jokers may be replaced in an exposure by any player, whether picked from the wall or the player’s hand

·       Discarded flowers may be claimed same as other tiles

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: 1966, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, Any Like Numerals, Winds & Dragons, Mixed Combinations, 7 Hands, Multiplication Hands

       
       
1967-68 10 6 Rules:·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks first and third top tiles, others take 1 each·       Value for East is double, bonuses and Kitty are no longer on card·       Any hand made without Big Jokers is paid double·       Jokers may replace any tile in any hand, no exceptions

·       Jokers may be discarded if named same as previous tile

·       Jokers may be replaced in an exposure by any player, whether picked from the wall or the player’s hand

·       On second discard ONLY – if a joker is discarded, the first discard must be picked up (joker is dead)

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: 1967, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, Any Like Numerals, Winds & Dragons, Mixed Combinations, Addition Hands, Multiplication Hands

1968-69 6 8 Rules: Same as Previous Year except for number of flowers/jokers Categories of Hands: 1968, Consecutive Runs, Addition 7 Hands, Any Like Numerals, 13579, 2468, 369, Winds – Dragons – Numerals
1969-70 6 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1969, Consecutive Runs, Any Like Numerals, 13579, 369, 2468, Winds & Dragons
1970-71 6 8 Rules:·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks first and third top tiles, others take 1 each·       East no longer receives or pays double. ·       When a player picks her own MJ tile, all players pay double·       When a player uses a discarded tile for MJ, the discarder (only) pays double.

·       Any hand made without Big Jokers is paid double

·       Jokers may replace any tile in any hand, no exceptions

·       Jokers may be discarded if named same as previous tile

·       Jokers may be replaced in an exposure by any player, whether picked from the wall or the player’s hand

·       On second discard ONLY – if a joker is discarded, the first discard must be picked up (joker is dead)

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: 1492 & 1776, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 369, 2468, 7 Hands, 369, Any Like Numerals, Winds & Dragons

1971-72 8 8 Rules:·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks first and third top tiles, others take 1 each·       East no longer receives or pays double.·       When a player picks her own MJ tile, all players pay double·       When a player uses a discarded tile for MJ, the discarder (only) pays double.

·       A hand made without Big Jokers does not pay double

·       Jokers may replace any tile in any hand, no exceptions

·       Jokers may be discarded if named same as previous tile

·       Jokers may be replaced in an exposure by any player, whether picked from the wall or the player’s hand

·       On second discard ONLY – if a joker is discarded, the first discard must be picked up (joker is dead)

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: News – 1971 – Dragons, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, Any Like Numerals, Winds & Dragons, No Joker Hands

1972-73 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: News – 1972 – Dragons, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, Any Like Numerals, 369, 7 Hands, No Joker Hands
1973-74 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: News – 1973 – Dragons, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, Any Like Numerals, 369, 7 Hands, No Joker Hands
1974-75 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: News – 1974 – Dragons, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, Any Like Numerals, 369, Quint 7 Hands, No Joker Hands
1975-76 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: News – 1975 – Dragons, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 7 Hands, 369, Any Like Numerals, No Joker Hands
1976-77 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: News – 1976 – Dragons, 7 Hands, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, Any Like Numerals, No Joker Hands
1977-78 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: News – 1977 – Dragons, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, Like Numerals Addition, Any Like Numbers, 369, Like Numerals, 369, No Joker Hands 
1978-79 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: News – 1978 – Dragons, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 6 Hands Addition, Like Numerals, 369, No Joker Hands
1979-80 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: News – 1979 – Dragons, Any Like Numerals, Krazy Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, No Joker Hands
1980-81 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: News – 1980 – Dragons, Any Like Numerals, Krazy Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 7 Hands, 369, No Joker Hands
1981-82 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: News – 1981 – Dragons, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, Any Like Numerals, 369, No Joker Hands
1982-83 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: News – 1982 – Dragons, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, Any Like Numerals, 369, No Joker Hands
1983-84 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: News – 1983 – Dragons, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, 2468, 369, Any Like Numerals, No Joker Hands
       
       
1984-85 8 8 Rules:·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks first and third top tiles, others take 1 each·       Jokers may replace any tile in any hand, except jokers can never be used for singles or pairs·       Jokers may be discarded if named same as previous tile·       Jokers may be replaced in an exposure by any player, whether picked from the wall or the player’s hand

·       On second discard ONLY – if a joker is discarded, the first discard must be picked up

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Jokers may never be passed during Charleston

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: 1984, 2468, Any Like Numerals, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, No Joker Hands

1985-86 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1985, 2468, Any Like Numerals, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, No Joker Hands
1986-87 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1986, 2468, Any Like Numerals, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, No Joker Hands
1987-88 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1987, 2468, Any Like Numerals, Multiplication, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, No Joker Hands
1988-89 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1988, 2468, Any Like Numerals, 7 Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, No Joker Hands
1989-90 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1989, 2468, Any Like Numerals, Multiplication, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, No Joker Hands
1990-91 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1990, 2468, Any Like Numerals, Multiplication, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, No Joker Hands
1991-92 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1991, 2468, Any Like Numerals, 7 Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, No Joker Hands
1992-93 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1992, 2468, Addition Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, No Joker Hands
1993-94 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1993, 2468, Any Like Numerals, 7 Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, No Joker Hands
       
       
1994-95 8 8 Rules: ·       Each player picks 4 tiles for 3 rounds, East then picks first and third top tiles, others take 1 each·       Jokers may replace any tile in any hand, except jokers can never be used for singles or pairs·       Jokers may be discarded if named same as previous tile·       Jokers may be replaced in an exposure by any player, whether picked from the wall or the player’s hand

·       Rule about second discard being a joker is eliminated (we interpreted that to mean the first symbol tile can no longer be claimed during the second discard)

·       A hand made without Jokers is paid double (rule clarifies there can be 4x paid by discarder of final MJ tile in a jokerless hand)

·       No pick up for pairs or singles except for MJ

·       Jokers may never be passed during Charleston

·       Second Charleston is optional

·       Blind pass permitted on last pass of either Charleston

·       Courtesy pass permitted with 1, 2 or 3 optional tiles

Categories of Hands: 1994, 2468, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs

1995-96 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1995, 2468, Additional Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
1996-97 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1996, 2468, Any Like Numerals, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, News – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
1997 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1997, 2468, Any Like Numerals, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
1998 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1998, 2468, 7 Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
1999 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 1999, 2468, Multiplication, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2000 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2000, 2468, Additional Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2001 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2001, 2468, Addition Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2002 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2002, 2468, 11 Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2003 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2003, 2468, Like Numbers, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2004 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2004, 2468, Like Numbers, Addition Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2005 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2005, 2468, 7 Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2006 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2006, 2468, Like Numbers, Lucky 13, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2007 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2007, 2468, Lucky 13, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2008 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2008, 2468, 7 Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2009 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2009, 2468, 11 Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2010 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2010, 2468, Like Numbers, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2011 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2011, 2468, Like Numbers, 7 Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2012 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2012, 2468, Like Numbers, 11 Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2013 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2013, 2468, Like Numbers, 7 Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs
2014 8 8 Rules: Same as Previous YearCategories of Hands: 2014, 2468, Like Numbers, Addition Hands, Quints, Consecutive Runs, 13579, Winds – Dragons, 369, Singles & Pairs

MORE GOODIES FROM DONNA…

A while ago I posted a question from our dear friend Donna in Central California, asking how to integrate newer players into the group so that everyone is happy and no one complains. Many of you sent in your ideas – Donna was very appreciative and took your responses to heart. I love what she ended up doing and I hope some of you will try this wonderful way to integrate new players.

Here is what Donna had to say: 

Here’s what we did yesterday.  When people arrived I announced that if you would like to be a “Mah Jongg Mentor” and perhaps play a bit slower in order to help out the newer players, please sit on the left side of the room. If this wasn’t what you wanted to do, please sit on the right side of the room. There were plenty of tables on both sides. I had enough experienced players volunteer on the left side of the room.  I assigned a newer player to each table on the left side of the room and asked them not to rotate from the table and just let the experienced players rotate. That worked out fine. In fact, some of the players on the right side ended up playing on the left side and I didn’t hear any grumbling at all. I think we will continue this way and those wanting to play very competitively and quickly can just stay on the right side.
 
All of the suggestions posted to your wonderful column were terrific and I’m sure helped others too.
 
BettySue mentioned the cute little prizes that she uses. I bought a box of assorted tiles and made them into either magnets or key chains by having a hole drilled through them and use them for prizes. They are very appreciated. 
 
Here’s a photo of the key chains, magnets, tile coasters (very easy to make), and mug mag I have made for prizes.
prizes
BTW, stayed tuned…on the 30th – tomorrow! – I will be posting a gift for all of us!

“REAL” MAH JONGG?

I received the following fabulous photo from my friend Christine M, along with the question as to whether or not this was “real” Mah Jongg…yes, Chris – this is the real thing but it just isn’t real American Mah Jongg!IMG_4579For you “newbies” out there – do you know how we can tell that these people are not playing American Mah Jongg? List as many clues as you can find and let me know!

BTW, stayed tuned…on the 30th I will be posting a gift for all of us!

LOVING THIS PHOTO!

This photo of a 1959 National Mah Jongg League card was sent to me by Judy S – I love the way the photo has been styled!

Everything old is new again…pretty much – but, I sure would love to see those UNLIMITED FLOWER HANDS or, even better, the ANY COMBINATIONS hands in a card again – what fun!IMG_2381BTW, note the price of the card – 25¢!

MAH JONGG PEOPLE (in miniature!)

The other day I received an email from Nancy Bono, telling me about these Mah Jongg pins and magnets that she makes. My first thought was, “cute…but…” and then I received the following message from her: “These mahjong tiles belonged to my mother and grandmother. i wanted to keep them close to my heart. They are little people pins and are very versatile. No two are alike.”

As soon as I read her message, I realized how dear these little “people” really are. I love the sentimentality involved with each piece. And Nancy is definitely prolific! If you are interested, you can contact Nancy at nancybono20@yahoo.com or visit her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/nancyb.mahjong. Nancy’s little Mah Jongg people are $20 each (includes shipping).

Here is just a sampling of Nancy’s creativity:pin pin2 pin3 pin4 pin5 pin6 pin7 pin8 pin9 pin10 pin11 pin12 pin13 pin14 pin15 pin16

TELL ME YOUR OPINION…

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 2.32.45 PMOur friend Jan in beautiful Vermont posed a question and I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I will tell you that defensive playing seems to be one of the hardest concepts to get across to my Mah Jongg students. Frequently I see someone throwing out the needed tile for Mah Jongg when a rack has three exposures and it is beyond obvious what tile is needed. Newer players believe hope springs eternal and, even if there is only one tile in the final wall, they are unwilling to break up their hand. As seasoned players always say, you can’t win second. 

I try – and I say try because clearly the students aren’t listening to me! – to teach newbies to never throw a “hot” tile to a third exposure, particularly when we are down to the last wall. But do they listen? Oh, I see the pain on their faces, trying to decide what they should do. And I will say that they almost always decide to save their hands and throw out the tile that ends the game with someone else’s Mah Jongg!

I like a defensive game and when another player throws out a tile that gives Mah Jongg to someone else, I can’t help but ask why they did so. As Jan says, there is no second place in Mah Jongg. 

How many of you have experienced exactly what Jan is finding at her table:

“There’s one half of the last wall left. Player throws out a 3 Bam when the player to her left has exposed a Kong of 9 Bams and a Pung of Greens. Player to the left obviously calls it and exposes a Kong of 3 Bams. The same gal is up and says “I have her tile.” I say, “you can’t win second.” She throws a 6 Bam. Needless to say, I’m not happy and I say that is why we should start playing that if you throw into 3 exposures, you pay for the table. Yes, I saw eyes roll, but seriously???? Am I that wrong?”

Can’t wait to hear what you think about this!

exposures