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).

DIGRESSING ONCE MORE…AND A SURPRISE FOR TOBY!

Remember the postings last week about Gail and Toby, the Mah Jongg mavens who have been friends since high school? If you recall, I posted a story about them traveling cross-country in a van that once had been owned by Don Ed Hardy, the famed tattoo artist.

The other day I received a message from Gail:  Ann: I can’t believe what I found today. Life is full of some amazing coincidences. It’s a bracelet. Toby knows nothing about it yet. Unless we leave the purgatory of phone tag and actually talk, she may first find out about it from your blog! I found it in the little section of vintage goods at a nursery Paul and I frequent. I took it off to shower, sleep, and for yoga class – otherwise it hasn’t left my wrist.

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So, I need to write this here one more time in honor of our dear friends, Gail and Toby:

Make new friends

but keep the old.

One is silver

and the other’s gold.

A circle is round,

it has no end.

That’s how long

I want to be your friend.

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PROUDER STILL!

Some of my Mah Jongg students came over the other morning for a couple of hours of game play. I am so proud of these ladies – as I have been telling you – because they really do get it!

Lisa had two Mah Jongg wins (she’s such a star – she’s the same one who had Mah Jongg the other day after only 8 tiles were discarded!):

Her first Mah Jongg was with the 13579 hand of 11 333 5555 777 99

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 The second of her wins was with a 2468 hand of 22 444 FFFF 666 88. Lisa never fails to impress me because she does try hands from all categories on the card.

IMG_2839Susan, who has had only two Mah Jongg lessons so far, didn’t fail to impress me with her two wins. The first was with a 13579 hand of 555 7777 777 9999. I couldn’t have been prouder to see her understand the concept of this hand. 
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And look what she put together for her second win – the fun WINDS – DRAGONS hand with NNNN EEEE WWWW SS. And she picked the last East tile herself for the win!

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How proud am I!!!

WILL YOU BE HERE?

On May 8th our friends, Donna and Boots, will be hosting a very special Mah Jongg event. They have a really wonderful event planned but asked if I have any ideas to add to the day – I appeal to you for your input. Let me know and I will post your thoughts. Let’s help out Donna and Boots make this the best Mah Jongg day ever!

Donna wrote:

Boots and I have invited all the city Recreation "mucky 
mucks", along with Mayor, city council and Parks and Rec 
Commissioners. We'll see who shows! We are having an Asian
theme, telling everyone to wear their MJ jewels, and we 
will have 8 hands written on a poster board with one 
lottery ticket attached to each of those hands. When the 
hand is made the lottery ticket is taken. We will also 
have people donate a dollar to the "pot" and every time 
you get a MJ, you get to put your name on a slip of paper;
at the end of the afternoon a name is drawn and you win 
the pot.

So, if you happen to be in the Central California area on May 8th, give Donna or Boots a call and plan to join in the fun. Their phone numbers can be found below.

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THANK YOU, GLADYS GRAD!

The wonderful Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg Tournaments, has told us about something very exciting in the May, 2015 issue of her terrific newsletter, Mah Jongg Madness. Thanks to Gladys, there is now a way to play our beloved game with only two people. Read on…

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Sometimes something comes along that you just have to share

             TWO HANDED

       SIAMESE MAH JONGG™

The following is Gladys’ explanation of how to play with two people:

TWO HANDED

    When I taught this version of TWO-HANDED MAH JONGG to a group of 8 players last week, they liked it so much that they gave up playing their regular group games, and split into four groups of two.

   There is absolutely no reason to have to play a drawn-out or less thought-provoking game with only two players.

     You will love this simple yet challenging method of playing Mah Jongg. It can be fast, stimulating, and fun, fun, fun.

  1. Two players face each other; and place 2 racks in front of each player.

  2. Build two (2) full walls of tiles, 19 stacks long, parallel to each other.

  3. East throws the dice to break the first wall arbitrarily.

  4. 28 Tiles for East, 27 Tiles for opposite player: Each player deals themselves four (4) tiles from the two (2) walls in front of East, until East has taken the last 4 which would give her/him 28 tiles. Player opposite then takes three (3) tiles, which gives him/her 27 tiles.

  5. Players may arrange their tiles on both their racks…as many as desired; and may exchange tiles back and forth between their racks. It does not matter how many tiles are on each rack at any one time. (see Item 8).

  6. East discards the 28th tile to begin the game; picking and discarding proceeds.

  7. Even though the tiles are interchangeable on the racks, players must be cautious to NOT put their exposures on the wrong Rack. A player’s hand should be declared “dead” if the exposures do not match a hand on the NMJL card. The player may continue playing to try to build a 2nd Mah Jongg on the 2nd rack. If player is declared “dead” for two hands, the game ceases, and “dead” player pays opponent 4 times the value of opponent’s existing Mah Jongg, or 4 times the lowest value on the card – whichever is relevant.

  8. Once a Mah Jongg is declared by a player, that rack with the Mahj must hold only 14 tiles.

  9. NOTE: There is no benefit to concealing the fact that you have a Mah Jongg.

  10. You may exchange your own Jokers from your own exposures; but you can NOT exchange a Joker from any existing exposed Mah Jongg hand.

  11. See NATIONAL MAH JONGG TOURNAMENT RULES and MAH JONGG MASTER POINTS RULES for additional information.

  12. SCORING AND PAYOUTS: Payments are made at the END of the game.

  YOU ARE PLAYING BOTH RACKS INTERCHANGEABLY

     – The 1st Mah Jongg by a player receives the value on the card, regardless if it is self picked .. but if it JOKERLESS, the value is doubled.

         Sometimes, if both players have the same score for their 1st Mah Jonggs, e.g., a 25 point hand – then the payment might be a “wash.”

     –  If a player declares and wins with two (2) Mah Jnggs, the payout for the 2nd Mah Jongg is doubled, regardless if it is self-picked.  Payout is doubled again if it is JOKERLESS (excluding singles and pairs).

              THE SET-UP AND DEAL

SIAMESE MAH JONGG SET UP

 PLAY YOUR 2 RACKS INTERCHANGEABLY

2 RACKS

 ©Mah Jongg Madness® 2015 – Gladys Grad

ARE YOU IN THE MARKET FOR A NEW MAH JONGG SET?

You might be interested in this limited edition Mah Jongg set made by Cartier…it’s only £37,100 and that even includes the VAT tax! If you are wondering what that might be in U.S. currency, well…it’s about $57,268.12. Quite a deal, right?!!

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MAHJONG BOX WITH PANDA DECOR, LIMITED AND NUMBERED EDITION

Wood and marquetry, nephrite jade
REF: T1220550

This collection honors Cartier’s long-standing tradition of creating fine objects. Skilfully and uniquely crafted in precious leathers and metals, lacquer and marquetry, each of these designs manifests the Cartier art de vivre.

Limited edition of 18 numbered pieces. Mahjong box with panda decor, sycamore wood lacquered from black to green and mother-of-pearl marquetry, 16 nephrite jade cabochons, golden finish details. Inside: black Alcantara®* inside with 4 drawers containing 148 tiles, 92 chips and 6 die in Corian ®.
Dimensions: 256 mm (length) x 256 mm (width) x 137 mm (height).
*Alcantara® is a registered trademark which does not belong to Cartier.
Corian ® is a trademark that is not owned by Cartier. The Corian is a coating material made of 1/3 of acrylic resin and 2/3 of natural minerals.

I’M SO PROUD!

The Mah Jongg class I am currently teaching has finished their Beginners Class; now they are on to Supervised Play. Monday was only our second session and, to paraphrase Henry Higgins, I think they’ve got it!

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Lisa is amazing – she declared Mah Jongg early on – only 8 tiles had been discarded with this nice WINDS – DRAGONS hand of NNNN EEEE WWWW SS. She’s had a real understanding of the game since our first lesson!

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Minkie put together a beautiful CONSECUTIVE RUN hand of 11 222 3333 444 55 and she even remembered that you can’t use Jokers for a pair – a difficult concept to understand when you are first learning the game – good job, Minkie!

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Linda also declared Mah Jongg with the same CONSECUTIVE RUN hand. She kept saying that she had nothing but managed to call out, “Mah Jongg!” Way to go, Linda!

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Lisa put together one of my favorite hands, LIKE NUMBERS with FF 2222 2222 2222

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I couldn’t be prouder!