Tag Archives: mah jongg



Here’s the last of the questions and insightful answers from this month’s newsletter from Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-style Mah Jongg tournaments. Both questions involve situations at tournaments.

Q. I’ve been playing for a year and am going to play in my first tournament in October.  I was told by my teacher to play more defensively in the tournament than I do in my game at home.  Do you agree?  Sylvia

A. Uh oh.  I really don’t want to disagree with your patient and knowledgeable teacher…but “No” I don’t agree.  When you are playing in your game at home, you are likely playing for “gain” (spell that m-o-n-e-y).  If you give someone else Mahj in your home-game then you are actually responsible for your opponents also paying for your “mistake.”  However, in a tournament, you are the only one who will “pay”…in the form of minus-points.  The others will only be disappointed that they didn’t get Mahj first. If you think you might have a pretty good chance of getting your own Mahj, then you should go-for-it.  The way you win in a tournament is to accumulate those points.

Q. I was in a tournament, and the player to my left began to discard a tile.  She laid it down but didn’t name it.  When I saw it touch the table, I called it for Mah Jongg.  Almost at the same time, she changed her mind and picked it up.  She said she “didn’t name it, and she didn’t take her fingers off it, so she could take it back.” But no one would throw me my tile after that!.  Is that right?  Carol

A. That was the perfect time to call over the director of the tournament, who would have (should have) given the game to you.  You had a legitimate Mah Jongg.  A discarded tile is “down” when it touches the table or is named.  Down-is-down.  (This is not a game of checkers, where you can keep changing your moves until you take your finger off the checker!) 

And as a final emphasis on this answer, just yesterday I received a message from Debbie, a reader of this blog. She definitely will agree with Gladys’ answer; her email said,  In our games we play “once it’s up, it’s up” – no changes -and “once it’s down, it’s down.” 

I agree! Thanks, Debbie!!


I was alerted to a new “trend” (???) by a Facebook friend and decided to investigate. OMG is all I can say (just when you thought you had seen everything Mah Jongg…)!

Start out by checking out a manicuring blog by the name of Cubbiful (“a mani a day keeps the doctor away”) that fulfills a Mah Jongg fantasy:


And then watch this video demonstrating how to make 3D Mah Jongg nails (Zen music included):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Cb0GT5tdyaA#t=0 Continue reading


As I wrote yesterday, K hosted the OM’s Wednesday Mah Jongg game this week. She had a fabulous lunch but first take a look at the beautiful table that greeted us:


K had just returned from a family wedding in Michigan and, as she said, she was in “wedding mode,” hence the all white table setting.  Continue reading



Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-style Mah Jongg tournaments, has some new Q&A’s in her latest newsletter. Here’s an interesting one and I’d like to hear back from you as to whether or not you think Miriam’s friend was being picky or just following the table rules…

 Q.  I made the jokerless hand today of 3 sets of consecutive numbers (FF1122 1122 1122).  One of our “table rules” is to announce when we make a hand without jokers.  In this case, I didn’t announce it as this was an obvious “jokerless hand.”  I was paid $1.00 since I picked my mahj tile.  My friend said I should have announced it!  Was that necessary?  Miriam

A. You have initiated a “house rule” in your own game that “you must announce when you make a jokeless hand.”  Perhaps, your opponent was being a little picky about the details of your “house rule.”  However, unless you were all in agreement and specific about the “terms” of your “house rules,” you really can’t expect everyone to be in agreement when an issue arises….especially one that doesn’t appear on the back of the NMJL Card.

In a tournament, you are well advised to clarify the hand that you played, and to announce the score you are entitled to receive.  That way, when your score is verified and initialed by the person across from you, you all know your score is correct.  Or sometimes, we need a little deeper insight into the obvious.



The other day I received the following email from  AOTOMO Mahjong Table Manufacturer in China. The writer, a person by the name of Frank, wanted me to “put our new design Chinese famous novel mahjong set on to your blog. Please kind find the photos attached. We will send more our mahjong products late.
I asked Frank to send more information and here is what he sent:



照片 682

So, I emailed Frank again and told him I needed more information including pricing…

Continue reading



I received a lovely email this morning from our friend Linda S. who always lets us know about Mah Jongg tournaments in N. Bellmore, NY. Here is a schedule of some upcoming tournaments for those of you who are always looking for tournament play. And, along with the calendar, please note that Linda is part of a duo (Martha is the other person) hosting a wonderful website – onebamtwocrak.com – with a wonderful mission:

Our mission is to change the world for the better through Mah Jongg, one player at a time.

I’m all for that! Read on for specifics about their upcoming tournaments… Continue reading