Yesterday I received my January edition of the monthly newsletter from the website Mah Jongg Madness.
I look forward to this monthly emailing, particularly the section called Mah Jongg University, devoted to answering Mah Jongg game play questions. The questions are answered by Gladys Grad, known as the “Grand Master of American-style Mah Jongg Tournaments.” Many a “discussion” at our weekly games are settled by the answers Gladys gives in this column. Here is a great question and answer from this month’s newsletter:
Q. When a player puts their exposed tiles on the rack, should they put them in order as they appear on the card? One person in our game said “no.” (That just sounded rude.) The same person will ask us to separate our kongs, etc. Is there a rule requiring you to put them in order? Marilyn
A. You do NOT have to put your exposures in order …unless you have exposed your whole hand for mahj – and then only if another player asks you to do so. In a tournament, if you have mahj and you refuse to put the tiles in order upon request, then you will be declared “dead.”
However, it is just common courtesy to separate your exposures, especially upon request.
STRATEGY NOTE: If you have more than one exposure on your rack, you really don’t want to make it easier for the other players to know what hand you’re playing…. so expose the tiles out of order. You also don’t want to make it easier for them to play defensively.
If you are interested in receiving this monthly newsletter, be sure to join the Mah Jongg Madness website. And if you have a question about game play, email it to Gladys and perhaps you will see it published in one of her future newsletters.