Monthly Archives: February 2014


From Fresh Meadows, NY, we hear from the delightful Lynne Cohen


I teach Mah Jongg. Interested students can contact me at my email address as I check it all the time:

Above is a picture of me (not the best but…) when I made the big hand…

…and a picture of all the women in our mah jongg group. Not all of them play at the same time, but we often have 3 or 4 tables going when we play. We met at a mah jongg class at our union (retired teachers) office.  Fun! I am sitting on the floor in between the two sofas. Lots of stories about the group, but it’s a wonderful bunch of women!
photo 4

Lynne also sent along some of her philosophical thoughts:

Live Long and Prosper!


One of the hardest things to give

away is is usually

returned. Cort R. Flint


Life ends, love does not.


Life without dogs?

I don’t think so!

I have a feeling that Lynne’s classes are anything but boring!  And I am with her about not believing in life without dogs! Shoot her an email if you are in the area near Fresh Meadows and want to take some Mah Jongg lessons from a great lady…

CITY OF MAHJONGGERLY LOVE! (with apologies to the Brotherly kind of love!)


It may be cold and snowy in the City of Brotherly Love right now but there is no shortage of love for Mah Jongg there.


Recently I heard from Leah Feigenbaum and she had a lot to tell us:

“My name is Leah Feigenbaum and I have been playing the fascinating, fun, and fabulous game of Mah Jongg for well over forty years. Like many of you, I fell in love with this game watching my mother at our kitchen table. Eager to spread my passion, I have been teaching the game throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area for beginners and experienced players alike for the past seven years. While I love teaching new students the fundamentals of this great game, I get a real thrill from instructing my more seasoned students on the nuances and intricacies each year as new cards are released. Privileged to have taught more than three hundred students, I feel so lucky to have touched some great people, enlightening them to this lifelong game.

Whether you are attracted to the intellectual stimulation or the social aspect, Mah Jongg could be for you!

I can be contacted at 610-825-8630 or

If you are lucky enough to be living in the greater Philadelphia area, give Leah a call or send her an email – you are about to join a great group of people who have been taught the game by Leah.





So excited about this fabulous trinket box from The House of Rice Store on Amazon. What a great hostess gift for your Mah Jongg-playing friends…or just nice for yourself!



Q.  If someone calls you dead and you are NOT dead, is there a penalty for the person who calls you dead?  I’ve looked through the National Mah Jongg League rules and I don’t see that answer.  Is that a table rule?

A.  In a tournament, when someone declares you “dead” and you are NOT – then the player who called you “dead” is now dead (the Director can also help to determine if you are truly dead or not).  That player will then cease playing and will receive a ZERO (0) for the game, even if it is a wall game.
In a tournament we take it one step further….if someone even uses the “D” word like, “I think you might be dead…”) and you aren’t…then they should be declared dead.
STRATEGY:  If you think your opponent might be dead, it’s a good idea to ask the other players to stop the game while you check the table…and not commit yourself to the “D” word too soon.
You also might want to check with the NMJL for their ruling in a social game. Tournaments tend to follow a bit more strict adherence to rules, because there is usually hundreds (or thousands) of dollars in prizes, and Master Points involved.

Thanks to Gladys Grad, the “Grand Master of America-Style
Mah Jongg Tournaments.” Visit her Mah Jongg Madness site.



Q.  I was East, and when I picked up all my tiles, I had Mah Jongg!  Now what?

A.  The NMJL rules state “First Charleston compulsory – three passes (right, across, left).” Unfortunately, it does NOT state “First Charleston compulsory – unless you have Mah Jongg.”

So unless – and until – the NMJL changes this rule….that’s how we will proceed. But WOW!  In all my years playing Mah Jongg, I have never seen this happen.  What a conundrum.
Thanks to Gladys Grad, “The Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg Tournaments.” Visit her site at Mah Jongg Madness.


Q.  I noticed a rule in the latest publication from the NMJL that differs from a rule you have used at your tournaments. A player discards a tile but miscalls it. However, she has the correctly named tile in her hand. Does she take the tile back and discard the named tile from her hand?

A: No, You do not replace the tile with named tile….miscalled tile is only correctly named.

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