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Here is another in our series of strategy lessons direct from Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg Tournaments. Today’s questions and answers are from Gladys’ Mah Jongg Academy® and Mah Jongg University® – Your Tournament Questions Answered.
Q. A 2Dot was drawn from the wall, and the player declared “Mah Jongg.” But after she exposed the 2Dots –then she exchanged a tile from her hand for another player’s Joker.  Then she actually had mahj. She was called “dead” because she didn’t have mahj when she claimed the 2Dot.  Was that a correct ruling?
Q. I claimed a discard, and before I picked it up or exposed, I said ” Mah Jongg.”  My opponent said I shouldn’t have said it until after I exposed with the discard.  Is that a rule?
A. Both are a good Mah Jongg.  Many times a player has claimed a discard for Mah Jongg, and then said, “Oh, that’s NOT Mah Jongg, it’s just for an exposure.”   The NMJL states “in this instance, it is okay to ‘change your mind.”
If you had claimed a discard and said “Mah Jongg” in error, then “even exposing only  that actual pung or kong is okay.”  You would still be in the game.
     In this case, IF the player had already exposed the 2Dots, and then that player exchanged for the Joker….then she still had a good, self-picked Mah Jongg. You can verify this ruling with the NMJL.
     In answer to the 2nd question…that is NOT a rule.
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