Scroll down and you will find more questions from Gladys Grad‘s May newsletter.
Once you have read the questions then I have a question for you:  what is the difference
between your mahj bag and your pocket?
Please send me your thoughts! I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about this…

Q.  What is your opinion about throwing into a 3rd exposure,  giving a person Mah Jongg(or an obvious quint hand); and then instead of paying from your mahj bag, you have to pay out of your pocket instead?  Lynn H, NY

 A.   This is a situation that occurs only in a social game (not in a tournament), and is the result of a “table-rule or house-rule.”  If everyone in your game agrees to the “rule” then you’ve agreed to abide by it.  This “rule” is actually utilized by a lot of players; and they usually pay out-of-pocket for the penalty.

Q. Okay, I understand everyone loves this game, but what’s with all the competition?  We
just like to play and socialize.  Who needs all the stress of winning all the time and paying
money? Katherine B, OK
A.  Congratulations on learning and enjoying the wonderful game of Mah Jongg.  There are
players out there who feel the same as you . However, you may be missing out on the
additional fun of friendly competition, (which encourages you to strive to improve
your knowledge of the game, enhance your skills….and to aim for the goal of achieving your
own “personal best”).
The National Mah Jongg League (NMJL) recognizes the importance of competition, which is
made evident by the values they assign to the hands on the annual card.  When you play just to
socialize, why even try for the more challenging hands; why even try to improve your game?
Your game never gets better until you become a better player; and you never get any better
until you challenge yourself to play a better game.” 
 My brother the golfer, says,
“You may as well go on the golf course and never aim for the hole!”
Once again, much thanks to Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American Style Mah Jongg
Tournaments and her informative newsletter, Mah Jongg Madness.

2 thoughts on “AGAIN…IT’S JUST A GAME…

  1. rayheaton

    An interesting view that financial risk helps improve the game (I know it’s a rather low valued purse!). I don’t play “American”, rather MCR where gambling is very much frowned upon, (do you consider the American kitty to be gambling!); though I guess the anti-gambling MCR approach is tied in to the extreme gambling within game in China in bygone years.

    Does the NMJL have an actual league, where players compete for league position receiving the kudos for (say) being in the top 10?


  2. mahjonggandme Post author

    Hello Ray,

    So nice to hear from you. Your comments are interesting to me since if one ever goes down to Chinatown here in New York, the gambling on Mah Jongg is intense among the men who are playing. In fact, there have been a number of raids on the Mahj parlors down there because of the amounts of money being wagered.

    I don’t think the NMJL has an actual recognition for the top players but apparently there is something called Master Points which is what you earn in these tournaments that seem to be cropping up everywhere. I don’t know much about all of this because I have never entered one of these sponsored tournaments. Gladys Grad, the owner of the website Mah Jongg Madness, calls herself the Grand Master of American Style Mah Jongg Tournaments. I do know that she sponsors many tournaments (including one on a cruise) that reward the players with “Master Points.”

    As far as the money promoted by the NMJL, it is definitely 25 cents for most of the hands with a few being 30 cents or thereabout. I don’t know if we could actually call this “gambling” but I suppose in the strictest sense of the word, that is what it is!

    Our group pools the winnings after each game and recently we used part of the kitty to bet on the Kentucky Derby (we lost!).



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