Here is a really interesting question from the most recent newsletter by Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-style Mah Jongg:

Q. My opponent discarded, and I claimed a 5 Dot – but did not pick it up…but I did expose a 5 Crak (which is what I really wanted).  I was declared “dead.” What should have happened?  Should I have been called dead?  RW

A. Once you exposed, you started your turn.  You then had the option of using the 5 Dot and correcting your exposure to one using 5 Dots….(and returning the 5 Crak to your hand).  If you were unable to use the 5 Dot…even with 2 Jokers…then you should have been declared “dead.”

What are your thoughts on this situation? A somewhat similar situation happened last week – a tile was picked up and an exposure was racked but then the person realized that she didn’t really need that tile for the hand she was playing. But we determined – and rightly so – that once she had called for and touched that discarded tile and racked it, it was hers. In this particular case, all she had to do was now focus on playing a hand that would incorporate her exposure. Comments?

8 thoughts on “DEAD OR ALIVE?

    1. Tracy C.

      Wait – This rhyme won’t always work because it only applies to discards claimed for exposure that are taken off the table… If she exposes tiles already in her hand before she touches the claimed discard, she can still put those tiles back into her rack as long as she hasn’t touched the discard… ( I don’t have the official rules in front of me, but I’m 99% certain that’s the NMJL rule). Make sense?


      1. Gladys Grad

        With regards to Tracy C’s post…in a Tournament, you can NOT put your exposure back in your rack. Because of the nature of tournament-competitive play (particularly if there are prizes awarded), Tournament Rules are more stringent than some of the rules you may play in your social games. Gladys G


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