I’ve noticed a couple of game play mistakes lately that are made simply because the players don’t know the official rules of the game. I thought I would post the official rules concerning these issues (courtesy of Gladys Grad‘s Official Rules for Mah Jongg). I have a feeling that there are lots of other innocent mistakes that have been made at your Mah Jongg table – I would love for you to send them to me and I will post them.
RACKING A TILE: A tile is considered RACKED when it is placed within the rack, not on top of or in front of the rack. So, make sure you do not just tap the front of the rack or someone may call for a discard and it would be totally legal for them to take it since you officially have not “racked” your tile.
MISNAMING A TILE: there is NO penalty for mis-naming a tile. However…..if the discarder has the correct tile in their hand, the correct tile must be discarded in place of the incorrect tile. If the discarder does not have the correct tile in their hand, the game proceeds, following the correct naming of the tile. I am guessing that we all have misnamed a tile that we are throwing out at one time or another in our Mah Jongg game lifetime. It is up to all the players at the table to watch what is being thrown out. I have heard about people doing it intentionally but I would hope that this is a VERY rare occurrence and done by someone you wouldn’t want to ever play with again.
Please be aware. These are Gladys’ rules for her tournaments. They are somewhat different from the National Mah Jongg Leagues rules. Especially the rule about misnaming a tile. I agree there is no penalty, the tile must be correctly named. Unless of course it was called for Mah Jongg. Then the misnamer receives penalty and the game ceases. Everyone gets 10 points for a wall game except the person who misnamed the tile.
Gladys’s tournament is the only one I know of that requires you have a card in front of you.
And….scoring is a bit different at many tournaments. That’s at the discretion of the director.