Yesterday I posted some common mistakes innocently made at the Mah Jongg table. Here’s a question from what we have to assume is an innocent mistake from a very new player (I can’t imagine an experienced player passing a Joker during the Charleston). This is from the current Mah Jongg Madness newsletter by Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg.
Q. During a tournament, what happens if Player A passed a Joker to Player B? Should Player B say something and return it? Would Player A be dead? Dorothy
A. Passing a Joker is a No-No. Hopefully, it was not intentional. Player A can NOT be declared “dead,” because a game DOES NOT start until East throws the first tile to begin the game.
In a tournament (or in your home game) it is incumbent upon Player B to point out the error to Player A and to return the Joker; and have the pass re-done. If both A and B didn’t say anything, and the game continued…then both would have been guilty of playing a dishonest game. (Bad Form).