It’s always a good day when I check my in-box and find a new edition of Gladys Grad‘s Mah Jongg Madness Newsletter.
Here’s a question with an answer that, although we have seen it before, never seems to sink in – or as Gladys writes – it continues to vex many tournament players!
Q: I noticed a rule in the latest publication from the NMJL that differs from a rule you have used at your tournaments: A player discards a tile but miscalls it. However, she has the correctly named tile in her hand. Does she take the tile back and discard the named tile from her hand? NMJL Answer: No, You do not replace the tile with named tile….miscalled tile is only correctly named. Will you now use the NMJL rule in your tournaments? Linda B. TX
A. As you know, TOURNAMENT RULES are more stringent, especially since they may involve prizes, awards and Mah Jongg Master Points. Unfortunately, ‘purposely misnaming-a-tile’ can be used as a devious “strategy” by a player….to determine if an opponent needs the misnamed tile for an exposure.
If the misnamed tile is claimed, the wily-discarder can then say ….”Oops, it was a mistake, I meant to say something else…,”thereby sabotaging their opponent out of a legitimate exposure.
TOURNAMENT RULES are as follows:
OFFICIAL MAH JONG RULES FOR TOURNAMENTS
Qualified for MAH JONGG MASTER POINTS
SANCTIONED MAH JONGG TOURNAMENTS
11. MIS-NAMING A TILE: There is NO scoring penalty for mis-naming a tile. However…
a. THIS RULE SPECIFICALLY APPLIES TO A TILE THAT IS CLAIMED FOR AN EXPOSURE. If the discarder has the correct tile in their hand, the correct tile must be discarded in place of the incorrectly named tile. (If necessary, contact the Director to ascertain that the correct tile is/is not in the discarder’s hand.)
b. If the discarder does not have the correct tile in their hand, the game proceeds, following the correct naming of the discarded tile.
c. A MIS-NAMED discarded tile may be claimed for MAH JONGG. The discarder is penalized the appropriate amount of points.
To further answer your question….we will continue to use the specific TOURNAMENT RULE noted above.”
What truly sad mental/emotional problems someone must have to “strategize” this way (or cheat in any other way) in a mah jongg game… I’m so grateful that the wonderful women with whom I play are fun and honest people — who feel good when they win a hand (and money), but who really play for the love & thrill of the game.