Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American Mah Jongg, always answers interesting questions in her monthly Mah Jongg Madness Newsletter. But I must admit that I was rather surprised to read the following question describing a situation where a tournament director allowed someone to put back a tile that had already been racked and exposed. However, Gladys – as always – was diplomatic and kind in her answer. Read the question and answer and then let me know how you would have ruled on this situation.
Q. I was at a tournament and a newer player claimed a flower for an exposure. She picked that tile up, and exposed it with 2 flowers and a joker. Then she decided she didn’t want the flower or the exposure, and proceeded to put the flower back on the table and put the other tiles back in her hand. We called the director over to the table, and he said she could do that with no penalty. Is that correct? Rebecca N, NY
A. First, let me preface any comments with one fact….no matter what the Director in a tournament rules, it is always correct. It is his/her tournament, and the Director’s decision is always the “right decision.”
That said….in standardized TOURNAMENT RULES, once a tile is touched and used in an exposure, the player must use that tile, and complete her turn….whether or not she changes her mind or not. (Please check with the NMJL to see what their ruling is for social games.)
Tournament rules have evolved to not allow you to “change your mind” about keeping a tile once you have touched it.