A few days ago a player picked up a discard, held it for a moment, placed it on her rack, and announced that she was thinking about it. I thought that since she had picked it up, it was now hers, but was absolutely certain that after she placed it on top of her rack, it was definitely hers. She disagreed with me and said that she was allowed to continue thinking about it. I appealed to a Mah Jongg FB group that I belong to – 99% of the 1500+ people in that group agreed with me; just a few agreed with her that she could pick it up and then put it back; 100% of the people agreed that once she placed it on her rack, it was a done deal. What do you think? Do you believe in “if you touch it, you own it?” Or, once it is on her rack, it is there for good? Or, until she brings up the rest of the exposure, she can think about whether or not she wants the tile and, if not, put the tile back on the table?
Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-style Mah Jongg, rang in with her opinion – thank you, Gladys!
“In the NMJL cruise tournaments, for 24 years they always said “if you touch a tile in the wall to begin your turn, IT BELONGS TO YOU. You can not change your mind and claim a previous discard.” We then took that one step further in all their TOURNAMENTS….if you touch a tile that you CLAIM….IT BELONGS TO YOU. We keep steadfast to this rule in all OUR tournaments. We can NOT understand how someone would interpret this to mean they can not only touch it, but they can even put it ON their rack while they “THINK ABOUT IT.” Nor can we imagine that the NMJL would condone this. But if they do, please note it is for social games, not tournaments.”
Let me know your thoughts!