Here’s another Q&A from the wonderful Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American Style Mah Jongg, and the brains behind the website, MahJonggMadness.
Q. I played with new people yesterday at the community club house. When they put up their exposures, they didn’t separate them, even when I asked them to. I never played that way. They said that’s how it’s done, and that’s how they do it! They gave me the impression that if I didn’t like it – too bad. Mary M, FL
A. Nice, huh? That’s a rather clear (if bloodthirsty) way of telling you “it’s their way-or-the-highway.” By “packing the exposures” it’s a strategy to throw other players off. Some will also put their jokers at the end of the individual exposure, so you won’t know which exposure it belongs to. Nasty way of not giving you a “clue” about what they’re playing. We won’t condone this in tournament play….and I can almost guaranty that the NMJL won’t either. Find a more sporting game.
I agree with Gladys although sometimes you have to decided if leaving your group is going to be worth it. Can you find another group? Can you just somehow ignore the problems that certain people cause? It may not always be so easy to find a new group.
When I am teaching Mah Jongg, I always instruct my students to a) put the Jokers in the middle of the exposure on their racks and b) separate out the exposures, including when you call for Mah Jongg. The above photo is from a hand by one of my beginning students who completely understands where to place her Jokers and how to display her winning Mah Jongg. I try to instill within my students the fact that Mah Jongg is a friendly game (at least it is under my roof!) and that the most important part of playing is to have fun! Do you agree?