I received a truly interesting question yesterday and wanted to share it with you to receive your answers and comments. I will post them in a few days…

Here’s the question –
We have a player that no one wants to play with.  Unfortunately she’s a neighbor & no one wants to hurt her feelings.  When it is her turn she takes forever to make her play. It disrupts the flow of the game.  Is there a time limit for each player?  Thank you.

Image 1-20-16 at 12.10 PM

14 thoughts on “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

  1. Tony Watson

    Ann, we have one of these in our playing group (although it is very small) – he is a bit (lot!) Aspergic, so has no concept of how his play affects others. We have tried encouraging, cajoling, pointed looks at the watch, but it goes straight over his head. So I am afraid that there are some who can never be ‘educated’ in the etiquette of game flow.


    1. Mah Jongg and Me Post author

      Tony – I think your group is loving and supportive to continue to play with this person. Perhaps you can find a fifth so that he does sit out every few games…might that be a solution?
      Ann xxo


  2. bonytony1946

    On the other side of the coin, we have one who is so competitive that she almost snatches the tile out of your hand, and in doing so often makes mistakes, exposing tiles prematurely and ruining the game that way.
    And not forgetting the mumblers who will not call the discard clearly!


  3. Charlotte Tarr

    Dear Ann… In looking back at my own (early) MJ experience and later games, several things occurred to me about ‘slow players’. First, the game is a social activity. People do like to play ‘at their level’ with others of a similar skill and challenge. However, the ‘slow player’ may have reasons that this is occurring. Perhaps her eyes are giving her problems…..she can’t as easily distinguish the tiles and therefore takes longer to interpret her next move. Perhaps she is distracted from sleepless nights because of worries, concerns, or health issues…so, she’s tired and lacks good concentration while playing. Or, maybe she just has more difficulty in arriving at a decision than the others at the table. Perhaps someone could offer to ‘assist’ with some tutoring lessons to help bring her up to speed before ‘banning’ her. At a minimum, it would be wonderful for one of the ladies to speak privately with ‘her’ to see if they can ferret the reason for her slow decision-making. Wouldn’t that be a kind thing to do? After all, we all will be facing some issue at some point that may cause us to be viewed similarly with a younger, quicker group of individuals! If all these suggestions fail, but they attempted to work in arriving at a solution, then they could suggest she and they ask around for others who might play at that level and help start a new group.

    In this world of turmoil, it would be great if we could show compassion, understanding to others while not sacrificing the fun of the game that we love.


    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

    Mah Jongg and Me wrote:

    > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ WordPress.com Mah Jongg and Me posted: ” I received a truly interesting question yesterday and wanted to share it with you to receive your answers and comments. I will post them in a few days… Here’s the question – We have a player that no one wants to play with.  Unfortunately she’s “


  4. Valerie

    Our local games are played at the public library, so rules & expectations are set by mutual agreement. We seem to be a melting pot, where players who are ‘different’ eventually assimilate. OTOH, if a game is hosted by someone privately, participants are invited. Or not. Valerie, upstate NY


  5. dianefmp

    We have one of those in one of our small playing groups too. She is such a nice person, but we end up waiting on her to make her move 60% of the time. But this group is only casual play, so I just accept it and her. Better than a mumbler & snatcher or a frowner!


  6. Audrey Glick

    That’s a tough one. If she is a new player it would be easier to approach her. Someone from the group would just tell her that she wants to help her improve her game/timing so she can keep up with the others. Then work 1 on 1 with her to figure out what slows her down. Does she need practice picking hands or is it the Charleston? In most cases, we often have tiles that we know we don’t need. Before she picks she might well know what she can discard before she even processes the new tile.

    If she has been playing a long time it is a little more difficult to approach. Be honest and tell her that her slowness impedes the game and offer to help as above. Make sure you tell her you want her to keep playing (if you do) and that the game will be more fun for everyone if she can keep up.

    It might also help, as a group, to play some open hands so she can see the process everyone else uses to make decisions. And some games with a direct coach would also help.

    I’ve been playing for years but I recently read Karen Gooen’s and Tom Sloper’s books and picked up some tips. Sloperama.com is a great resource as is Mah Jongg mentor. Playing the computer on NMJL website is also helpful.


  7. Phyllis

    I understand completely. I have a player who thinks about her every move and takes forever. But she is a good player and usually is a winner. And she is a very nice person besides. So just bear with it and accept your neighbor’s slow playing. Enjoy the game and the day.


  8. tobyalice

    At this point, I’ve taught over a thousand players. Some are sharks and some are cognitively impaired. It makes me crazy to play with a slow player BUT that being said, I see it as a practice. Acceptance. It is a tremendous challenge for me.
    I also know that friendships have been lost because of Mah Jongg. This is NOT what it is all about. Part of why I do what I do, is to create community. Soooo, I think it would be great for this person to get a few private lessons, be a fifth, or maybe even have a partner sometimes.



  9. Lynnsie

    I have played almost thirty years and this is a common theme with every group. Acceptance of the player to keep the peace, and friendship, is paramount. That being said, the fifth player is a great way to handle this and I have seen slow players finally “get it” when they are allowed to be out and to wander the table and watch the other players.
    Also, I truly enjoy teaching others and if a group has a few like this it is great fun to help those players along. I love this game and really want others to feel the same.


  10. Randee

    We recently decided at our Monday Night Game that we would play like a tournament and challenge ourselves to see if we could complete 4 games in a hour. (this includes shuffling and racking). Even though it was a bit intense, it gave those of us who are faster players in general a chance to say, “I really like the faster pace…keeps you awake and aware.” Hint hint!


Comments are closed.