Monthly Archives: January 2016


I finished the Charleston with this in my rack, all set to complete the concealed Singles and Pairs  hand of 112 11223 112233IMG_1399…but luck was not with me and I eventually had to give up the dream.


…for this student, declaring Mah Jongg with this winning hand was as good as winning the lottery! And I couldn’t have been prouder of her!!IMG_1397


Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 11.46.42 AMIt’s been a while since I have posted the Q&A’s from Gladys Grad‘s Mah Jongg Academy™ but the newest issue just came out and I thought you would all enjoy reading this really great set of questions and answers. 

(Some “death defying” questions that deserve repeating….from our most recent tournament.)

Q. If I throw out a tile before East discards to start the game, am I dead? 

A.  Nope. You are not “dead,” because East hasn’t thrown out the 1st tile to begin the game.  Retrieve your tile, and wait for East to discard.

Q. 1) If I expose my tiles on my rack before I pick up the discard for my exposure, am I dead? 
     2) Q. If I expose my tiles for my MAH JONGG before I pick up the discard I claimed, am I dead? 

A.  In a tournament, you are not “dead”….(yet).  We are not that strict yet….but the day is coming when this rule will be enforced. However….literally, your turn does not start until you pick up your tile TO BEGIN YOUR TURN (either a discarded tile, or one from the wall); and subsequently either rack it or expose it.  

     Remember to always pick up the discard and place it on TOP of your rack, before you expose the tiles from your hand. 

Q. If I accidently look at a pass in the Charleston before I pass my own 3 tiles, am I dead? 

A.  Not dead.  The game hasn’t even started yet.  In a tournament, you will lose 10 points (minus -10) from your game-score for that hand.  For your social game, there is no official NMJL ruling and no official penalty.

Q. If I place my tile on the table in front of the player whose Joker I want to exchange, am I dead?  

A.  You are not dead.  If that tile touches the table it is considered discarded (not dead).  However, if you had REQUESTED the exchange VERBALLY (and NOT expected your opponent to read your mind) BEFORE THE TILE TOUCHED THE TABLE – then you and your tile were safe.  Remember to use language everyone understands…not like someone in our last tournament said “that’s mine.” (!!??)

Q. If I’m the next player in line when my opponent discards her tile, do I have to verbalize that I’m taking that tile before I make my exposure, or am I dead? 

A. Recently, the NMJL responded to this question and acknowledged that you should verbalize that you are claiming the discarded tile. 

     However, since we don’t usually verbalize that we are taking a tile from the wall when it’s our turn to pick….and because the NMJL did not indicate a penalty for failure to verbalize when claiming a discard….then (for the time being) we will allow this in our tournaments. 

     Remember, the NMJL also tells us to be aware of what is happening on the table….not just listen.

Q.  Why do I have to lose 10 points in a tournament if I throw someone their Mah Jongg, and they don’t have any exposures? I prefer to play in tournaments where they don’t penalize you. 

A. We get this question every day. 

     I’d like to ask you a question, Joan.  “When you play in your social game, and you give your opponent her Mah Jongg tile…..aren’t you always penalized….even if she didn’t have anyexposures?”  If you play according to NMJL rules, your penalty is doubled for giving someone their Mah Jongg – even if your first tile  – or the last tile thrown in the game – gave her Mah Jongg. 

     In a fair and equitable game there is always a consequence for giving someone Mah Jongg. If you are playing in a tournament that does not penalize you points for giving someone their mahj…then you are getting a gift. 

     I would hate to be the player who came in 2nd, if you won 1st place with 10 more points.



Judy and Bonnie have sent out the following message about their upcoming January 23rd tournament in Florida. If you are on a wait list, stay tuned – you never know!

Dear friends, Bonnie and I are back from our trip and couldn’t be more excited for our upcoming January 23, 2016 tournament at Seven Spring Golf & Country Club.  When we left last week, we were almost sold out and upon our return, that was confirmed. We are overwhelmed by the responses and look forward to another successful tournament.  If you sent in your check and space is available, you would have received an email confirmation from Bonnie.  There are also some who have made arrangements to later send in payment.  Those spaces have been reserved as well.  However, for those of you who have not been in contact with us or have not received an email confirmation, we will put you on a waiting list.  We always have spots that open up and will let you know immediately when that occurs. Judy and Bonnie 


68061c99-5cfb-481d-b870-e9878e32f806A ridiculous amount of fun is what Toby Salk promises you will have if you are signed up for one of her events held in the Berkeley, CA area. 

Count yourself as one of the lucky ones if you live in the Bay Area and can be a part of Toby’s fabulous Mah Jongg Brunches – brunch is from 11 am to noon and then Mah Jongg play goes until 3 pm. Toby makes it possible for you to enjoy playing Mah Jongg while making new friends at her wonderful monthly brunches. 

And, on Sunday, February 7th, Toby is holding a Lunar New Year Costume Party. Brunch is from 11am – 12 noon and then Mah Jongg play from noon until 3 pm. Dim Sum/Chinese food will be served; wear an Asian costume or just wear RED! Click here to register in advance, which is necessary.Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 11.51.17 PM


It’s right about this time of year that we all getting ready for the new card to come out but we know we have close to three months before the 2016 NMJL card hits our mailboxes. Well, the wait is over…Sheryl Perry and Fern Oliphant – the brains behind Destination Mah Jongg – have designed a new card that is exciting and challenging…and it is available NOW!

Here’s a sneak peek:2016 card cover photo 2016 card back 2016 card angledThis new card has eight different sections that offer fun and challenging hands with combinations we have never played before. The Next Generation League Mah Jongg card will be available for shipping on Monday, January 11th. The cost is $8 and you can pay by check or Paypal. Sheryl and Fern are also offering a special “buy three and get one free” during the month of January.  

To purchase, contact Fern ( or Sheryl (

I’ve already ordered mine – I can’t wait to start playing with this new and exciting card!!!

Please send photos when you start declaring Mah Jongg with these new hands!