Monthly Archives: September 2016


Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 4.48.50 PMLast week I received a question from a reader of this blog. I responded to her – my answer to her question is below –  but I would like your thoughts on this disturbing and uncomfortable matter.

Dear Ann,
We have a weekly, friendly neighborhood game.  One of our players constantly moves the discarded tiles toward her rack searching out what she was unable to pick up when discarded earlier.  Two of the players have witnessed a slight of hand, palming the needed tile and placing it on her rack.  Sometimes she has 14 tiles on the rack before there is an opportunity to push off from the end of the rack the unneeded tile.  We do not want to embarrass her or cause damage to our neighborhood friendships, so I wanted your advice as how to tackle this problem in a tactful and friendly way.  Is there a rule stating players must keep their hands behind the rack unless picking and discarding tiles? Is there a printed rule that can be provided to all players as general information, without bringing attention to the guilty player?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide to help solve this difficult situation.

Unfortunately, there are no written rules about these actions which, sadly, have to be labeled as cheating. My first reaction was to tell this player that she was no longer wanted as a part of this group. But this is a small and friendly neighborhood and that kind of response would not be appropriate in this particular situation. I decided to run by my solutions with my dear friend in Vermont, Jan E, and we both agreed that the way to go is as follows:  when she moves the discarded tiles toward her rack, you should immediately move them back to where they were and say in a very friendly way, why don’t we leave the tiles where everyone can see them?

The other egregious situation is more difficult and it will require the people in the know to continually be counting the tiles on her rack. As soon as you see that she has 14 tiles on her rack – and it is not her turn to discard – you must say, “Oh Jane (not her real name), you have 14 tiles on your rack – you’re dead!” and make sure that she is then out of that particular game.  After you have done this a few times, I suspect she will understand that you are on to her and will stop palming those tiles when she is playing with your group.

What makes this a particularly difficult situation is that this is a small neighborhood and everyone is close friends. You don’t want to start a Hatfield vs. McCoy type feud – you just want this women to keep game play on an even and honest level.

What are your thoughts on these two situations? How would you handle them? I will publish your comments in an upcoming post.


Sunday’s edition of The New York Times had an article about the Jews in China…and guess what the paper zeroed in on…screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-4-46-55-pmCould these be our relatives?!

To read the entire article, go here:


If you do have one of the highly coveted ivory Mah Jongg sets, probably best to keep it under wraps…here’s an interesting article from The New York Times on September 22nd: screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-2-06-15-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-23-at-2-06-35-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-23-at-2-06-57-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-23-at-2-07-20-pm


Yesterday was a special day – Judy S arrived at LaGuardia around 10am and headed right over to chez moi. From the moment she walked in until she left, we never stopped talking! Although we only met in person for the first time in July at the Destination Mah Jongg Tournament, it is as if we have been friends forever. Judy is such a thoughtful and giving person – she walked in loaded with fabulous gifts for me. And I love them all – a magnetic clip for my refrigerator…img_1763Mah Jongg coasters – I LOVE these and I know they will get a lot of use!img_1764A purse-sized measuring tape – perfect for using when you are out and about and need to measure tiles or tables or whatever! And, in case you haven’t figured it out, Judy is one of the two CEOs of Dragons on the Green Mah Jongg (Bonnie Wise is her  partner in the business) – the company that gives all of those wonderful tournaments in the greater Tampa area. BTW, if you live around Tampa, Judy and Bonnie are also great Mah Jongg teachers. Send me a message if you are interested in taking lessons from them and I will send you their contact information. img_1766And a Mah Jongg fabric case to hold my NMJL card – what great gifts!!! I can’t wait until everyone sees my card in this case!img_1767After talking away for a couple of hours, we decided it was time for lunch and headed over to the local neighborhood hangout, The Beach Cafe, for a great hamburger. img_1761Afterward we headed back to my apartment for hours and hours of Siamese Mah Jongg. All in all, the perfect day!img_1762BTW, I must admit that Judy beat the pants off of me today – she is such a great MJ player!


Yesterday one of my classes of beginners had their second lesson. Remember your second lesson and how confusing that darn Charleston seemed to be?! And then, after you went through that ritual you had to try to figure out what hand on the card you might be playing. Oh, those first few lessons aren’t easy! However, check this out – on her first game that she ever played, this star student declared Mah Jongg on a Consecutive Run hand of 111 222 3333 4444 with a tile she picked herself…and she figured out that she had won all on her own – brava Cici! She even figured out how to use the Jokers – I couldn’t be prouder of her! (BTW, the other students in the class were just one or two tiles away from calling out Mah Jongg themselves – wow! a class of stars!!!). img_1753


Our wonderful friend, Toby Salk, is the director for a very special tournament. If you live in or around the Bay Area, this is the event for you!screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-1-42-14-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-16-at-1-42-40-pm