Author Archives: Mah Jongg and Me

About Mah Jongg and Me

Mah Jongg is not just a game. It has become a part of my life that allows me to entertain my Mah Jongg-playing friends, cook great meals to serve to them and test my mental skills during our game play (which, hopefully, is often).


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


screen-shot-2016-09-06-at-3-31-00-pmThis question – with its very thorough answer – is from Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg. Much thanks to Gladys for this great Q&A:

Everyday, we receive calls and emails asking us many questions about Mah Jongg social game and tournament rules.
     One such question involves exchanging Jokers in an exposure – specifically:  “Can a player exchange a symbol tile (like a 5 Dot) for a Joker, instead of the other way around?”
     As you know, the NMJL Rules do provide for exchanging a Joker for a symbol tile in an exposure.
     Because this question has come up so often over the years, we recently took a suggestion from a player to send out “some kind of petition,” to garner comments and remarks from others.   Basically, we assumed this form of starting the conversation would offer valuable insight.
     The premise suggested that there is an element of the luck-factor that may be reduced in the game, if players have the option to exchange a Joker for a symbol tile; thereby, opening up alternative strategies;
     1) to prevent an opponent from making a Jokerless hand (as exhibited by their exposures)
     2) to fill in a singleton or pair in ones own hand, that has been stymied by an exposure of  3 or 4 of the same tiles on an opponents rack.
     This was posted on a Facebook page a couple of weeks ago….and elicited many interesting opinions.
     The resulting comments from the Facebook page, and from the many calls, messages, and emails…indicated that our players are open to these kinds of discussions.  They appreciated the opportunity to discuss new ways to make the game we love possibly even more challenging. 
     We thank everyone who took the time to offer their opinions and comments. (Granted there were a few comments from players who adamantly opposed any change…and some who even said a few unkind words [they probably don’t make friends very easily]……but we welcomed the exchange.)
     Further, we feel that our personal and professional mission is to promote the NMJL game; ….and conversations like this one in our Mah Jongg community are worthy and constructive.Dreaming of those Jokers…screen-shot-2016-09-06-at-3-43-17-pm