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).

I’M ALREADY THINKING ABOUT THE 2019 CARD!

I know that it is early to be thinking about the 2019 card but the wonderful Donna Eschen just sent me an email that I really need to share with you. Philanthropy is what our game is all about and Donna really is all about helping others less fortunate!

JULIA!!!

Our dear friend, Toby Salk, reminded me that even the most famous people find time to play Mah Jongg! Scroll down to see Julia Roberts’ quote about our favorite game. BTW, my “sister” Johni Levene (the founder of Mah Jongg That’s It on Facebook) was Julia’s teacher so we know for sure that Julia is a top player!

WOW!!!

 

Leave it to the wonderful Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg, the beloved Gladys Grad, to come up with this gorgeous puzzle. The holidays are really not that far off and this could be the perfect gift for your Mah Jongg-loving friends…or for yourself! Click here to order this 1000 piece Mah Jongg Masters Collage Jigsaw Puzzle (completed puzzle measures 20″ x 27″) at a special discounted price of $19.99 with free shipping (normally $24.95). 

As Gladys says, “This artistic assemblage of all-things-Mah Jongg is not only challenging…..but it’s so beautiful that you will want to frame it and hang it somewhere special; or put it under the glass top of your cocktail table.”

GLADYS KNOWS BEST!

My students call me RackIt (!) because I am constantly reminding them to rack their tiles after they have picked from the wall. Why am I so fixated on racking the tile – and done in the proper way? Well, simply because this avoids any confusion, disagreements, and/or mistakes. But don’t take my word for it – let’s hear what the Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg, Gladys Grad, has to say about this issue:

Q. 

Please answer this question so it can be settled with my Mah Jongg group.  When does your chance to call for a discarded tile end?  I think we have some misinformation afloat.

A.  You can claim a discard before the next player picks and RACKS their next tile. If they click the tile ON their rack, it does NOT count.

If they hold it (even for a long time), it does NOT count.

Putting their picked tile on the table in FRONT of their rack does NOT count.

And in order to claim the tile that you have already RACKED and that you don’t want to lose to someone who is claiming the last discard….make sure you RACK IT FULLY ON THE SLANTED PORTION OF YOUR RACK.

Much thanks to the wonderful Gladys Grad!

 

A Mah Jongg L’Shana Tova – 5779!

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy, and sweet New Year!  May 5779 bring you lots of Jokers!

WHEN ARE JOKERS VIABLE IN A DEAD HAND?

I know this question comes up frequently and is one of those issues that causes much discussion. Well, leave it to the Grand Master of American-style Mah Jongg, the wonderful Gladys Grad, to provide us with a definitive answer!

Q. 
The hand in question is: 22 44 666 888 DDDD

A player had 4 RED Dragons already exposed on her rack from a previous call for one of the Red Dragons.  She declared Mah Jongg and picked up a 6 Bam and added 2 Jokers with it on her rack.  Then she proceeded to expose the rest of the Mah Jongg hand. She put three 8 Bams on the rack and then two 2 Craks and two 4 Craks.  Of course the hand was dead as she needed two 2 DOTS & two 4 DOTS because the hand calls for 3 suits. Now another player says that since she exposed the 6 Bams first with the 2 jokers, that that part of the hand was still available for exchanging the joker.  Was the Joker in the 6 Bam exposure still viable?  VS, CA

A. No, that Joker was NOT viable.  If it had been a Joker in the previously exposed Red Dragons, then it could be exchanged.  But the 6 Bam exposure made with Jokers was still part of the current turn that resulted in it being declared a dead hand.  

I hope this will help those of you who are still not sure when a Joker is still viable in a dead hand. Send me some of your situations with dead hands and Jokers and I will post them on a future blog.