The wonderful Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg Tournaments, has told us about something very exciting in the May, 2015 issue of her terrific newsletter, Mah Jongg Madness. Thanks to Gladys, there is now a way to play our beloved game with only two people. Read on…
Sometimes something comes along that you just have to share
SIAMESE MAH JONGG™
The following is Gladys’ explanation of how to play with two people:
When I taught this version of TWO-HANDED MAH JONGG to a group of 8 players last week, they liked it so much that they gave up playing their regular group games, and split into four groups of two.
There is absolutely no reason to have to play a drawn-out or less thought-provoking game with only two players.
You will love this simple yet challenging method of playing Mah Jongg. It can be fast, stimulating, and fun, fun, fun.
Two players face each other; and place 2 racks in front of each player.
Build two (2) full walls of tiles, 19 stacks long, parallel to each other.
East throws the dice to break the first wall arbitrarily.
28 Tiles for East, 27 Tiles for opposite player: Each player deals themselves four (4) tiles from the two (2) walls in front of East, until East has taken the last 4 which would give her/him 28 tiles. Player opposite then takes three (3) tiles, which gives him/her 27 tiles.
Players may arrange their tiles on both their racks…as many as desired; and may exchange tiles back and forth between their racks. It does not matter how many tiles are on each rack at any one time. (see Item 8).
East discards the 28th tile to begin the game; picking and discarding proceeds.
Even though the tiles are interchangeable on the racks, players must be cautious to NOT put their exposures on the wrong Rack. A player’s hand should be declared “dead” if the exposures do not match a hand on the NMJL card. The player may continue playing to try to build a 2nd Mah Jongg on the 2nd rack. If player is declared “dead” for two hands, the game ceases, and “dead” player pays opponent 4 times the value of opponent’s existing Mah Jongg, or 4 times the lowest value on the card – whichever is relevant.
Once a Mah Jongg is declared by a player, that rack with the Mahj must hold only 14 tiles.
NOTE: There is no benefit to concealing the fact that you have a Mah Jongg.
You may exchange your own Jokers from your own exposures; but you can NOT exchange a Joker from any existing exposed Mah Jongg hand.
See NATIONAL MAH JONGG TOURNAMENT RULES and MAH JONGG MASTER POINTS RULES for additional information.
SCORING AND PAYOUTS: Payments are made at the END of the game.
YOU ARE PLAYING BOTH RACKS INTERCHANGEABLY
– The 1st Mah Jongg by a player receives the value on the card, regardless if it is self picked .. but if it JOKERLESS, the value is doubled.
Sometimes, if both players have the same score for their 1st Mah Jonggs, e.g., a 25 point hand – then the payment might be a “wash.”
– If a player declares and wins with two (2) Mah Jnggs, the payout for the 2nd Mah Jongg is doubled, regardless if it is self-picked. Payout is doubled again if it is JOKERLESS (excluding singles and pairs).
THE SET-UP AND DEAL
PLAY YOUR 2 RACKS INTERCHANGEABLY
©Mah Jongg Madness® 2015 – Gladys Grad