Tag Archives: Charleston


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 dear friend Dee Dee sent in a great question while she was about to pass the second right in the Charleston. She wrote: “We are in the Charleston and about to go to the 2nd right – no matter which configuration you consider, there are five tiles.”

Here is what her hand looked like:Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 5.03.08 PM

Ultimately, here is what happened:  “Eventually I did get MJ but I went with the Consecutive Numbers hand of 6666 (Dots) 777 (Bams)  8888 (Dots)  DDD (Green); I drew my last Green Dragon on the next to last tile in the hot wall.”

How would you advised her as to what tiles to pass on the second right and which hand(s) to work on?


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.


Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 5.21.16 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-27 at 5.31.16 PM

I have dreamed of declaring Mah Jongg just after the Charleston is completed and before the game actually begins. In her most recent newsletter, Gladys Grad, the amazing Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg, answers a question about just such a heavenly happening! Have you ever had this happen to you? Let me know about your own “Heavenly Happenings!”

Q. I am curious as to how you would rule in the following scenario: The Charleston was completed through last right pass and East declared MahJongg. You have mentioned many times that the game does not begin until East throws the first tile. Of course, East is the only player who could have Maj at that point. This happened at the table where I was playing in another tournament a few years ago. That director declared it a valid Maj. I’m sure you would not criticize another director’s ruling, but I’m wondering how you would rule. It will probably not ever happen again in my lifetime! Pat

 A. It is a good mahj. It’s a “hole-in-one,” a “Celestial Mah Jongg “, a “Heavenly  Mah Jongg,” and you name it .  It’s even a good mahj for East if it happens during the Charleston. NMJL condones it, and so do we.  


In between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur there is still time for Mah Jongg…and yesterday was my turn to host the OMs at our Wednesday game. We started out with a summery lunch – even though it is now October – since the weather has been warm and sticky. First we had Chilled Cucumber Soup with Shrimp followed by Pic’s Fresh Crab Salad with Lime Juice and three yummy cheeses – D’Affinois, Piave, and Humboldt Fog (as always, recipes will follow tomorrow – all are easy and delicious and from recipes by Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa).


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Yesterday I posted some common mistakes innocently made at the Mah Jongg table. Here’s a question from what we have to assume is an innocent mistake from a very new player (I can’t imagine an experienced player passing a Joker during the Charleston). This is from the current Mah Jongg Madness newsletter by Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg.

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