Tag Archives: Charleston


I don’t know about you and your Mah Jongg groups but I know that when the OMs are playing…and chatting…and laughing…(and sometimes drinking a glass or two of wine!)…we often can’t remember where we are with the Charleston. Sound familiar at all? Well, confusion be gone! Marcee Kleinman, a programmer and a serious Mah Jongg player in Los Angeles, has developed an app for all of us in need of a gentle reminder with the Charleston.

The Mah Jongg Groove

Known as The Mah Jongg Groove by MK Mobile, this clever app is meant to be used “when playing American Mah Jongg with REAL tiles with THREE other players in a face to face game. It is a handy little utility that helps you remember which pass he or she is on during the PASSING or CHARLESTON phase of the American Mah Jongg game. After dealing all the tiles, the user starts this application. Then, after each of the passes, the user advances to the next screen and the application displays which pass is next. It also displays helpful reminders about the characteristics of each pass such as when the user can stop the Charleston and when the user can make a “Blind” pass.”

The app can be found on iTunes and while you are at it, go to the Mah Jongg Groove Facebook page and hit “Like” to show how much we appreciate a fellow Mahj player developing great apps for us!


I was invited back to join in a Sunday game with some of the ladies who live in my building. This is serious game play since most of these ladies have been playing Mah Jongg for around 50 years. Playing with this group is great for my game – although not for my wallet! – because the games are played with lightning speed. You have to be really sharp to play with these ladies. The good news is that one of their table rules is that you can only lose $5 maximum during the day.

But yesterday was a good Mah Jongg day for me – I ended up winning around $3.00 and generally was happy with my game play. But, before I post some of the winning hands, you might remember from the last time I played with this group that I posted the coin bag that A had needlepointed. Yesterday I noticed that not only did she have a needlepointed Mah Jongg coin bag but she had also had made a matching case for her glasses. And here it is:IMG_1556 Continue reading


A faithful reader of this blog, DianeG, has sent in an explanation of what to do
when your 4th player doesn’t show up and you don’t want to play without a
Charleston. Please note: in this picture the book the middle dog is reading is “How to
Play Mah Jongg.” And it looks as if the little white doggie doesn’t really know how to play
because he is about to cheat!


Toby Salk, a great friend of this blog and a wonderful Mah Jongg teacher in Berkeley and
throughout the Bay Area, sent this fun picture of a cat “playing” Mah Jongg. I wonder if Toby
was the cat’s teacher (since she is already considered to be the “cat’s meow” by all of her
Is your pet a part of your games? Send pictures and they will be posted! We recently heard from
Dianne G who wrote to us about the following:

“Most in our group have dogs. When we only have 3 available to play, the game goes on. We deal a hand to the 4th chair and call that player by the name of the resident dog. We do a blind Charleston (not in the official rules, we know) then return that player’s (Shasha, Chili, Rosie, Pepper, or whoever) tiles to the wall and finish playing the game of “threesies”. All for fun and laughs. This way the game goes on and we still get practice in playing the card.”




The OMs (all except for our friend X) got together for our weekly luncheon and Mah Jongg Wednesday game. This was a day for me to remember because I declared Mah Jongg five times during the day – wow! IMG_1425

But first I had to suffer a little heartbreak! This was our very first game and here is my hand after the Charleston. Our table rules allow us to play “Atomic Hands” and I couldn’t believe my good luck. All I needed was one tile to declare Mah Jongg. And then what do you think happened…I picked up a Joker and that was the end of thinking I could go Atomic!

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Q.  I was East, and when I picked up all my tiles, I had Mah Jongg!  Now what?

A.  The NMJL rules state “First Charleston compulsory – three passes (right, across, left).” Unfortunately, it does NOT state “First Charleston compulsory – unless you have Mah Jongg.”

So unless – and until – the NMJL changes this rule….that’s how we will proceed. But WOW!  In all my years playing Mah Jongg, I have never seen this happen.  What a conundrum.
Thanks to Gladys Grad, “The Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg Tournaments.” Visit her site at Mah Jongg Madness.