Tag Archives: grand master



Here is a really interesting question from the most recent newsletter by Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-style Mah Jongg:

Q. My opponent discarded, and I claimed a 5 Dot – but did not pick it up…but I did expose a 5 Crak (which is what I really wanted).  I was declared “dead.” What should have happened?  Should I have been called dead?  RW

A. Once you exposed, you started your turn.  You then had the option of using the 5 Dot and correcting your exposure to one using 5 Dots….(and returning the 5 Crak to your hand).  If you were unable to use the 5 Dot…even with 2 Jokers…then you should have been declared “dead.”

What are your thoughts on this situation? A somewhat similar situation happened last week – a tile was picked up and an exposure was racked but then the person realized that she didn’t really need that tile for the hand she was playing. But we determined – and rightly so – that once she had called for and touched that discarded tile and racked it, it was hers. In this particular case, all she had to do was now focus on playing a hand that would incorporate her exposure. Comments?



Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-style Mah Jongg tournaments, has some new Q&A’s in her latest newsletter. Here’s an interesting one and I’d like to hear back from you as to whether or not you think Miriam’s friend was being picky or just following the table rules…

 Q.  I made the jokerless hand today of 3 sets of consecutive numbers (FF1122 1122 1122).  One of our “table rules” is to announce when we make a hand without jokers.  In this case, I didn’t announce it as this was an obvious “jokerless hand.”  I was paid $1.00 since I picked my mahj tile.  My friend said I should have announced it!  Was that necessary?  Miriam

A. You have initiated a “house rule” in your own game that “you must announce when you make a jokeless hand.”  Perhaps, your opponent was being a little picky about the details of your “house rule.”  However, unless you were all in agreement and specific about the “terms” of your “house rules,” you really can’t expect everyone to be in agreement when an issue arises….especially one that doesn’t appear on the back of the NMJL Card.

In a tournament, you are well advised to clarify the hand that you played, and to announce the score you are entitled to receive.  That way, when your score is verified and initialed by the person across from you, you all know your score is correct.  Or sometimes, we need a little deeper insight into the obvious.



I was so very happy to once again receive one of Gladys Grad’s Mah Jongg Madness newsletters yesterday – I know how difficult everything has been for her since she lost her darling husband Phil a couple of weeks ago. But Gladys – also known as the Grand Master of American Style Mah Jongg Tournaments – is a strong and wonderful lady, devoted to the game of Mah Jongg and to all of the people who look forward to her newsletter, her tournaments, and everything else she does to promote the game. Gladys, it’s great to hear from you again!


Here’s a picture of Gladys with her wonderful husband, Phil.
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I have a pet peeve about people picking and racking at the speed of light. There is a group I occasionally play Mah Jongg with and one of the ladies has a habit of hovering over the wall long before it is her turn and then, when her turn does come around, she is already there to pick and discard faster than you can say “wait.” I like a friendly game and I find this behavior to be both aggressive and rude game play – Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American Style Mah Jongg Tournaments, seems to agree with me as you will read below in her most recent Q&A column. Let me know your thoughts…

saki-episode-of-side-a-ep-6-007-614x345“Loli steps up and proves more vicious in her preferred competitive tile game than one could have imagined.” – From Saki S2 – Loli Gets Ruthless & Aggressive   Continue reading


As promised in yesterday’s posting, here is how  you qualify for the different Mah Jongg Master ranks:

Q. What are the Ranks?

A. Just like other player-ranking systems throughout the world, players receive a rank associated with their achievements:

                                                                 MAH JONGG MASTERS

         ● White Tile Master (<5 Points)

● Green Tile Master (5+ Points)   

Red Tile Master (10+ Points)   

● Black Tile Master (25+ Points)   ,

, Bamboo Tile Master (50+ Points)  

   Flower Tile Master (75+ Points)    

 ● Silver Tile Master (100+ Points)     

 Gold Tile Master (200+ Points)  

● Jade Tile Master (300+ Points)   

● Green Dragon Master (399+ Points)     

● Red Dragon Master (500+ Points)    

● White Dragon Master (600+ Points)  

and finally:

 ● Grand Master of Mah Jongg (700+ Points)  

 In the short time that MJMP has been in existence, several players have already achieved RED TILE MASTER Rank, some  with over 20 MJMP’s.

This is your opportunity to join as a member of MAH JONGG MASTER POINTS during this important phase, as it grows in importance and integrity. Your input will help to determine future player-benefits, tournament schedules, and rewards. We look forward to welcoming you as a tournament player and a MEMBER of MAH JONGG MASTER POINTS.

For additional information:

   CALL: 941-351-9420                      

EMAIL: gladys@mahjongg.org


All information courtesy of Gladys Grad at www.mahjongg.org.


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As soon as I know the date of the Mah Jongg segment on CBS’ Sunday Morning, I will post it on this blog. In the meantime, enjoy this photo of Bill Geist sitting with Gladys Grad at the Harrah’s Las Vegas Tournament and Trade Show (photo courtesy of the Mah Jongg Madness March 2014  newsletter by Gladys Grad).
Before reading this month’s questions with their instructive answers, you might want to check out this video from the most recent tournament held at Harrah’s in Las Vegas – if you are in one of these photos, let me know if you would like your picture and a brief story about you at the tournament in a future posting on this blog.
Here are a few more questions and answers from the March, 2014 Mah Jongg Madness Newsletter by Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg.
Q.  My opponent didn’t pick up the tile she claimed for Mah Jongg, until  I told her that she left it on the table.  Then I told her she was “dead.”  I called over the Director who said she wasn’t dead.  But I was right…right?
A. Opponents are pretty quick to jump on a player who has not picked up that final tile yet, after declaring and exposing for mahj. Some players might say, “I was just going to take that tile…I’m not dead!” -or- “You didn’t give me a chance!”
     Unless a Director gets confirmation from at least 2 of the other players, the Director can’t make a fair determination.  Unfortunately, ohers at the table might say “I wasn’t really watching,” or, “I don’t want to make trouble.”(!?)
     You actually helped your opponent when you gave her the “hint” – and she took it.  As a Director, if I see that all 14 tiles of the mahj hand are correct, then I may have no choice but to confim a “good Mah Jongg.”
Q. Player A discarded a 3Dot, Player B then discarded a Joker and said “same;” Player C then discarded another Joker and said “soap.”  Player D then said “take” for an exposure.  We all got mad at Player C  for purposely saying “soap,” but she said she could name her discarded Joker anything she wanted to?  Have you ever heard of this?
A. Yes, I’ve heard of this…..it’s a devious strategy that some players use to see if an opponent needs a tile (like that soap) for an exposure or for mah jongg.  They “convince” you that they “can name a Joker anything they want….it’s a ‘rule’.”  Some players will also purposely mis-name a tile for the same reason…that’s why in tournments, we require the discarder to provide the correct tile if it is in their hand.
     You can name a discarded Joker: a “Joker;”  “Same;” or the name of the previously discarded tile…only.  Don’t fall for your opponent’s made-up “rule.”
Q. I played in a local Mah Jongg Master Point (MJMP) tournament, and the Director made up her own hands; she said we had to play 2014, instead of the required 2013 hands on the card.  Even though I won a prize, is she able to make up her own hands?
A. Directors have the option of making up their own “rules,” for their own tournaments….but the points for the made-up hands really won’t count for MJMP’s; and neither will the penalties for giving someone the made-up-mah-jongg; and creative digressions from the NMJL rules don’t count either.  You do have a choice,however, to play-or-not-to-play in these specialized tournaments.  If a Director follows all the other standardized rules for MJMP’s, but the scoring doesn’t qualify, you may still be able to receive the tournament-assigned-point(s) for playing only.