If you are starting to get tired of the NMJL’s 2016 card, and can hardly wait for the 2017 card to be delivered some time at the end of March or beginning of April, here’s some good news to tide you over…The Next Generation League’s Alternative Mah Jongg Card for 2017 has arrived!
I recently received a question from our dear friend Joy H regarding Atomic hands in a Mah Jongg game. For those of you who do not know about Atomic Mah Jongg, I wrote about it several years ago in a previous blog posting. Since that posting the OM’s (my Wednesday Mah Jongg group) have amended the rules to say no Flowers as well as no Jokers are allowed. Here is Joy’s question:
Hi Ann – Our group has started playing Atomic hands when possible and now we are wondering if you could answer a couple of questions.
I read your posts about going ‘Atomic’ and understand that since it is not recognized by the NMJL, table rules must therefore be applied. We would like to follow your table rules, although we don’t play for money.
I’m assuming that your group declares when one is going ‘Atomic’, due to the fact that there is no line on the card. Is that correct?
Also why does your group follow a rule that if you pick a Flower or Joker you must change your hand?
I can’t understand this one but another in our group does not think 4 of a kind makes two pair, so I’m also assuming that is another table rule you have implemented.
So many questions… so many rules ….. so much FUN!
Think of you often, my friend,
My response to Joy was as follows:
Flowers and Jokers disqualify your hand for Atomic simply because there are so many of each and it is too easy to get pairs of them. That would give Atomic hands an unfair advantage so we say that if you pick a Flower or Joker then you are no longer Atomic (and hopefully you have a backup hand). This is not just a table rule for our group – this seems to be the standard accepted rule for Atomic hands. Also, you must declare yourself Atomic BEFORE the Charleston so that no one is allowed to pass you a Flower. And yes, with an Atomic hand, 4 of a kind is considered two pairs. Having said all of this I must also tell you that I do not “approve” of Atomic game play. It changes the nature of the game and I totally understand why it is not sanctioned by the NMJL. I only mention it briefly when teaching Mah Jongg and make it clear that I don’t like it. I personally do not play Atomic hands – I prefer to stay with the NMJL accepted hands on the card…but, that’s me. I would love to hear your thoughts on this game-changing hand. Let me know what you think!
Yesterday was a special day – Judy S arrived at LaGuardia around 10am and headed right over to chez moi. From the moment she walked in until she left, we never stopped talking! Although we only met in person for the first time in July at the Destination Mah Jongg Tournament, it is as if we have been friends forever. Judy is such a thoughtful and giving person – she walked in loaded with fabulous gifts for me. And I love them all – a magnetic clip for my refrigerator…Mah Jongg coasters – I LOVE these and I know they will get a lot of use!A purse-sized measuring tape – perfect for using when you are out and about and need to measure tiles or tables or whatever! And, in case you haven’t figured it out, Judy is one of the two CEOs of Dragons on the Green Mah Jongg (Bonnie Wise is her partner in the business) – the company that gives all of those wonderful tournaments in the greater Tampa area. BTW, if you live around Tampa, Judy and Bonnie are also great Mah Jongg teachers. Send me a message if you are interested in taking lessons from them and I will send you their contact information. And a Mah Jongg fabric case to hold my NMJL card – what great gifts!!! I can’t wait until everyone sees my card in this case!After talking away for a couple of hours, we decided it was time for lunch and headed over to the local neighborhood hangout, The Beach Cafe, for a great hamburger. Afterward we headed back to my apartment for hours and hours of Siamese Mah Jongg. All in all, the perfect day!BTW, I must admit that Judy beat the pants off of me today – she is such a great MJ player!
Once again, it’s time for Riderwood, the Erickson Living retirement community in Silver Spring, Maryland, to host its 9th Annual Mah Jongg Tournament on Thursday, August 11th!
Open to the public, the five-round competition will be governed in accordance with rules established by the National Mah Jongg League. More than 148 Mah Jongg enthusiasts from the mid-Atlantic participated in the 2015 tourney!!!
Registration will take place at 9:00am with tournament play beginning at 9:30am. The event will occur in Maryland Hall, located in the Montgomery Station Clubhouse of Riderwood (3120 Gracefield Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904).
The event is a fundraiser for the Riderwood Benevolent Care Fund.
A payment of $50 includes registration, a delicious lunch and prizes; $25 of the fee is tax deductible. Space is limited with an entry deadline of Friday, July 22nd.
Checks can be made payable to “Riderwood Benevolent Care Fund” and mailed to the Riderwood Philanthropy Department, 3110 Gracefield Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904.
For more information, please contact Barbara Breit at 301-586-8152 or Annette Graubart at 301-960-9734.
Riderwood resident Barbara Breit is pictured following her welcome remarks during the 2015 Mah Jongg Tournament at the Erickson Living retirement community.Prizes and goodie bags from the 2015 Mah Jongg tournament.
About Riderwood: Riderwood is one of nineteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living. Located in Silver Spring, Maryland, the scenic 120-acre campus is home to more than 2,500 residents. Riderwood is the ideal greater Washington, D.C. retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.
The big day has finally arrived (actually, the ordering started yesterday for those early birds who kept checking)! Pull out your National Mah Jongg League newsletter, note your membership i.d. number, and go to the online store on the NMJL website to order your new 2016 cards!!!
You should receive your cards in early April, 2016.
BTW, if you are a teacher – or just like to order a large number of cards – you might want to take advantage of the nice discount that Lynn offers to all of us at Where The Winds Blow.
Well, I certainly have missed writing my blog during this 7-day vacation – I hope you have missed reading it!
So many things have happened in the past week but the first thing I want to tell you about has to do with my favorite cause, Stay Strong and Mahj On (SSAMO).
As you might remember, when the OMs play together we don’t take our winnings. Instead, we pool the day’s winnings and put them in a kitty. Sometimes we use it for a birthday luncheon, sometimes we buy lottery tickets, sometimes we use it for food and supplies for our out-of-town “Mahjongathons.” However, we have now decided to follow the lead of the National Mah Jongg League and to donate our winnings to deserving causes.
Many of you know that I was diagnosed with breast cancer this past March and, because of this, SSAMO is near and dear to my heart. The OMs are such wonderful and caring friends and agreed that one of the causes we would give to would be this very group. And so, last week I was very proud to give a check for $75 from the OMs to Alexis Miller, one of the three founders of SSAMO. Which leads me to this…today I played Mah Jongg with a group of women – these women have a pie of $5. $20 was won and lost today between the group but I kept thinking how it would have been so much nicer to have given that $20 to a worthy cause. Just a thought along with telling you how proud I am to be a part of the OMs (and also the NMJL, which has always been so philanthropic).