Tag Archives: pung


Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 2.32.45 PMOur friend Jan in beautiful Vermont posed a question and I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I will tell you that defensive playing seems to be one of the hardest concepts to get across to my Mah Jongg students. Frequently I see someone throwing out the needed tile for Mah Jongg when a rack has three exposures and it is beyond obvious what tile is needed. Newer players believe hope springs eternal and, even if there is only one tile in the final wall, they are unwilling to break up their hand. As seasoned players always say, you can’t win second. 

I try – and I say try because clearly the students aren’t listening to me! – to teach newbies to never throw a “hot” tile to a third exposure, particularly when we are down to the last wall. But do they listen? Oh, I see the pain on their faces, trying to decide what they should do. And I will say that they almost always decide to save their hands and throw out the tile that ends the game with someone else’s Mah Jongg!

I like a defensive game and when another player throws out a tile that gives Mah Jongg to someone else, I can’t help but ask why they did so. As Jan says, there is no second place in Mah Jongg. 

How many of you have experienced exactly what Jan is finding at her table:

“There’s one half of the last wall left. Player throws out a 3 Bam when the player to her left has exposed a Kong of 9 Bams and a Pung of Greens. Player to the left obviously calls it and exposes a Kong of 3 Bams. The same gal is up and says “I have her tile.” I say, “you can’t win second.” She throws a 6 Bam. Needless to say, I’m not happy and I say that is why we should start playing that if you throw into 3 exposures, you pay for the table. Yes, I saw eyes roll, but seriously???? Am I that wrong?”

Can’t wait to hear what you think about this!



Guess what I found waiting for me today in my mailbox…


I haven’t spent a lot of time with it yet but, at first glance, it looks like so much fun! I do think some of the hands are harder than on the 2014 card because in a number of the hands where last year’s card asked for a Pung of Flowers, this new card is asking for a Pung of Dragons instead. Much easier to get those Flowers, as we all know. So, this is going to be a fun challenge – can’t wait to start playing with this card!

Did you receive your card yet? If so, what are your thoughts on the new 2015 card?




Do you have a special way to remember the definitions of Pung, Kong, and Quint? I must confess that sometimes I must think hard to remember if a Pung is 3 or 4 and if a Kong is 4 or 3 (a Quint is always the easy one, as is the very rare Sextet).  But our friend Donna from Santa Maria, CA sent me a cute way to keep it all straight…

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Yesterday I hosted our game and it seems that it had been such a long time since everyone was chez moi. We started out the day by opening a lovely hostess gift of a bottle of wine from G so I knew right away that this would be a great day! Lunch was yummy especially since heirloom tomatoes are so delicious right now. We had an heirloom tomato tart along with a salad of arugula, watermelon, and parmesan. This tart was not only delicious but also really beautiful.



Read on for more about our lunch and for some of the hands we played. As always, the recipes will be published tomorrow. Continue reading