Tag Archives: tournaments


Yesterday I received a message from a Mah Jongg player who was kind enough to introduce me to her blog, The Mah Jongg Doctors.

The Mah Jongg Doctors are two avid Mah Jongg players – Susan and Barbara – who live in Westchester County.

Susan wrote:

“We love the game and try to find ways to spread the love of Mah Jongg to others.
We play in tournaments as often as we can and are willing to travel for Mah Jongg.
We took a transatlantic cruise this spring to Spain that included a Mah Jongg tournament!

We write about game strategies, answer questions asked, and tell anecdotes about the game.”

Their most recent posting is about all of the beautiful and varied sets they saw at a tournament in NJ. You can see many of these sets on their blog: http://www.mahjonggdrs.blogspot.com.  

Susan said – and I agree! – “So much fun to see the variety of sets that come to a tournament. And…fun to play with them as well.”

Check out this great blog written by Susan and Barbara and enjoy it as much as I am enjoying it… as well as this picture from their blog – this set is calling my name!!!



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Here is another in our series of strategy lessons direct from Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg Tournaments. Today’s questions and answers are from Gladys’ Mah Jongg Academy® and Mah Jongg University® – Your Tournament Questions Answered.
Q. A 2Dot was drawn from the wall, and the player declared “Mah Jongg.” But after she exposed the 2Dots –then she exchanged a tile from her hand for another player’s Joker.  Then she actually had mahj. She was called “dead” because she didn’t have mahj when she claimed the 2Dot.  Was that a correct ruling?
Q. I claimed a discard, and before I picked it up or exposed, I said ” Mah Jongg.”  My opponent said I shouldn’t have said it until after I exposed with the discard.  Is that a rule?
A. Both are a good Mah Jongg.  Many times a player has claimed a discard for Mah Jongg, and then said, “Oh, that’s NOT Mah Jongg, it’s just for an exposure.”   The NMJL states “in this instance, it is okay to ‘change your mind.”
If you had claimed a discard and said “Mah Jongg” in error, then “even exposing only  that actual pung or kong is okay.”  You would still be in the game.
     In this case, IF the player had already exposed the 2Dots, and then that player exchanged for the Joker….then she still had a good, self-picked Mah Jongg. You can verify this ruling with the NMJL.
     In answer to the 2nd question…that is NOT a rule.
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Yesterday I received my January edition of the monthly newsletter from the website Mah Jongg Madness.

I look forward to this monthly emailing, particularly the section called Mah Jongg University, devoted to answering Mah Jongg game play questions. The questions are answered by Gladys Grad, known as the “Grand Master of American-style Mah Jongg Tournaments.” Many a “discussion” at our weekly games are settled by the answers Gladys gives in this column. Here is a great question and answer from this month’s newsletter:

Q.  When a player puts their exposed tiles on the rack, should they put them in order as they appear on the card?  One person in our game said “no.”  (That just sounded rude.) The same person will ask us to separate our kongs, etc.  Is there a rule requiring you to put them in order?  Marilyn
A.  You do NOT have to put your exposures in order …unless you have exposed your whole hand for mahj – and then only if another player asks you to do so.  In a tournament, if you have mahj and you refuse to put the tiles in order upon request, then you will be declared “dead.”
     However, it is just common courtesy to separate your exposures, especially upon request.

STRATEGY NOTE:  If you have more than one exposure on your rack, you really don’t want to make it easier for the other players to know what hand you’re playing…. so expose the tiles out of order.  You also don’t want to make it easier for them to play defensively.  

If you are interested in receiving this monthly newsletter, be sure to join the Mah Jongg Madness website. And if you have a question about game play, email it to Gladys and perhaps you will see it published in one of her future newsletters.