|By Tom Sloper
November 3, 2013
American Mah Jongg (2013 NMJL card). You're playing with an aggressive player named Inna Youface. She wins a lot, and she doesn't bother to arrange her hands in card order. She also doesn't bother to put gaps between her sets, or even form the sets, or to sandwich her jokers. Can you read her viewer-unfriendly hands?
1. It's Consec. #1, of course.
2. Can't be Consec. #4, so has to be Quints #1.
3. Consec. #2. The jokers are 6Ds.
4. Consec. #5. The jokers are 3Ds.
5. 2013 #4. The jokers are Rs or Soaps.
6. It's Consec. #1, of course.
7. This one is 369 #5.
8. This can only be W-D #5.
9. 369 #1.
10. No, it's not a Chinese hand. It's S&P #7.
11. It can't be Consec. #3 because there are no dragons, and jokers can't be used in a pair. It's Sevens #1.
12. Like Nos. #2. Four jokers are 1D, and one is R.
13. Could be Odds #2 or #4. You'll have to ask her what the jokers are! Value is the same, either way.
14. Odds #6. The jokers are 1Ds.
15. 369 #6.
16. She sure gets lucky with jokers, doesn't she? This one is Sevens #3.
17. Consec. #6. She's not a very nice person, is she?
A tip o' the Sloper hat to sharp-eyed readers Bee and Deborah!
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Question or comment about this column? I often, um... intentionally... "miss" something; maybe you'll be the first one to spot it! Email and the discussion will be posted on the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board. Like this:
> From: Belinda
> Sent: Sunday, November 3, 2013 9:27 PM
> Subject: Mah-Jongg Q+A
> My mah-jongg question or comment is:
> LOVE your website, informative and challenging.
> Regarding your Nov 3rd column #583
> Your answer to #5: 2013 #4. The jokers are Rs.
> I believe the jokers could also be soaps. The NJML's card has a parenthetical that says "any two dragons, any 2 or 3 suits". Their website also explains it,"FFFF DDD 2013 DDD. This hand may be played with any 2 Dragons. The 2, 1 and 3 may be in any suit." I bring this up as some players in our group were not aware of this until another player called mah jong and a discussion ensued regarding this rule.
> The player should place the tiles in card order so that mah jong is easily verified. I could not find a rule regarding this in the rule book, but as it was last published in 1984, there may have been a rule change since. But players should beware when playing in a tournament as most tournaments require that the hand be placed in card order and anyone refusing to do so may be called dead.
> Thanks for all you do.
Very good, Bee! I made that change to the column, thanks to you. But a couple other things you said are worth further discussion:
I could not find a rule regarding this in the rule book, but as it was last published in 1984, there may have been a rule change since.
Rule changes are always to be found in the League's yearly bulletin. I have kept every yearly bulletin since I started playing in the late nineties, and I have gotten copies of some from before then. I have scoured them all, and incorporated my findings into my book and (as appropriate) the FAQs.
most tournaments require that the hand be placed in card order and anyone refusing to do so may be called dead.
Good point. Inna Youface would get her comeuppance, and rightly so!
Of course, Inna is a made-up person, and nobody should actually display jumbled hands the way I did in that column, and if she did, she wouldn't get away with it for long. I hope it at least makes a reasonably good brainteaser for a Sunday.
May the tiles be with you.
Creator of the weekly Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
Los Angeles, California, USA
November 4, 2013
483 583, part 2
> From: Belinda
> Sent: Monday, November 4, 2013 1:57 PM
> Subject: Mah-Jongg Q+A
> Hi again. The title for my last email should be Column #583. Instead of Column 483.
Where to order the yearly NMJL card: Read FAQ 7i.
Need rules for American mah-jongg? Tom Sloper's book, The Red Dragon & The West Wind, is the most comprehensive book in existence about the American game. AND see FAQ 19 for fine points of the American rules (and commonly misunderstood rules). AND get the official rulebook from the NMJL (see FAQ 3). Linda Fisher's website is the only website that describes American rules: http://sites.google.com/site/mahjrules/.
© 2013 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.