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By Tom Sloper
November 14, 2010

Column #473

American Mah Jongg (2010 NMJL card). In Column 472, I mentioned that there was a penalty for misnaming only if the discard was wanted for mah jongg (and the claimant wanted the named tile, rather than the actual discard). That penalty is: the game is over, the claimant collects four times the value of the hand from the misnamer. No other player pays.

And a thing I didn't mention about errors resulting from misnaming a discard is that if someone claims the discard for exposure, and exposes tiles from her hand, she is prohibited from simply putting her tiles back into her hand. This was stated in the 2000 NMJL bulletin. This rule implies that the claimant is dead. She definitely should have been looking, not just listening. Okay? Understood?

Okay then! Continuing defense by the numbers.

1. She must have misunderstood something on the card; she is dead. But if you don't call her dead (and if nobody else does either), she's just going to keep on playing, and taking tiles that you could be getting.

2. 369 #4. Hot tiles are 3s, 6s, 9s in the other two suits. Look for 3s and 6s that are dead. If you see more than two of any 3 or 6 on the table, you know which way she's going.

3. 369 #2. Hot tiles are 6B and 9C.

4. 369 #2 again. hot tiles are sixes and nines in the other two suits.

5. Consec. #2. Hot tiles are 4C and 5B.

6. Quints has no 369 hand. She's dead.

7. 13579? No. No hand uses pungs of threes and sevens in the same suit. Call her dead.

8. No hand uses pungs of threes and sevens, period.

9. No hand uses a pung of threes and a kong of sevens.

10. No hand uses a pung of threes and a quint of sevens.

11. Threes and eights don't go together at all this year.

Click the entries in the header frame, above, to read other columns.

Question or comment about this column? I often miss something; maybe you'll be the first one to spot it! Please be gentle. Email and the discussion will be posted on the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board.

October 2010 article on American mah jongg's rise in popularity, from the WALL STREET JOURNAL: ?mod=WSJ_hpp_RIGHTTopCarousel_2.
There's a movie of the WSJ story too -- just click the Video tab on the above page, or go to ?mod=WSJ_hpp_RIGHTTopCarousel_2#articleTabs%3Dvideo.

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:

© 2010 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.