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Sloper On Mah-Jongg (Column)

The Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board


Hi. I'm Tom Sloper. Welcome to my bulletin board. Here you can ask questions about Mah-Jongg and get answers, usually the same day! But before you email, please check out the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). Also, someone else may have already asked your question, in which case s/he was answered below, on the Q&A board! You might enjoy looking through the Q&As. I get some crazy questions sometimes. Especially the crazy questions about a computer game when the person doesn't even say which computer game they're asking about!

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    The Q&As are below.

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  • What type of set is this, part 3

    On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 10:08:23 AM PDT, jcolgan wrote:
    Re: Type of Mah Jong Set
    I do not know the type of set. I assume the tiles are bone. None have wood backing. No paperwork was provided.
    Jim

    Hi, Jim.
    You didn't ask a question in this email. Are you still trying to determine what "type" of set it is? As I told you before, I don't know what you mean by "type." Please ask me what it is you want to know.

    I assume you are asking because you want to sell the set. I probably need to change what I said before since before I was assuming your celluloid is a thin veneer on wood, but now you say there is no wood, so I need to know how thick the celluloid is.

    Also you need to provide better photos of the tiles, from multiple angles so I can see the side and back of a good tile (not a faded/damaged tile). To help you with whatever it is you need to know, I need better photos. Maybe 640x480 pixels is okay for an auction (and maybe it isn't), but I need to see better in order to answer your question. Many of your tiles are severely damaged, which greatly reduces the value of the collection. I wonder how many (if any) of the other tiles are in excellent condition, and a good clear photo would help with that understanding.

    In your first email, you said "One of the boxes reads Kirby, Beard & Co, Ltd, Birmingham, England." You never mentioned that that box also reads "Best Jet Ondulee Hair Pins." Because that clearly means that the box originally contained hairpins.

    The hairpin box obviously was not part of the original set.

    Your photo of the racks looks very different from the photos of the tiles and the scoring sticks and dice (the photo of racks looks like it is from another source or another photographer). Also, the photo of the racks shows them all with their lids open. Depending on what information you want from me, I may need to see photos of your racks from several angles (what do they look like closed, and on the bottom, and on the back?).

    If you often sell things on eBay, that's fine, but the more I understand about what you want from me (and why you want it), the better I can help you.

    If you want help from me, I need:

    1. A clear question (or questions, if you have more than one). If you want to know the "type" of set, explain what you mean by "type." Manufacturer? Material? Era? I don't know what "type" means to you.
    2. An answer: are you an eBay seller? Yes or no. If yes, then I assume you want to know "type" so you can write a good title for your eBay post. You're used to selling other sorts of things on eBay?
    3. The thickness of the tiles. Actually, you might as well also measure the height and width while you're at it.
    4. Better photos of the tiles (some of them might be worth more than what I suggested before - depending on their condition).
    5. A clear crisp photo that shows ALL the parts of the set, including boxes and everything, all in one view - spread it out on a table and take a photo of everything.

    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    August 4, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Donation

    On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 05:07:53 AM PDT, service@paypal wrote:
    You received a payment
    Hello Thomas Sloper,
    You received a payment from Evelyn H for Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers
    Customer details
    Customer name: Evelyn H
    Subscription details
    Amount received: $10.00 USD
    For: Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers
    Amount paid each time: $10.00 USD
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    Next payment due: Sep 4, 2020
    Sincerely,
    PayPal

    Thank you so much, Evelyn! I appreciate your continued support.
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    August 4, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    I changed my mind, part 2

    On Monday, August 3, 2020, 04:32:20 PM PDT, service@paypal wrote:
    Reference: MJ@Sloperama Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers - Donation from Paul L
    Hello Thomas Sloper,
    Donation Received
    This email confirms that you have received a donation of $5.00 USD from Paul L
    You can view the transaction details online.
    Donation Details
    Total amount: $5.00 USD
    Currency: U.S. Dollars
    Purpose: Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers
    Contributor: Paul L
    PayPal

    Thank you, Terry! May the tiles be with you. Play safely and stay healthy.
    Tom


    Two people could have won on same discard but one waited too long

    On Monday, August 3, 2020, 12:03:34 PM PDT, Barbara M wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: I was playing Maj jong today..both myself and another gal declared Maj jong when a flower was thrown. I called it first, exposed my hand and said it before she even realized she had Maj jong as well.
    She then declared, oh I have Maj jong also...She was before me, and rightfully had Maj jong, but I had already exposed my hand, and declared it before she realized she needed the flower as well for her Maj jong.
    We agreed to split the winnings as we weren’t 100% sure who should have been declared the winner, please advise.
    Thank you,
    Barbara
    I kind of felt, I should be the winner of that game because I reacted quickly, while she was pondering..I also had exposed my hand before she even declared Maj jong...it was like a second thought on her part.

    Hi, Barbara!
    Your other gal waited too long to speak up. When more than one person claim a discard, it's not a race - but there is such a thing as "too late." She needed to speak up before you exposed your hand. The money is all yours. See the Conflicting Claims FAQ.
    I hope you're playing safely so you can all stay healthy. May the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    August 3, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    I changed my mind after touching the wall tile.

    On Monday, August 3, 2020, 09:51:10 AM PDT, Terry L wrote:
    What is the rule?
    Good Morning,
    I have a question about the rules of play.
    Yesterday I had 3 kraks in my hand. Another player threw out a 2 krak and I debated whether to take it or not. Coincidently, my turn was next. Hesitantly, I reached out to pick the next tile from the wall when I changed my mind. I decided to take the 2 krak that was thrown by the other player. I took the 2 krak, exposed three tiles from my hand but was called dead because I had already touched the tile in the wall. I did not remove it from the wall. I did not look at the tile in the wall. I simply touched it and pulled my hand back.
    Should I have been called dead?
    Thank you
    Terry L

    Hi, Terry!
    You and your group need to understand the "change of heart" rules. You can change your mind after merely touching (without lifting or moving) a wall tile.
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    August 3, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    What type of set is this, part 2

    On Saturday, August 1, 2020, 08:27:29 AM PDT, jcolgan wrote:
    Re: Type On Mah Jong Set?
    Thank you Tom for your quick response. You were very kind and I do appreciate your response. This set was given to be at age 15, I have had it for 55 years. I would like to find it a good home. I will check with the Maj Jong clubs and will consider Ebay.
    You might get a chuckle out of this. I live in Cary, NC, slang for Cary is "Contained Area for Relocated Yankees". I'm an x-New Yorker.
    Jim

    You're welcome, Jim (from one replanted New Yorker to another) (if upstate counts). As I said already, I really don't think you should bother with eBay. The time it takes to post the item and then deal with inquiries and (if a sale is made) shipping it is not commensurate with the small amount you're likely to make from the sale.
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    August 1, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Kong promotion

    On Saturday, August 1, 2020, 06:42:38 AM PDT, Lisa H wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    We are playing Chinese mahjong. If a player has an exposed pong, and another player has a discard that would give that player a kong, what happens to the tile? Does the player who is discarding it, simply discard it because it has no value to the player with the pong. Or does the player with the pong pick it up because it will make their pong a kong for more points? Or does the player who has the discard put it to the side to prohibit letting the player who has the pong make a kong for more points?
    New to the game, and we weren’t sure how to handle this situation.

    Hi, Lisa!
    You're asking about promoting an exposed pung to an exposed kong. I checked FAQ 20 just now and found that I have never detailed the ways kongs may be formed there. I found lots of comments (Q&A emails like this one) containing questions about kongs, but to my surprise this one hadn't come up before. I'll fix that today, prompted by your question.
    A player's exposed pung may be promoted to a kong only if the player picks the fourth tile from the wall. (The player may not take a discard for the purpose.) It's rule 50 on page 136 of my book. I don't know which Chinese variant you are playing, so this is not necessarily a recommendation to get my book (the book describes Chinese Majiang Competition Rules). If you tell me which book you are using as your guide, I can either help you find this info in your book, or recommend a better book. If you are not learning from a book but a website, I'd love to know which one. If you don't know which variant you play, FAQ 2B can help you. Knowing which variant you play is important, because that knowledge helps eliminate confusion when encountering different rules and scoring systems.
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    August 1, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Riichi questions

    On Friday, July 31, 2020, 09:50:09 AM PDT, Thomas .C wrote:
    riichi scoring
    Hi Tom,
    I'm still at it.. really enjoying Japanese Mahjong on the Nintendo Switch. You have an excellent Japanese Mahjong section on your site, which I will continue to study. Thank you!
    Here are two separate games:
    1. First game: Not sure what "All Run = 1 Han" means? I googled and searched your site.
    2. Second game: When game ends with a draw, for those who are "Not fishing" = those that are not ready/not in tenpai -> Is it customary for these poor folks to be deducted 1000 points (1 han)? This is how this game is scored. Those that are in tenpai/ready - > no deduction is made.
    3. General question: Does a Kong hand always need a pair to win? I searched your site and it said:
    'kong is a special pung. The typical hand is "four groups and a pair."'
    Does this mean "4 groups, including a pair? So essentially a pair is always needed for Mahjong?
    Thank you so much! Tom

    Konnichiwa, Tom. Thanks to you, I've been playing Japanese Mah-Jongg on my Switch when I run out of things I want to do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Sorry that I still haven't figured out what was wrong with your previous issue. You wrote:

    Not sure what "All Run = 1 Han" means?
    Whoever created the English localization for Japanese Mah-Jongg did not use standard English terminology. It's saying the hand is all chows (runs). In FAQ 25, you'll find this one under the name "No-Points, All Chow (Pinfu, Pin Huu, Pin Wu) - Concealed - 1 Fan."

    When game ends with a draw, for those who are "Not fishing" = those that are not ready/not in tenpai -> Is it customary for these poor folks to be deducted 1000 points (1 han)?
    It's customary for non-fishing (non-ready, noten) players to pay something to the fishing (ready, tenpai) players. You just made me realize there's nothing in FAQ 25 about the tenpai payment, so I'll add this conversation to FAQ 25's comments area. Read on! ...

    Those that are in tenpai/ready - > no deduction is made.
    No. The fishing players take payment from the non-fishing players. 3,000 points is the amount to be divided up. If there's one fishing player, the three others each pay 1,000. If there are two fishing players, each collects 1,500. If there are three fishing players, each collects 1,000 from the non-fisher. I confirmed this just now on Wikipedia (a page you should bookmark).

    Does a Kong hand always need a pair to win? I searched your site and it said:
    'kong is a special pung. The typical hand is "four groups and a pair."'
    Does this mean "4 groups, including a pair? So essentially a pair is always needed for Mahjong?
    Read FAQ 20. Four groups AND a pair means just that. You can in fact have four kongs and a pair (18 tiles total) in Asian forms of mah-jongg. FAQ 20 explains that. See also "All Kong (Suu kan tsu)" in FAQ 25.
    And yes, although I'd never thought it through before you asked, I suppose a pair is "always" needed. See "Heavenly Gates, Nine Gates (Chuuren pooto)," and see "Unique Wonders, 13 Orphans, 13 Impossible (Koku shimusou)" - there is a pair in even those hands. "Thirteen Unrelated Tiles (Shiisan puutaa)" is a special case (it's not 14 tiles).

    Y'all come back now, y'hear? Oh wait, wrong vernacular. I was doing a Japanese thing, so I should instead say: "Dewa mata!" Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 31, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Defensive strategy in the Charleston

    On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 08:37:10 AM PDT, L S wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    I looked over many of the questions so if this one has been asked, I apologize.
    During the Charleston, how do I avoid “stacking” someone's hand while I prepare for my own. For example: I have more evens than odds and hope to go for an even hand. In order to do that, I have to give away many odds. Even when I try to distribute them around the the passes, I worry that they will end up helping someone win. And sometimes, they do. I see it in the end.
    Leslie S

    Good morning, Leslie.
    Personally, I don't worry too much about defense in the Charleston, most of the time. Until you have received tiles from a player, you don't (and can't) know what kind of tiles s/he's getting rid of. But after you've received tiles from a player, there's an opportunity in the 2nd dance to adjust what you give that player... if able.
    If somebody is collecting winds, that is sometimes apparent by the 2nd dance. I've been in games with players who share information at this point ("Somebody's collecting winds!"); I don't agree with such table talk (which occurs mainly when playing in-person, which I'm not doing again until after I've gotten the covid-19 vaccine), but you see my point.
    As I said, I don't focus on defense in the Charleston, especially if my tiles are promising. The purpose of the Charleston is to build one's own hand - not to worry about others' hands.
    I think this is a good question, so I'm adding this to FAQ 8, the strategy FAQ. Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 29, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    What type of set is this?

    >On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, 11:49:34 AM PDT, jcolgan wrote:
    >FW: Type On Manjong Set?
    >Referencing picture attached, can I impose to ask you what type of set this is please?
    >Information on the rack reads "The Ullman Manufacturing Company, New Youk".
    >One of the boxes reads Kirby, Beard & Co, Ltd, Birmingham, England.
    >Thank you for your time.
    >Jim C
    >Cary, NC

    Hi, Jim.
    I'm afraid you've put me on the spot; I don't know what you mean by "type" - I mean, I don't know what information you're seeking from me, nor the reason for your question. I have to assume you are planning to sell the set and you need to know what to write in the sales pitch.
    When you set up your sale, you will need more photos, to show more of the set than you've shown me. I gather that you've only shown me one of each tile, which would mean you must be missing the white and red dragons. You've placed the 1-bam (the bird) next to your green dragon instead of with the suit of bams, a common mistake. You need to photograph all of the tiles if you're going to sell it online.
    If there's only one rack (you said "the rack"), then you're missing three racks. You said the set comes in "boxes" but I'm having a hard time picturing that. Upon close examination, I see striations in your gray tiles, suggesting that those tiles at least are celluloid (or celluloid veneer on wood? I cannot see what the backs are made of). Your tiles look to be in Poor condition - smudged, discolored, missing some... The set is from the 1920s, and I call such sets "Twenties sets." I don't know if that answers your question.
    Although more photos would help me give you a better answer, I don't think we need to go another round. The set's poor condition means you probably can't get more than $10 for it, and if anybody (a collector or dealer) pays you that much for it, they're likely to trash the bad parts and keep the good parts for rescuing other damaged sets. I don't think that's worth the bother of trying to sell it. If I have totally misconstrued your purpose with this question, I'm sorry but you didn't give me much to go on.
    Stay safe and healthy!
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 28, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Confused by something, part 2

    On Sunday, July 26, 2020, 10:50:16 AM PDT, Linda Z wrote:
    Re: Racking when a tile is picked up.
    Thank you for the clarification. Linda Z

    You're welcome, Linda!
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    July 26, 2020


    Confused by something on the card

    On Friday, July 24, 2020, 07:47:03 AM PDT, Linda Z wrote:
    Racking when a tile is picked up.
    Hi Tom, my name is Linda. I play Mahjongg in Miami, Florida in the winter and teach Mahjongg in Baraboo, Wisconsin during the rest of the year.
    We are finally getting in Baraboo together with strick safety practices.
    My Baraboo group question follows: On the left side of the back page, the following line is underlined; A player’s turn begins when they either pick or claim a tile. My group is saying that means you no longer have to rack the tile to stop another player from asking for the previous discard.
    Because line #5 ends in picked and racked.... I am not sure what to tell them and need an experts advice.
    Thanks for your help.
    Linda Z

    Hi, Linda! You wrote:

    On the left side of the back page
    Back of the card, you mean.

    "A player’s turn begins when they either pick or claim a tile."
    Yeah, well, after the previous player has finished his/her turn, people will say to the next player, "It's your turn." Right? Well, it's her turn, but until she does something, she hasn't started her turn. But your group is reading the line out of context. Read on...

    My group is saying that means you no longer have to rack the tile to stop another player from asking for the previous discard.
    Your group is reading the line as if it was a standalone rule. It's not. It's a semantic point, made in the context of joker redemption only. I prefer to say that you can't redeem a joker until you're holding 14 tiles in the hand. Context matters!

    Also, this is the second time this summer that I've gotten a question about preventing another player from calling a discard, as if that was a recommended action in the game. ("Stopping a player from ponging," June 19 below.) Actively trying to prevent another player from calling a discard is an aggressive tactic. That's not the way I like to play, and I don't teach my students to play aggressively. I prefer harmonious play. Other people are going to call discards, and I don't mind that. I get information from other players' exposures. I allow other players to enjoy the game. I don't try to prevent other players from enjoying the game.

    Because line #5 ends in picked and racked....
    Yes, that is when the window of opportunity closes....

    I am not sure what to tell them and need an experts advice.
    Explain to them the vitally important "window of opportunity" rules. When a player discards a tile, the window opens - somebody may claim that discard, up until the moment the window closes. Just explain it as a window that opens and closes. People don't have to try to prevent others from using that opening. People don't have to try to slam the window shut. The window is. Let the window be.

    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 24, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    What if three players, part 2

    On Thursday, July 23, 2020, 01:17:52 PM PDT, Lois wrote:
    Re: Win by default?
    Thank you!!

    You're welcome, Lois.


    What if three players are declared dead?

    On Thursday, July 23, 2020, 12:49:55 PM PDT, Lois wrote:
    Win by default?
    If three players are declared dead due to discovering they all have too many or too few tiles, does the fourth player win by default?

    No, Lois, there's no winning by default in this case. See FAQ 19-BW. The tiles are thrown in and the hand is redealt.
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 23, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    How old is my set?

    On Thursday, July 23, 2020, 12:43:42 PM PDT, Evelyn F wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: I cannont etermine the age of my portable Mah Jongg set. We bought it at a Flea Market in Shaghi between 2007 and 2008. Not certain of the date. The tiles are 1inch in length and 3/4” wide.

    It's probably no older than about 20 years old, Evelyn. Those sets were made to look antique. They come in new cases but the tiles have been soaked in mud or clay or something to give them the appearance of older tiles. If you have any other questions, you may find answers in FAQ 7.
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 2, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Can you give me any info on this set

    On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 04:58:13 AM PDT, john f wrote:
    Mah-Jongg set
    Tom..
    Hi .. could you give me any information on this Mah-Jongg set bamboo & bone think its circa 1900's
    pieces are 28 mm x 20 mm x 12 mm bone thickness 3mm.. also attatched image of the tin it was stored in .. but not sure if it was supplied like that
    thank you
    john.

    Hi, John. Yes, I can. See FAQ 7-P (the "any info" FAQ).
    There's one thing that jumps out at me from the whole-set photo you made -- your white dragons should be included with the red and green dragons - NOT set aside as if they were extra tiles. See the images of white dragons in FAQ 7-E (the "mystery tiles" FAQ).
    If there's any info that you want to know, just ask!
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 22, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Can I call a discard to complete a NEWS?

    On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 02:24:25 PM PDT, sandra.m wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    Can you pick up a discarded tile then display NEWS, not calling mahjong
    Thank you
    Sent from my iPad

    Hi, Sandra!
    You probably already know you can't use any jokers in a NEWS, since the back of the card says jokers can be used only in pungs, kongs, quints, and sextets.

    As I wrote in FAQ 19-E, the same restriction applies to calling a discard. You may only call a discard to complete a pung, kong, quint, or sextet - or to declare mah-jongg. So the answer is no.
    All the most frequently asked questions about American mah-jongg rules are answered in FAQ 19. Bookmark it!
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 21, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    The Vietnamese "花" tile

    On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 12:45:00 PM PDT, Julian B wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    Hi Tom - long time since I've been active on r.g.m-j or elsewhere, but
    maybe you remember me! I hope you're managing in these difficult times.
    I was looking at Vietnamese mah-jong (having finally got round to
    cataloguing the vietnamese set I bought a dozen years ago!), and now
    there is a page on the Vietnamese wikipedia about it.
    https://vi.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%E1%BA%A1t_ch%C6%B0%E1%BB%A3c
    I notice that the description of the red jokers doesn't quite match with
    what you said in your 2003 word document about Vietnamese mah-jong, as
    follows: for the 花 Hoa, you say that it is a joker for flowers, while
    the wiki says it is is a joker for honours (winds+dragons).
    Do you know anything more about this discrepancy? Or do we just cry
    "table rules" :)
    best wishes,
    Julian.

    Hello Julian!
    Very long time. Seriously, anybody who remembers the newsgroup is definitely an oldtimer. Heh.
    As for the Vietnamese game, I haven't learned anything new since what's in that document or the Mystery Tiles FAQ. All I can say about the 花 tile is that "花" is the Chinese character for "flower." Hua is how the Chinese say "flower." As for how the tile is used in Vietnam, I couldn't really say. Could well be one of those table rule situations.
    Best wishes back at you! Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 21, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    How do you score this, part 2

    On Monday, July 20, 2020, 09:19:13 AM PDT, Jim V wrote:
    Re: Mah-Jongg Q+A
    CMCR. . . Thanks
    Sent from my iPhone

    Okay, Jim. On Friday you asked about seven pairs, all bamboo, one thru seven. Seven pairs is 24. One suit ("Full Flush") is 24. 1 thru 7 is "Seven Shifted Pairs," worth 88.
    Retraction: What I wrote initially this morning was incorrect (and has been deleted). You can't simply add 24 and 24 and 88; checking the rule further, we see that Seven Shifted cannot be combined with (added to) Full Flush. Full Flush is "implied" (you can't make seven shifted pairs in one suit unless the hand is all one suit). The book doesn't say Seven Pairs is implied, but surely it should be (one cannot make Seven Shifted Pairs unless one also has Seven Pairs). So I'm taking back what I wrote earlier. The hand is worth 88 points. My apologies for my previous laziness, coupled with my rusty memory of this variant that I haven't played in recent years.
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 20, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Surprised no one caught this typo, part 2

    On Saturday, July 18, 2020, 06:49:03 PM PDT, Ilene S wrote:
    Re: Mistake on FAQ 19????
    Tom,
    You are right-it is FAQ 16. Just went there & it still shows 2 Flowers for 3 suits Consecutive Run #2.
    Ilene

    Hi, Ilene. Just "refresh" or "reload" the page to see the change. Or use a different browser, like Safari, Chrome, IE, Firefox; one that hasn't been to my site before. The change was made on the website. Your browser is still seeing the old page that it visited before (it cached the page the first time you visited it). Thanks again for helping me with the typo.
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 18, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Surprised no one caught this typo!

    On Saturday, July 18, 2020, 03:37:23 PM PDT, Ilene S wrote:
    Mistake on FAQ 19????
    Hi Tom,
    I noticed when you discussed 'Consecutive Run #2' (FAQ 19), the picture showed only 2 Flowers for the 3 suit hand, but the NMJL 2020 card shows 4 Flowers.
    Surprised no one caught this :Blush:
    Love your analysis of all things MJ.
    Ilene S

    Thanks for spotting that, Ilene! I couldn't find any mention of Consec #2 in FAQ 19 but I did find a typo in FAQ 16 (and promptly fixed it). Like you say, surprised no one caught this ... until now, you sharp-eyed reader you!
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 18, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    How do you score this combo?

    On Friday, July 17, 2020, 09:14:54 AM PDT, Jim V wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: how would you score seven pairs, all bamboo, one thru seven??
    Thanks
    Jim V
    Sent from my iPhone

    It depends, Jim. Which mah-jongg variant do you play? (Hong Kong? Japanese? British/Australian? Wright-Patterson? National Mah Jongg League? CMCR? ... etc.)
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 17, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Why wouldn't the computer let me win? (Part 3)

    Well, Thomas, I have confirmed that the 2-fan minimum being "Prohibited" means you do NOT have to have 2 fan in order to win (that optional setting is prohibited). So there must be another reason for what happened to you. To be determined...
    Tom


    Why wouldn't the computer let me win? (Part 2)

    Konbanwa, Thomas!
    Yep, as I suspected...


    There is a 2-fan minimum setting. Unfortunately, the explanation is inscrutable. As you can see, the "2 Han required" rule is highlighted, with two possible choices: "Allow" or "Prohibit" (with Prohibit selected as default). The explanation at the bottom of the screen says "When 2 han required is available, your hand requires at least 2 han." The question is, does "Prohibit" mean you're not required to have at least 2 fan (the 2-fan minimum is prohibited)? Or does it mean you're prohibited from making mah-jongg without at least 2 fan? Since there is a possible double negative in play there, let's forget trying to understand it, just try it out.
    Your image shows that you have it set to "Prohibit." Since you have only 1 fan (below the minimum), it's possible that "Prohibit" means that you DO have to have at least 2 fan (regardless of how one might interpret the description on the Rules menu). OR, it's not set to a 2-fan minimum (the rule itself is prohibited), and there's something else wrong.
    So far, I've only looked at the rules page. Next I'll have to play the game, to see how the rule works the way you have it set. Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    2020年 7月 16日
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Why wouldn't the computer let me win?

    On Thursday, July 16, 2020, 05:35:57 PM PDT, Thomas .C wrote:
    Mahjong Q
    screenshot_8994.gif
    Hi Tom,
    I play Japanese Mahjong on my Nintendo Switch and really enjoy learning. The computer offered me a "self-draw" to win or continue to play I could not win with a Mahjong for this hand. Do you know why? It looked good to me. Thank you for the help! Thomas

    Konnichiwa, Thomas!
    I think you're saying that when you chose "self-draw to win" (tsumo) that the computer made a "nope, you can't do that" sound? The image is very grainy and small - looks like you took a photo of the screen and converted it to a small GIF (it's not a screenshot taken on the Switch). So I can't read the fine print on the dialog box there - but it appears that's just showing you the rules in play. Surprisingly, it's in English! I ASSUME (since I haven't played this particular game) that the 3C is your picked tile, and it's offering to discard the 2C (2-man)?. If so, you were waiting with 1C 2C and waiting for 3C (a one-chance chow).

    As I wrote in FAQ 25, the usual reasons the computer won't permit a win are (1) there's a furiten, or (2) you don't have a yaku. I don't see a furiten. And you do have a 1-fan yaku (the dragon pung). So the only thing I can think is that you needed more than 1 fan to qualify for a win? My riichi-dora majan is a little rusty. Maybe a reader will have an idea.
    OR... since I am a proud Switch owner myself, I just now bought "Japanese Mah-jongg" and it's downloading as I write this. After it's installed and up to date, I'll check it out. Maybe there's an option that requires more than 1 fan, which would explain your situation. And as an added plus, since the game is in English, I'll be able to tell! I usually have to play Japanese majan in Japanese, which is its own added challenge.

    Keep checking back. Maybe a reader will have an answer, or maybe I'll figure it out from playing the game on the Switch.
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    2020年 7月 16日
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Is this a legal play?

    On Thursday, July 16, 2020, 04:53:13 PM PDT, Anne G wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    I Have a joker and a discarded tile is thrown . Can I pick up the tile, use the joker and declare MJ?
    Thank you

    Hi, Anne!
    I'm going to need more details than that. I'm not sure what you mean by "use the joker." Use it in what way?
    If you mean you are holding 13 tiles (including 1 joker) and somebody discards the tile you need to complete a valid 14-tile hand from the National Mah Jongg League card, you just say "mah-jongg." If that is NOT what you mean, I need a clearer question.
    But before you email me again with a clearer question, maybe you'll find the answer to your question in the JOKERS section of FAQ 19. All the most-frequently asked questions about those confusing NMJL joker rules are answered there.
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 16, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Donation

    >On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 07:59:42 PM PDT, service@paypal wrote:
    >Reference: MJ@Sloperama Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers - Donation from Naomi N
    >Hello Thomas Sloper ,
    >This email confirms that you have received a donation of$10.00 USD from Naomi N. You can view the transaction details online .
    >Donation Details
    >/Note
    >Total amount: $10.00 USD
    >Currency: U.S. Dollars
    >Reference: MJ@Sloperama
    >Purpose: Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers
    >Contributor: Naomi N
    >/Note/Note/Note
    >Sincerely,
    >PayPal

    Thank you, Naomi!
    Play safely and stay healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 16, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    A great website - Thank you

    On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 07:21:11 AM PDT, service@paypal wrote:
    Reference: MJ@Sloperama Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers - Donation from Christopher C
    Hello Thomas Sloper,
    Donation Received
    This email confirms that you have received a donation of $50.00 USD from Christopher C.
    You can view the transaction details online.
    Donation Details
    Total amount: $50.00 USD
    Currency: U.S. Dollars
    Quantity: 1
    Purpose: Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers
    Contributor: Christopher C
    Message: A Great Website -Thank you
    PayPal

    Thank you very much, Christopher!
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 15, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Why wouldn't your game let me win?

    On Monday, July 13, 2020, 06:55:46 PM PDT, Lil C wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: why does your computer game not let me use three(3) jokers in place of when a group of three (3) tiles is called for Mah-Jongg . this has happened twice, and according to the card jokers can be used for anything except a single or a pair. I was trying to have a mah – jongg with 2 N 3 E 2020 2s but it would not let me WHY ???? njsnoopy

    Hi, Lil!
    Let me see if I have this right. You were holding:

    Is that right? And the game wouldn't let you declare mah-jongg? Wow! No wonder you're steamed! Somebody screwed up, for sure. You should tell the makers of that game about it. If this happens to you again, you should take a screenshot (the steps to take screenshots differ, depending on if you use Windows or MacOS or iOS, and I don't know what operating system you use).
    Speaking of which... what game is it? And why do you call it MY game? I'd really like to know, because people keep writing me complaining about "my" game but I haven't released a mah-jongg game since 1999.
    If we knew what game you play, maybe the same problem happened to a reader here, who can back you up on your claim that the game is programmed incorrectly. So I hope you come back and tell us: (1) the title of the game, and (2) what made you think I was involved with it.
    Stay safe and healthy, Lil. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 13, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    How long is the window of opportunity open?

    On Saturday, July 11, 2020, 09:18:04 PM PDT, Oskie Y wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    When a player has called chow and about 4 seconds later another player called pung- does the player who called first get to have the turn or does the second slower call out get the turn?
    Thank you!
    Sent from my iPhone

    Four seconds is a long time, Oskie. I don't know which mah-jongg variant you play, but the friendliest rules I know of allow you only 3 seconds to claim a tile (from the moment the tile was discarded). And not many people play by those rules. Most players of Asian variants will agree with me that 4 seconds is too long, that the window of opportunity on that discard was already closed. (Especially if it was 4 seconds after the chow was declared!) See FAQ 20 for a description of the Window of Opportunity rule.
    I have 2 recommendations for you: (1) find out which variant you play (if you don't already know) so you can get a good book about your variant, and (2) play safely - play only with those with whom you're safe at home, or play online, until there's a Covid vaccine.

    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    7/11/2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    What the heck is it? (part 2)

    On Friday, July 10, 2020, 03:00:49 PM PDT, Mary Ann M wrote:
    Re: Joker symbol
    Thank you!
    Warm regards
    Mary Ann M


    What the heck is it?

    On Friday, July 10, 2020, 06:51:16 AM PDT, Mary Ann M wrote:
    Joker symbol
    Hello Tom,
    I am a huge fan of your site and have found it to be very helpful over the years. Thank you!
    On the Facebook mahjong page someone posted a question about a common symbol on the joker in many sets. Of the many replies, the most common was it looked like a pizza. I somehow doubt that is the derivation of that particular symbol. Can you possibly shed some light?
    Warm regards
    Mary Ann M
    Sent from my iPad

    Hi, Mary Ann!
    I assume you mean this joker design:

    As I wrote in the Mystery Jokers FAQ, I think it's the head of a dragon. In 2011 someone found this image on eBay, which might offer a clue:

    The fact that the design has over the decades melted into an inscrutable mishmosh of squiggles raises a mystery: "why?" It's partly tradition, I suppose - Chinese manufacturers see that this symbol has gained acceptance on tiles made for export to America, so they don't want to mess with it. The copying process can muddy the details, since nobody knows where the design originated or what each line in the design was originally intended to represent. Further confusing the issue is that the manufacturers do not put their company name or address on their products, eliminating the possibility of customer feedback. ... But now I've rambled.

    Edit (added later): here, I've annotated the typical gold mishmosh and found a Chinese dragon head for comparison - see if this makes any sense:

    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 10, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Tabletop Simulator, part 3

    Following up with my initial comments on Tabletop Simulator's "Mahjong" sub-game.

    After booting up TS (Tabletop Simulator), I found the Mahjong section, and a tabletop appeared, with four walls already built. There were also 3 dice (uh-oh), and 4 stacks of discs+sticks (sticks stacked intertwined with discs). I counted the stacks of tiles in a wall: 18. Not 19, so not enough tiles for American mah-jongg. I checked the menus to see if I could find a way to add jokers. I didn't find a quick answer. I fiddled with the tiles. Picked one up, turned it over. 4D, but faint and hard to read, and with no corner indices. Zooming in, I could see fine detail. Too fine (that's why it appeared faint, at my resolution at initial zoom). I turned over a few more tiles: no indices on any.

    Oddly, the table was resting atop a field of wild grass. I found a way to make the background blank instead. As I write this, the table is in a cathedral aisle, with carved pews at both sides. The table as I see it now is oversized and round, with too much space between the player (if you imagine one sitting at the table) and his hand of tiles (I suppose it's needed, for inexact placement of exposures and concealed tiles). The table has a hole through the center, covered with clear glass. On the glass, there are four stacks of discs+sticks, and 3 dice - one white die and 2 black dice. My gamertag is written on the table surface at my side... upside-down so it can be read by opponents. It will be easy to read opponents' gamertags.


    Right-click to view larger. Larger version not full size.

    I wanted to examine the odd discs+sticks stacks. I took the North stack and spread out the pieces. Four North discs (round wind indicators) and four sticks (8 black dots on each). There are also four S and four E and four W discs. The stacks are placed (reading clockwise from E) E-S-W-N. It's backwards (should be counterclockwise, in keeping with Asian tradition). And there's no way to use four of each wind disc (that's not in any ruleset). So there are pieces you won't be using.

    And since there are only 144 tiles, it can't support American rules. It's possible there might be mod tools enabling the creation of jokers. Further exploration may find those, and then deeper research or experimentation will be needed to figure out if those extra tiles can be provided to other players who join the table (since their games have only 144 tiles) - or perhaps the game server just serves up the modified game to the others, for the duration of the play session. Figuring out these things takes more effort than I can put in at present.

    Speaking of multi-player, TS clearly is multi-player, but I did not test that functionality. I assume one can invite friends only (keeping out strangers); it has the appearance of being very multi-player-friendly, so would of course permit friends-only games.

    There is a Rules notebook. It starts with a detailed description of one of the traditional Asian ways of assigning seats (shuffling wind tiles). ... There's a description of the Dead Wall. ... But as Robert said, you can just play with the tiles however you want. If you have 3 other people at the table with you, the 4 of you can just play with the tiles however you want.

    Looks like it could be easy to have accidents (tiles unintentionally moved, tiles flipped) while the players learn the controls. I took a 2-tile stack out of the wall. When I tried to put a tile back in the gap, I couldn't get it into the right place, and it tilted as if resting partially on the neighboring tile rather than flat on the table. Sorta puts me in mind of Second Life, the freeform nature of the physics and UI.

    The main finding for most readers of this board is that with only 144 tiles, NMJL rules can't be played there. It's likely modifiable, with a lot of work.
    Robert, thanks again for the tip. Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom
    July 9, 2020


    Tabletop Simulator, part 2

    On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 10:59:20 PM PDT, tooelemountains wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    Tom,
    I posted this separate because it probably shouldn't be on your BB:
    The semi annual Steam sale is on until about 11 AM tomorrow (Thurs), Tabletop Games is $10 (half price).
    Steam does a sale around 4th July and Christmas each year.
    I was unaware of the Steam sale and also of this game until about an hour ago, so I know hardly anything about it.
    Robert.

    On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 11:09:42 PM PDT, tooelemountains wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    Tom,
    Tabletop Simulator Steam workshop.
    https://steamcommunity.com/app/286160
    I misnamed the Steam game as "Tabletop Games" it is actually "Tabletop Simulator".
    Sent from eM Client | www.emclient.com

    Good morning, Robert.
    Last night after I posted my reply below, I discovered your 2 subsequent emails, but I was too tired to keep on working, and went to bed. This morning I needed to make a grocery store run (I go early, with the other old folks, avoiding the crowd) and now I'm back on the job. Tabletop Simulator was at the top of the screenshot below, but since it wasn't $20 I figured that couldn't be it, and because there were other variants of Tabletop Simulator, I figured maybe it's a game development environment rather than a game. I see the error of my ways now, and I have purchased Tabletop Simulator and it's waiting for me to try it. I'll report back to the board with my findings. Thanks for the tip!
    By the way, I would have paid the $20. Since I got in before the sale closed (it might still be on for another 2 hours as I write this), I did pay half price. Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 9, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Tabletop Games on Steam

    On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 10:43:35 PM PDT, tooelemountains wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    Tom,
    Tabletop Games on Steam ($20) allows you to do anything you want to online or alone with a virtual set of mahjong tiles.
    Or a deck of cards, or a backgammon set. And with Steam Workshops many other gamesets.
    You could do pretty much what you could in real life: you just manipulate the game pieces with your computer mouse.
    If you are online, then others can do the same.
    You could all play Mahjong online according to any rules which you all want to use.
    You could flip the tiles upside down arranged in a turtle and play shanghai solitaire. Or some other solitaire, just arrange the tiles any whichaway and go.
    You could pretend you're six years old and throw the tiles at another player's rack and try to knock them off.
    Actually in a real life situation, sitting down with 3 other players, you could do any or all of the above too.
    Youtube has videos on Tabletop Simulator.
    Steam, on the internet, has 'workshops' where any owner of many steam games can build add-ons for the game and post them there for any steam user to download and use. There is already a lot of workshop stuff for the Steam game called: Tabletop Games.
    Might be of interest during a pandemic for a group of regulars to play remotely like this using the yearly card like normal, or whatever they wish to do.
    Rob and Linda
    Sent from eM Client | www.emclient.com

    Hi, Rob and Linda.
    When I read your description, I thought, "I gotta see that." Easier said than done. I went on Steam and searched for "tabletop games" but turned up empty-handed. I tried just "tabletop" and came up with several titles, none of them $20.

    Then I noticed that you mentioned workshops, so I found the Workshop section. I was able to find "Tabletop Simulator" and "Tabletop Workshop" but Tabletop Simulator seems to be a category rather than a title of one product. I tried searching the Tabletop Workshop for "tabletop games" and came up with 37 pages of them.
    It's my bedtime, and this search looks like it will be a difficult one. Maybe Steam's search technology is lacking, or maybe I need more guidance to find what you're describing. I don't look forward to the prospect of watching an untold number of YouTube videos to try to get that guidance.
    I wonder if you are telling me that you know there is a $20 Steam downloadable that contains premade mah-jongg tiles, playable by multiple players in any way they wish... or if you are picturing what could be done within this workshop, if one can simply create some mah-jongg tiles and learn the workshop tools and create the functionality...?
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 8, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Is it acceptable to send you photos, part 3

    On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 01:04:10 PM PDT, tacenator wrote:
    My second Mah-Jongg set
    Okay, here is the second set I have to sell. Unlike the first set, this is a Mah-Lowe set likely from the 1950's based on what I have learned on your site and from the others for sale on eBay. I would guess it is valued from 1 to 2 hundred, possibly more?
    Questions:
    Do you think anyone who looks at your site would be interested?
    Can you help with evaluation for eBay?
    Any comments and insights would be greatly appreciated.
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your site and its great information.
    One more unrelated question: I have a bunch of WW2 era Japanese medals and stuff to go on eBay. I cannot ID some of it. Do you think you can help? Of particular interest are 3 small paper sleeves containing printed material with small ribbons on one end. One of these are extremely cool photos of Geisha girls! I can send photos of the stuff in a separate email.
    Evaluation:
    SET EVALUATION CHECKLIST:
    1) Parts Detail:
    a) The set is in a faux alligator brown carrying case, like a small suitcase with latches. The parts are contained in 2 trays within and in an area for the racks (11 lb. 6.4 oz.)
    b) 148 tiles: the basic 136, 10 flowers, 2 jokers
    c) 2 dice
    d) 261 chips from mixed sets: 64 blue; 83 red; 57 green; 13 white; 7 dark blue with square hole (SH); 2 light blue SH; 5 light green SH; 18 cream SH; 9 yellow SH; 1 butterscotch
    e) 6 racks
    f) No paperwork
    2) Condition:
    a) The case shows its age, with scuffs, gouges, etc., however it is very serviceable and the latches work fine as well as carrying handle. The 2 trays are in good shape and hold the tiles, etc. nicely. Inside top is felt lined.
    b) The tiles could probably use a cleaning. A very few are losing paint in the numbers and symbols
    c) The 2 dice are something else! They look like ancient, amber sugar cubes that are deteriorating. They are a novelty and could not be used as they would fall to ruin.
    d) The chips are in decent shape and should function just fine. The square hole chips are like coins with inscriptions.
    e) The racks, 5 green, 1 dark red are nice! I would guess they are Bakelite with pretty swirls in the plastic, no cracks. There is some rust on some of the chip holders and tarnish on the chip pegs. The maroon rack appears to be from another set as the chip holders are slightly different. The 5 green racks have Mah-Low stamped into the metal on the chip holders. They all will fit in the case.
    3) Tile composition:
    a) I would guess they are Bakelite.
    4) Provenance:
    a) I think this set was rescued from a garage sale in Sebastopol, CA.
    5) Dimensions of tiles:
    a) 31mm H, 22mm W, 12mm D.
    6) Craks:
    a) Not sure here, but think they are the modern style.
    Photos attached. Thanks again,
    Tom C

    Hi, Tom. You wrote:

    this is a Mah-Lowe set likely from the 1950's
    More likely the early sixties. See column 509.

    I would guess it is valued from 1 to 2 hundred,
    Yes. Towards the low end of that range.

    possibly more?
    No. The case is in bad shape on the outside, and if somebody wanted to use this set to play NMJL mah-jongg (the main market for this type of set) they would face the intractable problem of finding matching jokers.

    I have a bunch of WW2 era Japanese medals and stuff to go on eBay. I cannot ID some of it. Do you think you can help?
    No.

    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 8, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Is it acceptable to send you photos, part 2

    On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 11:38:42 AM PDT, tacenator wrote:
    Mah-jongg question?
    Okay Tom!! I now know more about Mah-jongg than I thought I ever would (never played).
    I have 2 sets that I plan to sell on eBay or perhaps on your website if you can post them. So, first the questions about this set:
    I was unable to find the same thing on eBay, so help with valuation and any selling tips would be greatly appreciated?
    Do you concur with my hypothesis (after reading the evaluation checklist below and viewing pics) that the set experienced heating to create the cracking on the tiles?
    Do the cracked tiles greatly diminish its value or can it be viewed as part of its history and perhaps enhance its value? (All the tiles are functional, none totally broken.)
    Any other info you can supply would be great, TIA.
    I think that this may be Chinese made based on the dice, but I know very little. Maybe from the 50's to 70's?
    Note, the photos of the cracked Joker show cracks on the bottom of the tile as well as top. This is not common in the set.
    Valuation checklist (photos attached; had to reduce size to attach or goes to Google Drive):
    SET EVALUATION CHECKLIST:
    1) Parts Detail:
    a) The set is in a zippered, brown carrying case made of (best guess) what I called Naugahyde as a kid or maybe vinyl (are they the same?). The parts are contained in 6 trays within. (4 lb. 11.2 oz.)
    b) 160 tiles: the basic 136, 24 flowers, 4 jokers, 4 blanks
    c) 6 small dice
    d) 60 chips: 40 pink, 16 red, 4 green
    e) “DIRECTIONS for PLAYING “MAH-JONG”, The Great Fascinating Chinese Game”… a direction booklet with no copyright or identification; within is a loose page titled MAH JONG Scoring Card with the reverse side referencing doubling bonuses and penalties. This page has this at the bottom: Ben Johnson& Co. Ltd., York.
    f) One wind indicator
    g) The zipper pull/snap which has detached from the BK zipper tab.
    2) Condition:
    a) The case shows its age, with stitching coming loose with some stains and scuffs. The 6 trays all are in decent shape and hold the tiles, etc. nicely. Zipper works fine. Zipper pull detached, but included.
    b) I think this set was subjected to high heat from the sun; most of the tiles are cracked (not crak). Whether this is bad is for the collector to determine. The cracks give the set a distinct aura of age. Only about 35 of the tiles are free of cracks and the 4 blank tiles. The close-up photos of the 6 Crak shows an example of the cracks. The cracks go through the bottom on this tile, but that is uncommon, most are cracked on the top and sides only.
    c) The 6 dice all appear in good serviceable condition.
    d) The chips also show heat distortion to some degree.
    e) The direction booklet and adjunct page are in usable shape, creased but readable. Back cover missing a corner.
    f) The wind indicator has distorted and melted and is no longer serviceable.
    g) The zipper pull could be re-attached.
    3) Tile composition:
    a) Best guess is catalin, but they don’t seem yellow enough, too white in color.
    4) Provenance:
    a) This set was rescued from the tables at the former Salvation Army center in Lytton Springs, CA. 5-8 years ago (where they could have baked in the CA summer sun…).
    5) Dimensions of tiles:
    a) 28mm H, 20mm W, 12mm D.
    6) Craks:
    a) Not sure here, but think they are the modern style.
    Thank you for any assistance,
    Tom C

    Hi, Tom. You asked some things and said some things, so I'll respond to those before getting to my guesstimate as to the set's value.

    I plan to sell ... perhaps on your website if you can post them.
    I can post it with one photo on the Sets For Sale bulletin board. You're much more likely to get takers on eBay, so I won't be insulted in the least if you decide not to post it here.

    Do you concur with my hypothesis (after reading the evaluation checklist below and viewing pics) that the set experienced heating to create the cracking on the tiles?
    I do not know what caused the tiles to crack. I think it could be due to a manufacturing flaw (poor mixture of the plastic compound, perhaps). Or you could be right.

    Do the cracked tiles greatly diminish its value
    Totally. Each tile is cracked/notcracked in a unique way, meaning someone who plays with the set can learn to identify tiles even when they're face-down. It's like a marked deck of poker cards.

    I think that this may be Chinese made
    Yes, but not for the reason you gave. In my experience, those "Chinese Bakelite" sets were all made in China. And in my experience, sets that come in cheap cardboard/leatherette cases were also made in China.

    Maybe from the 50's to 70's?
    It's got 24 flowers, which makes me think maybe it was made around the time the National Mah Jongg League card required 22 flowers. Mid-fifties. Chinese manufacturers had no way of foretelling how many flowers the NMJL would require the following year. But this is just guesswork. See column 509.

    [The booklet] this at the bottom: Ben Johnson& Co. Ltd., York.
    Okay, a UK importer rather than a US importer. No impact on value. This type of booklet is incomprehensible to read and near worthless.

    I'm guessing that the set might be worth as much as $20-30.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 8, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Is it acceptable to send you photos of 2 sets?

    On Monday, July 6, 2020, 12:03:22 PM PDT, tacenator wrote:
    Mah-jongg question?
    Hello Tom,
    Is it acceptable to email you photos of 2 sets that I have and would like to sell on eBay. I have lots of pics of each set, and all the counts of the parts. One set is a Mah-Lowe the other is unknown. I could drop all the pics into Firefox Send and supply a link to you...or share Google Drive link...or Dropbox or Box?
    Another Tom,
    Tom C
    Missed Woodstock, but avoided Vietnam.

    Hi, Tom!
    Of course it's acceptable. People do it all the time. But please: attach photos of one set to one email, telling me not just the counts but also the condition of the parts. Second set: second email. The photos should be neither too many nor too few. See FAQ 7-H for what I need and how I need it. The third bullet from the bottom (waay down at the bottom) describes my photo requirements. The information that you plan to sell the set at online auction is also important info, and I'm glad to have it.
    P.S. I didn't go to Vietnam either. My brief but honorable Army service was all at Fort Dix. And now I know why I didn't see you at Woodstock.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 6, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Stopping the Charleston

    On Monday, July 6, 2020, 06:48:41 AM PDT, lindaz wrote:
    stopping the Charleston (PT 6?)
    Hi Tom,
    You asked for our opinions so I'm sharing my thoughts on stopping the dance. I like the full dance because it allows me to form a hand which I may nor have considered. I.know that I may get new tiles which open new opportunities. i cringe when I see a new player trying to anguish over the first deal. It slows the game, frustrates the players, and embarrasses the slow player who is unable to make a decision..( I sometimes forfeit my position at the table to offer assistance in indicating which tiles to keep and discard.if the player wants my help.)
    I only stop the Charleston when I have 2 equally viable options. I often continue when I see a lot of winds, dragons, etc being passed during the first round that will work with my second hand selection.
    Hope this makes sense--Thanks for all you do and I wish you good health!
    Be well, Linda

    Hi, Linda!
    Glad to hear you're keeping well. Your story puts another light on things. I agree that new players try the patience of experienced players. That's an old story (all the way back to the Roaring Twenties, a century ago). It's why my advice to new players is "don't try to win, just try to keep up." (That advice has gotten some blowback from newish players who tell me I'm insulting them.)
    Your Charleston stopping strategy is perfectly sound. Strategies are not enforceable on others. My impatience is with players who get impatient in a not-nice way. That's nice that you offer to drop your game to help newbs out. I'm betting that some players have declined your offer. Teaching and playing are two different things, and each has its season (remember that old sixties song, "Turn, Turn, Turn"? To everything there is a season... ♪♫
    It's an old story - new players want to play with seasoned players, who often don't want to play with them. There is friction where the rubber (the newbies) meets the road (the oldies).
    Wow, I just mixed a bunch of metaphors together there...!
    P.S. Not all frequent Charleston stoppers are novices. And of course you like the full dance. But getting all bent out of shape when it's truncated is not the way to go. Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 6, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Why does the computer wipe out my game?

    On Saturday, July 4, 2020, 04:08:50 PM PDT, Sylvia H wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    Why does the computer wipe out my game on real mahjong?
    Sent from my iPad

    Hi, Sylvia!
    Since you didn't send me a screenshot of what happened to you, I can't tell you what happened. Usually when the computer doesn't let you do something, it's because you were trying to do something that goes against the rules of mah-jongg. Without a screenshot, I can't help you.

    If you're interested in reading the answers I gave to others who asked this (who knows, you might find good information in there), scroll down, or search this page for the phrase "the computer" and arrow down to each. You'll come to:
    "Why did the computer call her dead?" On Tuesday, June 30, and
    "Why wouldn't the computer let me win?" On Wednesday, June 3, and
    "Why wouldn't the computer let me win?" On Friday, May 29, and
    "All those questions you get about online mah-jongg" On Tuesday, April 28,
    "Why wouldn't the computer let me win, part 3" On Saturday, April 25, and
    "Why wouldn't the computer let me win, part 2" On Friday, April 24, and
    "Why wouldn't the computer let me win?" On Friday, April 24 and
    "Why won't the computer let me do this?" On Wednesday, April 22.
    Also see FAQ 24: how to get technical support.

    Next time something like this happens, take a screenshot and send it to me with details of what happened before the screenshot and what happened afterward.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 4, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Looking for lessons and players

    On Saturday, July 4, 2020, 01:43:30 PM PDT, Jeff L wrote:
    Lessons/Games
    I’ve been playing for about six months and can’t get enough. I play against my wife daily but need to expand my horizons with other people. Question one do you give lessons? How much? Do you know of a website that will Hook me up with other players preferably male?I live in the San Fernando Valley. Thanks for taking the time. Jeff
    Sent from Yussie

    Jeff, there is a code orange coronavirus emergency going on right now. Playing in person is contraindicated. Check back with me after the pandemic is done and dusted. Please: stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you, online.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 4, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    They constantly stop the Charleston, part 5

    On Saturday, July 4, 2020, 01:56:20 AM PDT, heaton.ray wrote:
    The dark side...
    Hi Tom,
    I quite like the dark mode used in Faq 28 (or is it Faq 27, small typo methinks, see image attached!)
    But I wondered why, if indeed generally it's the "...same old stuff going around...", then why are folks so irritated when an opponent shouts up and stops the dance? I dont think I've ever stopped the Charleston, but have frequently wished I had. And when an opponent has done so, rarely has it impacted my hand too much.
    Admittedly I've not played NMJL rules that much, a few hundred times at most I guess, so my opinion may not be worth too much! But I think it better to reverse the argument and ask "why continue the dance"? For example, a good reason may be if you have at least three tiles to pass then not much will be lost by continuing; if less than three, then apologise to Larry and stop dancing!
    Stay well, Tom!
    Ray

    Hi, Ray! Glad you like the dark mode, and thanks for the QA check (I fixed the typo).
    What you're suggesting (flipping the between-dances paradigm on its head) might help.
    Folks assume there will be a second dance, unless somebody stops it.
    But what if folks instead assume there'll be just one dance, unless somebody requests a second one (and all go along).
    Thing is, over time that would most likely just revert to everybody assuming there'll be a second dance unless somebody says no.
    When I'm teaching new players about the second left pass, they tend to stop and look at one another until somebody says, "go a second time?" In the past I've told them "you don't need to ask." Maybe I should change that!
    I have lots of time to consider the idea. I won't be teaching mah-jongg again until I've had the Covid vaccine. And we still don't know when that's coming.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 4, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Double donation

    On Saturday, July 4, 2020, 04:21:37 AM PDT, service@paypal wrote:
    You received a payment
    Hello Thomas Sloper,
    You received a payment from Evelyn H for Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers
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    On Saturday, July 4, 2020, 04:21:39 AM PDT, service@paypal wrote:
    Notification of Donation Received
    Hello Thomas Sloper ,
    This email confirms that you have received a donation of$10.00 USD from Evelyn H. You can view the transaction details online .
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    Evelyn, thank you and thank you!
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 4, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    They constantly stop the Charleston, part 4

    Dear Readers,
    Wow, I got quite carried away there. Maybe too far. It inspired me to write FAQ 28 on "She stops the Charleston too much!" I wrote it in "dark mode" - let me know what you think.
    Tom


    They constantly stop the Charleston, part 3

    On Thursday, July 2, 2020, 10:13:17 AM PDT, Pete S wrote:
    stopping the charleston revisited
    Hi Tom,
    I got a chuckle out of your response yesterday to Beverly K because you
    started off saying you were too lazy today to explain it all again and
    then wrote, like, a whole page answering her questions. Today I see you
    wrote some more but I think you could add one more suggestion for people
    who don't like stopping the Charleston; play a version of Mahjong that
    doesn't use the Charleston at all. They could even continue to play NMJL
    style, just drop the whole passing tiles bit and play what you're dealt.
    I'm sure I've read it somewhere, maybe even your book, but was the
    Charleston "invented" to prolong game play? Or because someone was
    dissatisfied with their hand as it was dealt?
    -Pete-
    The words we speak are like froth on the water, actions are like drops of gold. -Tibetian Proverb-

    Hi, Pete!
    Chuckling is good! We humans are so amusing. We crack me up sometimes.
    The 3-player rules skip the Charleston, but people (we amusing humans) almost universally insist that a Charleston be had anyway. I've played 3-player without a Charleston, and it's fine. I can hear Penny (from Big Bang Theory) now: "Fine? You said it was fine?" To which Leonard replies, "Yeah, it's a perfectly good word. You put it in front of wine or dining, and you've really got something."
    The 3-player game with no Charleston is fine. Players get a lot more picks from the wall, and it balances out. I've played numerous variants that don't have a Charleston, and those were fine too. But I never tried 4-player NMJL without a Charleston. My theory is that the limitation imposed by the card (with its mere fifty-something hands) necessitates a Charleston, when there are 4 players. When we're limited to only the short list of hands on the card, the Charleston helps shape the hand before getting into the pick-and-discard phase. It was surely not designed to prolong play. No feature of mah-jongg was designed to prolong play. Nobody wants it prolonged! Just the opposite. Everybody wants to play fastfastfastfast!!! That's why I get so many complaints about slow players (not only Charleston stoppers).
    Maybe it's superstition. I've noticed that there's a lot of superstition involved in mah-jongg. "We didn't shuffle the tiles enough." "If four Wests are discarded in a row, it means somebody will die." "If someone stops the Charleston, someone is going to die!"
    So much intense emotion! Hmm, wait, what is this I'm feeling right now, in fact... [Sigh.]
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 2, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    They constantly stop the Charleston (a followup)

    A followup on what I wrote to Beverly K below.
    I have gotten this question numerous times - somebody stops the Charleston frequently - for whatever reason, who cares what the reason is, it's so annoying that he or she or they stop the Charleston all the time! Yadda yadda yadda.
    If I sound unsympathetic, it's because I am. A student of human nature would get a chuckle out of the Charleston-stopper's reasoning, and does he or she even realize how ticked off it makes some opponents? That student of human nature would also get a chuckle out of the complainer. Does he or she really think the second Charleston will produce a miraculous hand? The clash of [the unable-to-change] meeting head-on with [the believer in second Charleston miracles] is a human-studier's delight!
    I acknowledge that it can produce irritation when someone stops the second Charleston, but the stopper's right to do that should be respected. His/her right to stop the Charleston goes hand-in-hand with your right to do so.
    Is it a question of bad strategy? Yes. But you can take strategic advantage of her bad strategy.
    Is it a question of poor etiquette to do it a lot? That's arguable. If you know it tweaks the others' hackles, and you do it to tweak them royally, then that's not very nice, but if you do it a lot because that's the way you play, well, that's the way you play.
    When I tell complainers that they can't force another person to change and they can just stop playing with that other person, I get blowback. "Oh we couldn't kick her out, we like her! Shame on you for even suggesting it!" Okay, then! She is who she is, you like who she is except for this one thing. That's that!
    I guess my point of this followup is: I don't think frequently stopping the Charleston is that big a deal. Roll with the flow, adapt to the personalities you're playing with. Can't we all just get along? Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 2, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    They constantly stop the Charleston

    On Wednesday, July 1, 2020, 01:40:21 PM PDT, Beverly K wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: Two players in my MahJongg group stop the Charleston very often, primarily because they have 2 hands and can not decide. There is MJ etiquette similar to golf etiquette, tennis etiquette, etc. This eliminates at least 9 passes, plus courtesy pass and somewhat penalizes the other three players. How can we tactfully try to stop this from happening about half the time when we play? Thank you.. rbk

    Hi, Beverly! You wrote:

    Two players in my MahJongg group stop the Charleston very often,
    A lot of people have asked me how to deal with this. I've written a LOT about it, and I'm feeling kind of lazy today so I'm pointing you to what I've written previously, before I delve into everything you said in detail. I answered this question ("They constantly stop the Charleston") at https://sloperama.com/majexchange/bulletinbd-archive43.htm#stopping. I recommend you click that link and see how I answered Timothy A when he asked your question.

    You also wrote:

    primarily because they have 2 hands and can not decide.
    And you know this how? Do they volunteer that information? (Volunteering information is poor strategy on their part.)

    There is MJ etiquette similar to golf etiquette, tennis etiquette, etc.
    Yes... and? You didn't take that thought all the way to the point you're trying to make. Because in my view, etiquette applies not only to the Charleston-stopper but also to the others at the table. They have a right under the rules to stop the Charleston. Yes, it's irritating to others, and I agree it can be a bad habit, but it can be bad manners to tell them you're irritated.
    That said, you can always boot them from your game, or quit that game and go find players who share your views. Oops, did I go too far just now? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ My point is, people have annoying habits, and we cannot change their annoying habits. We either accept those people, annoyances and all, or we hang out with different people instead. (Not that many of us are hanging out with people these days...)

    This eliminates at least 9 passes, plus courtesy pass and somewhat penalizes the other three players
    There's room for debate here. So I'm debating it:
    1. Nine passes? I don't think so. Each player passes left, then across, then right. That's three passes (for four players). I think you wanted the number to be higher than three so it sounded worse than it really is. Might you be an accountant? (^_^) Sorry, maybe I went too far again.
    2. Courtesy pass? No! The courtesy pass can still happen. Even the stopper can pass as many as three tiles across.
    3. "Penalizes"? When most of the time, nothing new is gained in the second Charleston? I mean, it has happened that something new happens in the second dance, but most of the time, nothing. The most frequently heard kvetch in the Second Charleston is: "same old stuff going around." Am I wrong?

    How can we tactfully try to stop this from happening about half the time when we play?
    I don't think there's anything you can say that would be 50% effective. ... Or maybe anything you say to them would be effective half the time! (~_^)
    You can tell your Charleston-stoppers your personal Charleston strategy (what you do when you have two equal hands you can't decide between). Maybe they'll see a benefit to your strategy if you share it. And you can point your Charleston-stoppers to column 729 (where I wrote about my strategy of stopping the Charleston - or not stopping it).
    I recommend you all read FAQ 9 (about etiquette in mah-jongg), and column 494 (about the dangers of stopping the Charleston).
    I also wrote about Charleston-stopping at these:
    https://sloperama.com/majexchange/bulletinbd-archive47.htm#stopping
    https://sloperama.com/majexchange/bulletinbd-archive45.htm#stopping
    https://sloperama.com/majexchange/bulletinbd-archive42.htm#stopping
    https://sloperama.com/majexchange/bulletinbd-archive27.htm#stopping
    https://sloperama.com/majexchange/bulletinbd-archive20.htm#stopping
    As soon as I'm feeling less lazy, I'll collect all those into an FAQ or a column. And before I stop, I have to say, I hope you and your group are playing safely and do not get the COVID-19 virus.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    July 1, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Why did the computer call her dead, part 2

    On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, 06:56:47 PM PDT, Sondra R wrote:
    Re: Question on Use of Jokers
    Ahh, the 8Bs, yes, even though it was early in the game, likely I missed that there were three discards of them on the table. Thus a much simpler explanation than my complicated assumption about the jokers. Thank you again for your quick and excellent response to my query.
    Cheers

    Well, it's a theory, anyway!
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 30, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Why did the computer call her dead?

    On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, 03:44:30 PM PDT, Sondra R wrote:
    Question on Use of Jokers
    Hello Mr. Sloper,
    > I have a question on jokers that I’m hoping you can help clarify. I’ve checked your website and some mah jongg rules book before writing you but couldn’t find an answer to this question.
    > I understand that a player may use as many jokers as they wish for any pung, kong, or quint combination. Additionally, they are allowed to create combinations using all jokers as well. When all jokers are used, they do not need an identifying tile in the combination.
    > The Question: Can a player use all jokers for a combination if that combination has already been exposed by another player with one or more natural/identifying tiles. For example, I am playing a hand that needs a pung of 6 dots. But another player exposes a pung of 6 dots. As the game progresses, I am in a position to call mah jongg and put up three jokers with no identifying tiles for my pung of 6 dots. Can I do that? Or are the 6 dots considered “off limits” to me because there is already an exposure identified for 6 dots? Along the same lines, if another player exposes a pung combination using two 6dot tiles and a joker, can I call a 6dot to expose another 6dot pung or kong using jokers.
    > Until recently, I would have said the answer to both questions is Yes, but now have begun to wonder if there is an actual rule covering this. My curiosity was heightened last evening when I was playing online MJ on the Real Mahjongg site and for the first time ever I experienced the computer calling another player‘s hand dead/locking their hand. Playing the 2020 card, the player already had an exposure of 4 flowers, and then exposed a kong of 9 bams and was immediately called dead by the computer site. In making those two exposures, that would have limited their options to two possible hands under consecutive runs. I looked around the online table, and saw a pung exposure of 7 bams, using 1 joker and two 7 bams. There was also one 7 bam in the discards, so three 7 bams were “showing” to other players. As such, that would have eliminated one of the possible options (FFFF 1 22 333 4444) that required a pair of 7 bams. However, the other option under consecutive runs (FFFF 1111 22 3333) could have been completed using a kong of 4 jokers to replace the 7 bams needed, or even 3 jokers and one 7 bam. Thus how would the computer have known that the player couldn’t complete the one option using all jokers unless the exposure of 7 bams already on the table eliminated that option (hence my question above).
    > Sorry for the very long question/explanation, and hope all this makes sense. Thank you in advance for any response.
    Please omit my email should you deem my question postable on your site. Thank you

    Hi, Sondra! You wrote:

    Can a player use all jokers for a combination if that combination has already been exposed by another player with one or more natural/identifying tiles.
    Sure. Let's use Green Dragon as our example. Since there are four Greens and eight jokers in the set, there can be as many as three kongs of Greens on the table.

    As the game progresses, I am in a position to call mah jongg and put up three jokers with no identifying tiles for my pung of 6 dots. Can I do that?
    Sure. Why not?

    Or are the 6 dots considered “off limits” to me because there is already an exposure identified for 6 dots?
    That's a unique idea! But no.

    My curiosity was heightened last evening when I was playing online MJ on the Real Mahjongg site and for the first time ever I experienced the computer calling another player‘s hand dead/locking their hand.
    Okay, now we're in a different realm. Video games are created by people, and people can have all kinds of unique ideas - ideas that have nothing to do with the National Mah Jongg League's rules. The game developers might have an imperfect understanding of the League's rules. Game developers can also write imperfect code. Bugs can happen.

    Playing the 2020 card, the player already had an exposure of 4 flowers, and then exposed a kong of 9 bams and was immediately called dead by the computer site.
    With a kong of F and a kong of 9B, there are two hands the player might be making: Consec #2 and Consec #6. If 8B is dead on the table, she cannot make Consec #2. If 6B or 7B are dead on the table, she cannot make Consec #6. If either 6B or 7B is dead and 8B is dead, her hand is dead. You say 7B was dead. But was 8B also dead? Maybe three of them had been discarded?

    Thus how would the computer have known...
    I stopped you there, because computers "know" what they're programmed to know. Mah-jongg A.I. can be programmed in such a way that the A.I. can see what tiles each player is holding, and can see what tiles are remaining in the wall. But I don't know how the A.I. was programmed, and I don't assume that what happened had anything to do with how many jokers there were in use.

    Since you didn't send me a screen shot of this situation, I can't tell you if the player was unfairly called dead or not. Going back to your assumption, that the computer called her dead out of a mistaken interpretation of the NMJL joker rules? I have no idea if there is any such mistake in the game. I don't know why the computer called the player dead. I would need a screenshot at the very least.

    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 30, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Can she redeem more than one joker in a turn?

    On Friday, June 26, 2020, 03:56:59 PM PDT, Debora M wrote:
    Joker question
    A player exposed 4 tiles ,2 three bams and 2 jokers. Another player had the other 2 three bams. When it is her turn, can she exchange her 2 tiles for the jokers all at once or can she only exchange one joker per turn?
    Thank you
    Debora M
    Get Outlook for iOS

    Hi, Debora!
    A player can redeem as many as 8 jokers in one turn. See FAQ 19-N. Please bookmark FAQ 19 for your future reference.
    I hope you're playing safely.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 26, 2020 5:45 PM
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Can he pick up that discarded redeemable tile and redeem it for a joker?

    On Friday, June 26, 2020, 01:55:18 PM PDT, Martin W wrote:
    Query
    Good afternoon. Our query is, a player had a Kong of 2 cracks, one of them being a joker. Player ahead of her discarded the 2 crack without looking, can the player displaying the 3 cracks and joker take the 2 crack from the discard and replace his joker. Thank you Wilma W

    Hi, Wilma!
    Once a redeemable tile has been discarded, it can only be taken for mah-jongg or to create a new set for exposure. It is NOT permitted to take the tile in order to redeem it for a joker. See FAQ 19-G. Please bookmark FAQ 19 for your future reference.
    I hope you are playing safely.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 26, 2020 5:45 PM
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    What is the story behind the one bam bird?

    On Thursday, June 25, 2020, 03:33:58 PM PDT, Sibyl W wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    My friends & I would be interested in knowing the history of why
    the one bam is an image of a bird when other 2 suits are not.
    Thank you
    Best wishes,
    Sibyl

    Hi, Sibyl!
    If all 3 suits had a bird as the #1 tile, how could we tell them apart? (^_^)
    I don't really know the actual reason (nobody does), but I wrote some theories in the Mystery Tiles FAQ. Look for the question "What is the story behind the one bird bam?" from Rae T.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 25, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Valuation of our vintage set, part 2

    On Thursday, June 25, 2020, 03:04:51 PM PDT, <benjswart wrote:
    Re: Valuation of Our vintage Mah Jongg set
    I appreciated you unbelievably quick response to my e-mail. The only question that I have relates to my assessment about the carving of the figures. My understanding is that stamped tiles would have flat bottoms in the stampings, handcarved would have very irregular slants, which these do have. There are no flat bottoms in any of the tiles. Is there a possibility that these could be carved?

    Hi, <benjswart.
    So the only part of my response that you want to question is when I said that the tile designs are not carved. You maintain that there are only two ways designs can be put on mah-jongg tiles: carving and stamping. I maintain that molding is a third method that could produce designs on tiles. And this is borne out by what I found on Wikipedia just now: "Celluloid is very robust and easy to mold in difficult forms..."
    Stamping would have to occur when the material is not yet fully hardened, if I understand correctly. Carving (if celluloid can be carved) would not result in perfectly identical tiles. Look at your bams, like the sixes - look at how perfectly aligned all the sticks are. No irregularities such as one would expect from hand carved tiles. Look at the 1D tiles, the intricate flower petals, with a break in the outer circle at the left side, repeated on each of the others (indicated by the white lines I drew there) - it looks to me like a flaw in the stamp or mold.

    No carver would make an identical flaw in each tile. I say these are machine-made (either by stamping or, more likely, in a mold).
    Need more evidence? You say stamped tiles would always have flat bottoms and you say your tiles do not have flat bottoms in the inset designs. Your photos are blurry, but this one part of one of your photos is less blurry:

    See the thick areas in the red dragon and the West. Especially the West. Looks to me like light reflecting off the bottom of the wide inset areas (white lines point to them), indicating that it is indeed flat in there. Could be worn paint though (worn off the flat bottom of the inset area).
    I could be very wrong about the set's value, but you can't convince me that your tiles are hand carved.
    A fourth method for creating inset designs would be engraving, by the way. That would also result in a flat bottom to the inset areas. I don't see what difference any of this makes, unless you are writing a sales pitch.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 25, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Valuation of our vintage set

    On Thursday, June 25, 2020, 09:54:31 AM PDT, benjswart wrote:
    Valuation of Our vintage Mah Jongg set
    Tom,
    Even though this will be against your preferred was of doing this I have no choice but to write this up as a document and then attach it to this e-mail. When I write something other than a short e-mail, when I get part way through it, it disappears from the screen and I have to start all over again. I thought doing it as a draft and saving it would solve the problem.
    So this is the way I have to do it. Also, there will be an attached folder with all of the attached photos so that all you have to do is open the folder to see them. I did this rather than paste all the pix onto the e-mail.
    IMG_0620.JPG IMG_0621.JPG IMG_0623.JPG IMG_0625 - Copy.JPG IMG_0626.JPG IMG_0627 - Copy.JPG IMG_0628 - Copy.JPG IMG_0629 - Copy.JPGIMG_0630.JPGIMG_0631.JPG IMG_0632.JPG IMG_0643.JPGSloperama.doc
    Description of Vintage Mah Jongg Set For Valuation
    This set was acquired by us 40+ years ago. It appears to have been produced in China in the early 1020’s The entire set is in excellent condition. The box has 5 drawers in it. The box is made of Teak and has one small nick in the lower left hand corner. There are brass decorative pieces on each of the top four corners of the box. All 144 tiles in excellent condition, although there is slight color differentiation between some of themThere are 8 Flowers which you will see in the photos. There 4 Red Dragons, 4 white Dragons, and 4green Dragons. Also, there is a Bamboo photo as a “1” as a bird.They are hand carved and as such have been identified as “Bakelite” I was sure that because of the striation marks, which were irregular and not uniform, that they may been bone. They measure 1 ¼” x 7/8” x 3/8”. There is a round container having 4 round “position” discs and 2 dice measuring 3/8” square
    Accompanying the set are a book copyrighted in New York in 1922and a similarly dated scoring pad that was published in Minneapolis at about the same time.
    There are 102 dotted gambling sticks in the bottom tray.
    The box measures 9 ½” x 6 ½” x 6”.
    A photo of the removable front of the box pretty clearly shows the gilted art work.
    If there is any further information you need. Let me know and I will endeavor to provide it.

    Hi, benjswart.
    I'm afraid that I have to correct you on a number of things you said:

    The entire set is in excellent condition.
    No. It is not. See FAQ 7H. Excellent means "only very minor defects which only a purist or expert would notice or care about." The defects visible in the photos are not "very minor," and anybody can notice them easily.

    The box is made of Teak
    I will have to take your word on that. I do not know how to identify a wood from a photo. Checking images online, it's possible that you are correct.

    and has one small nick in the lower left hand corner.
    That is absolutely not true. There is a lot more damage than that visible in the front view of the box. Look at the lower right corner, for example - a long chunk of wood is missing there. I can also see numerous nicks and worn edges. I can't see the box's back or bottom, where there may be yet more damage.

    It appears to have been produced in China in the early 1020’s
    My guess would be America, since the logo on the box is that of an American company, the Piroxloid Products Company. See the 1920s books page, where you'll see that emblem on a book called "The Ancient Game of the Mandarins" - oh heck, here's that picture (you don't need to click the link).

    Piroxloid could have had the box made anywhere, but I would think they would have had it made domestically. But yes, the set was made in the 1920s.

    All 144 tiles in excellent condition, although there is slight color differentiation between some of them
    The discoloration is not "slight." The condition is therefore not Excellent.

    They are hand carved
    No. They are not.

    and as such have been identified as “Bakelite” I was sure that because of the striation marks, which were irregular and not uniform, that they may been bone.
    They look to me like solid celluloid. But the photos are all blurry, so I'm not 100% positive. See FAQ 7C.

    They measure 1 ¼” x 7/8” x 3/8”.
    3/8" is thinner than usual - more evidence to support my hypothesis that your tiles are solid celluloid (a material that was normally used as a veneer). See tile dimensions in FAQ 7A.

    Accompanying the set are a book copyrighted in New York in 1922and a similarly dated scoring pad that was published in Minneapolis at about the same time.
    Babcock's "Little Red Book" (hardcover). You didn't say which edition (that information is included in every edition). You didn't say what condition it's in. The score sheet is not in Excellent condition (bent corner). The set includes the wrong book - it should have Mandovill's "Ancient Game of the Mandarins" instead of Babcock's little red book.

    Solid celluloid tiles are desirable to collectors, but the set's condition is less than ideal.

    The value of the set depends on what you plan to do with it, and why you ask. If you are going to keep the set and you want to know how much to value it for insurance purposes, I'd say call it $200. If somebody was selling the set and you were considering buying it, I would say don't spend more than $150. If you are planning to offer it for auction, I would say set a starting price of $150 and see where it goes. If you are planning to sell it outright, ask for $200 but be ready to come down as far as $120. Note that I could be way off! You should check with CHarli, Carli, and Gregg - their websites are listed at the bottom of FAQ 4A.

    My estimate is for the box and its contents. The Babcock book is worth maybe $20 (maybe more, depending on condition). The scorecard is worth maybe $15.

    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 25, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Taoist mah-jongg, part 2

    On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 05:32:19 PM PDT, Patricia D wrote:
    Re: Taoist Mahjong rules
    Thanks for the information I requested. You made it easy to retrieve. We also play American Mahjong and were fascinated ast the thought of playing without a card. There are quite a few followers of this style of Mahjong where we gather to play and just want to make sure we are following the correct system of play.
    Have a good evening,
    Pat

    On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 05:22:48 PM PDT, service@paypal wrote:
    Reference: MJ@Sloperama Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers - Donation from Patricia D
    Hello Thomas Sloper ,
    This email confirms that you have received a donation of$10.00 USD from Patricia D. You can view the transaction details online .
    Donation Details
    Total amount: $10.00 USD
    Currency: U.S. Dollars
    Reference: MJ@Sloperama
    Purpose: Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers
    Contributor: Patricia D
    Message: Thank you a quick response for the information I requested.
    Sincerely,
    PayPal

    You're welcome, Pat. Thanks for the donation. I must say, I'm surprised that you have "quite a few" players of this obscure variant in your area; I've never seen anyone play Taoist MJ.
    And I sincerely hope nobody gets the coronavirus.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 24, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Taoist mah-jongg

    On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 03:56:24 PM PDT, Patricia D wrote:
    Hi,
    My name is Pat and I am trying to learn the Taoist style of Mahjong along with 3 of my friends. we have a loose idea of how the game is played but have some questions about the order of the play, who can pick up what tile when.
    I would really appreciate seeing Jeff G's rules for play.
    Thank you for any help you can provide.

    Hi, Pat!
    I checked FAQ 2B to look up Taoist style, and that led me to sloperama.com/majexchange/bulletinbd-archive42.htm and found the entire conversation with Jeff G there. Then I checked sloperama.com/downlode/mahjongg/ and found Jeff's documents there.
    I have to wonder why you and your friends are studying that particular form of mah-jongg. I had forgotten that conversation with Jeff (it was two and a half years ago), and I don't know where (if anywhere) you can find more information on that particular variant. You're on your own pretty much, but my guess is that the order of the play is not different from the order of play in ALL the other variants - players take turns counterclockwise. And my guess is that a player can pick up anytime to expose a pung or kong or to declare mah-jongg, and that chowing is only permitted on one's turn (only from the player to his/her left). Same as all other variants. (Remember: that's my guess.) I think you're safe to adapt Jeff's rules to the standard way of doing things, since it's extremely unlikely that some Taoist is going to show up and tell you you're doing it all wrong. Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 24, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    What did I do wrong, part 2

    On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 09:33:20 AM PDT, Story E wrote:
    Re: what did i do wrong
    You understood my question perfectly. Sorry for the unclear explanation. But thanks to your answer I can now go to Maj this week and not feel like I totally blew it last week.
    Story

    Glad I could help, Story!
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 24, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Quints #2

    On Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 12:19:47 PM PDT, Jessie R wrote:
    Quint#2
    Do the two pairs have to precede the two quints?
    Sent from my iPad

    Hi, Jessie!
    Yes, the two pairs have to be lower numbers than the quints. The first pair can be any number from 1 to 7. The second pair must be the next higher consecutive number. The quints must both be the number that consecutively follows the two pairs. Since this question was not in FAQ 16 before you asked, I'm adding it now. Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 23, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    What did I do wrong?

    On Monday, June 22, 2020, 03:53:41 PM PDT, Story E wrote:
    what did i do wrong
    Hi Tom.
    I so enjoy your column. Thank you. I begin playing a year and a half ago and love maj! I played last Friday and had one of the strangest hands. I can’t stop wondering what I should have done. I did NOT win.
    At the end of the Charleston I had
    Two 7dot, one 8dot, 2 9dot, 2 G . 1 R and 1 joker.
    I thought it was a pretty good start to the 7th CR hand. Even if it was concealed.
    I was quite lucky and drew a 7dot and 9 dot and 2 more jokers. But 2 of the 8 dots were discarded.
    My problem is that I drew 3 more jokers. When I drew the 4th joker I didn’t want to let on that I needed a pair so I discarded a 7. And the same with joker #5. By the time Idrew #6 I was quite sure I could have won with another hand.
    My question is at what point should I have decided this. Obviously I was too late. In hindsight I think I could have changed to CR# 4. And called maj when a soap was discarded.
    The 8dot that never got discarded was in a players rack. And the wall won.
    Thank you for any guidance you can give this relative newbie.
    Story

    Hi, Story!
    It's a little hard to follow what went on by reading your email. Until I get into it visually, I'm not certain that you DID do anything wrong! You wrote:

    At the end of the Charleston I had
    Two 7dot, one 8dot, 2 9dot, 2 G . 1 R and 1 joker.
    I thought it was a pretty good start to the 7th CR hand. Even if it was concealed.
    Let's see it:

    Yes, it is an obvious great start for Consec #7. There is a risk that you might not get the second 8D, but at the end of the Charleston this is a risk I would take.

    I was quite lucky and drew a 7dot and 9 dot and 2 more jokers. But 2 of the 8 dots were discarded.
    Time to get nervous! But don't let the others know they're killing you. (~_^)

    My problem is that I drew 3 more jokers.
    Face-palm time! (^_^)

    When I drew the 4th joker I didn’t want to let on that I needed a pair so I discarded a 7.
    Smart!

    And the same with joker #5. By the time Idrew #6 I was quite sure I could have won with another hand.
    Logical.

    My question is at what point should I have decided this. Obviously I was too late. In hindsight I think I could have changed to CR# 4. And called maj when a soap was discarded.
    The 8dot that never got discarded was in a players rack. And the wall won.
    I Googled sayings about hindsight. Found these:
    "Of all the words of mice and [wo]men, the saddest are, 'It might have been.'"
    "Hindsight, I think, is a useless tool."
    "I would find myself getting deeply distressed if I lived in hindsight all the time."
    None of those are very helpful (or even entertaining). The thing is, there was no way for you to know what kind of tricks the mah-jongg goddesses are playing on you. You did nothing wrong. It's a gamble, you knew it, you took it, and it didn't work out. That's why a gamble is ... you know ... a gamble.

    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 22, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Stopping a player from ponging

    On Friday, June 19, 2020, 09:36:40 AM PDT, RJ D wrote:
    Stopping a player from ponging
    Is it possible to stop a player from ponging by quickly drawing a tile from the wall after previous player discarded? Can they still pong even after the player looked at the tile that was drawn from the wall? Do you have to give time for other players to pong before going next? Some people say its about speed. You lost your chance since you didnt pong right away but not even 1 second passed by and they drew from the wall already. This is confusing. It seems like cheating. Please let me know.

    Hi, RJ! You wrote:

    Is it possible to stop a player from ponging by quickly drawing a tile from the wall after previous player discarded?
    Yes, it's possible. But the specifics of the rules depend on which rules you're playing (American, Japanese, Hong Kong, Chinese Official, Taiwanese, British/Australian, Wright-Patterson...).

    Can they still pong even after the player looked at the tile that was drawn from the wall?
    Depending on (a) which mah-jongg variant you play and (b) how much time elapsed between the discard and the pick from the wall (depending on the variant).

    Do you have to give time for other players to pong before going next?
    In Chinese Official rules, you have to give them 3 seconds*. In other variants, "giving time" is a matter of etiquette, not rules.
    * To put it more succinctly: if a player calls the latest discard within 3 seconds, next-in-turn has to put the picked tile back on the wall. Nobody actually waits 3 seconds before picking.

    Some people say its about speed.
    Yes. I don't like those people. Mah-jongg should flow at a nice smooth pace, not too slow and not too fast.

    You lost your chance since you didnt pong right away but not even 1 second passed by and they drew from the wall already.
    Maybe not, depending on what rules you are using.

    This is confusing.
    Then you should buy a book that defines the rules of your mah-jongg variant. See FAQ 3 for books.

    It seems like cheating.
    I am putting on my psychic mindreader hat and guessing that:
    - You were thwarted in your attempt to make a pung (you are not the person who tried to stop somebody else from claiming a discard).
    - This happened at a physical table with live humans, not socially distanced safely (this didn't happen in a computer game). The reason for this guess is that you talked about people who "say it's about speed," and you mentioned "cheating," and cheating is a human foible, not a computer thing. If a computer doesn't give you a chance to call a discard, it's because your claim is either disallowed or superseded.

    I dislike aggressive play practices like "pickandrack." On a player's turn, he should count to at least 1 (or even 2) in his mind before reaching for the wall. That brief delay gives other players a fair chance at calling the live discard.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    Juneteenth, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Can I call a discard for a 2020? Can I use a joker in a 2020?

    On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 11:35:20 AM PDT, phyllisn wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    Are all the hands that contain 2020 tiles are they considered single tiles or are there considered a Kong a four and can they be called to complete the IV also can you use a joker in those hands
    Sent from my iPhone

    Hi, Phyllis!
    A kong is four identical tiles. A 2020 can be thought of as four singles or two pairs knitted. Either way, the NEVER rule applies. You may not call a discard for a 2020. You may not use a joker in a 2020. See FAQ 19-E.


    The NEVER rule is on the back of the card.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 16, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Somebody called for the discard just after I racked but before I'd let go

    On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 09:34:24 AM PDT, Linda D wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    Hello Tom...
    I am new to the game of mahjong.
    My question is when a tile is laid or discarded and the next person draws their tile and they are placing it on their wall (they have actually touched the wall with the tile) but they have NOT let go of the tile....can another person call for the laid/discarded tile
    Sent from my iPad

    Hi, Linda!
    I believe you used the word "wall" to mean "rack." The wall is the long array of face-down tiles in stacks of two. The rack is the long plastic thing you put tiles on (and that you use to line up a wall on).
    The answer to your question is FAQ 19-C - read it to learn about the Window Of Opportunity during which a player can claim a discard, and read FAQ 19-AD to learn what the definition of "racking" is.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 16, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Can I call that discard, or do I have to have a non-joker in hand?

    On Monday, June 15, 2020, 12:47:07 PM PDT, Martin W wrote:
    Query
    Good afternoon, a few queries, I need 3 7,s and have 2 jokers in my hand, may I take a discarded 7? Also, if a Kong or Pung has jokers and I have one or two of the tiles may I take them both. Thanks, Wilma W

    Yes, you may, Wilma. See rule 13 on page 23 in the official rulebook (2020 edition).


    The official rulebook

    Or see FAQ 19-L. You don't have to have a natural (a non-joker) in order to call a discard.
    Added next day: Sorry, I missed your second question. You may redeem up to 8 jokers in one turn. See FAQ 19-N.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 15, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    How can we rotate players, part 3

    On Saturday, June 13, 2020, 10:07:29 AM PDT, Timothy A wrote:
    Lola M's question
    Hi Tom, Saw the question from Lola M about rotating players in Real MJ.
    Seat assignment is made when a person log into the game. The person that starts the game is automatically East, the second person to sign in will be to the right, or South, the third will be West and the fourth will be North.
    To change this seating after a few hands, the second player quits the game then quickly rejoin the game, player 3 and 4 would shift up to the South and West position and then player 2 would rejoin the game at the North position.
    Doing this at the end of a game, with the knowledge of all players to wait before they start the Charleston tile they return, should accomplish what Lola M want.
    Personally I don’t see the need for doing this as the system automatically moves East around the table and in most cases where I play with friends, we never log into the game in the same order so we never know who will be where at the table.
    Tim A.

    Thanks for the tip, Tim! Hopefully Lola will see it and be helped by it.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 13, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Are there rules as to a bettor's behavior?

    On Saturday, June 13, 2020, 06:24:12 AM PDT, Hedy G wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: about playing with a better. Are there specific rules as to a bettor’s behavior...ie, what she can say, hint to....etc.
    We play with a bettor and there is one player who will say and or hint at inappropriate suggestions. If there are specific rules I would appreciate knowing them.
    Thank you
    Hedy G

    Hi, Hedy.
    There certainly are rules! As I wrote in FAQ 19-W4, a bettor is not allowed to say anything until after all players have made payment. If she makes ANY comment that hints at which player might win or what any player is holding - even if she just reacts with facial expressions or sounds that make any kind of hint - her bet is void.
    Someone who says or hints inappropriately while betting surely is guilty of all kinds of table talk. You might want to read the June 12, 2016 column (four years ago yesterday!) about table talk. A good player refrains from passing information to the other players. A smart player keeps a poker face. Players need to know when to, and not to, comment on the game.
    I hope your group stays healthy while we still have no vaccine against the coronavirus.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 13, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Isn’t it true that you cannot put pairs on your rack?

    On Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 05:35:20 PM PDT, Rose B wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    Isn’t it true that you cannot put pairs on your rack?

    Hi, Rose! A thorny question... you have to put ALL your tiles (singles, pairs, pungs, kongs, quints) on your rack - you're not allowed to have your tiles anywhere else!
    That said, I suppose you're asking if a pair can be exposed atop the rack (prior to the declaration of mah-jongg). And for that question, of course you are correct. As I wrote in FAQ 19-E1: A discard may only be taken to make a PUNG, KONG, QUINT, or SEXTET - or, of course, to make mah-jongg.
    So, I have to wonder why you asked, and why you asked in the way you did. Is somebody insisting otherwise? You're involved in a heated argument? Or a computer game allowed a pair exposure? Inquiring minds want to know!
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 2, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    How can we rotate players, part 2

    On Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 02:44:27 PM PDT, Lola M wrote:
    Re: Mah-Jongg Q+A
    I apologize that my question wasn't specific. I was asking about how players can rotate on RealMahjongg.com. sorry for confusion!

    I'm the one who's sorry for the confusion, Lola. I'm sorry you think I provide tech support for any computer games, because I do not do that. But maybe another reader will know how to rotate seats in that game (if the feature is supported at all, which it might not be), or you can see FAQ 24 for information about how to contact the game's maker to ask them your tech support question.
    I am happy to learn that you are playing safely online. I do hope you all stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 10, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    How can we rotate players?

    On Tuesday, June 9, 2020, 04:08:02 PM PDT, Lola K M wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: I play each week with the same people. How can we rotate players so we're not always opposite same player? Thanks!

    Hi, Lola. You can read the seat rotation procedure for American mah-jongg in FAQ 19-BB. (I'm going out on a limb and assuming your group plays American/NMJL.) I hope you all stay healthy.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 9, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    I'd like to ask your opinion

    On Saturday, June 6, 2020, 10:22:17 AM PDT, lindaz wrote:
    No Subject
    Hi Tom,
    Sometimes you answer questions about computer games even though you've asked us not to send those questions in. I'd like to ask your opinion about something I've noticed -- just to satisfy my curiosity--I'm not specifically seeking advice. I play "Real MJ Online" and I've noticed that the bots will often call for a tile and expose 2 or 3 jokers with it pretty early in the game. This seems like poor strategy to me and I'd like your opinion/thoughts about this. Thanks for being being so patient with your readers!
    Stay well, Linda

    Hi, Linda!
    I guess the AI wasn't programmed with that particular bit of joker strategy. I don't know what kind of opinion or thoughts you want from me. Can you be more specific?
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    6/6/2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Donation

    On Thursday, June 4, 2020, 03:52:51 AM PDT, service@paypal wrote:
    Notification of Donation Received
    Hello Thomas Sloper ,
    This email confirms that you have received a donation of$10.00 USD from Evelyn H. You can view the transaction details online .
    Donation Details
    Total amount: $10.00 USD
    Currency: U.S. Dollars
    Quantity: 1
    Contributor: Evelyn H
    Sincerely,
    PayPal

    Thank you again, Evelyn! I appreciate you.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 4, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Why wouldn't the computer let me win?

    On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, 08:51:34 AM PDT, Phyllis H wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    I needed one soap in the 2020 for a Mahjong it would replace a joker but the game did not allow me to call it for Mahjong. Why?
    Sent from my iPhone

    Hi again, Phyllis.
    I don't have enough information to answer your question. As I told Catherine on May 29 below, the usual reason the computer won't let you win is because you're trying to do something that's against the National Mah Jongg League's rules. There must have been something wrong with your hand. But without a screenshot or a description of all the tiles in your hand (see what Catherine sent me), I can't help you.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 3, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Can I use a joker for a soap in a 2020

    On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, 06:56:24 PM PDT, Phyllis H wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:Can I use a joker for a soap in a 2020 hand
    Sent from my iPhone

    The answer is on the back of the card, Phyllis.

    A joker may NEVER be used for a single tile, or for any part of a pair. If you need more detail, see FAQ 19-E2.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 2, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Is reverse redemption allowed?

    On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, 07:52:07 AM PDT, Cathy A wrote:
    Using a joker to redeem a tile in an exposed hand
    Playing last night someone at the table wanted to redeem a 6Bam from an exposed hand of that was a Kong of 6Bams ( 3 - 6Bams and 1 - Joker). The player wanted to use a joker to redeem a 6Bam because she needed a pair of 6Bams for her hand (she had 1-6Bam in her hand). So she couldn't use the joker and knew she would never draw another 6Bam since the three other 6Bam tiles were all exposed. We had never seen anyone use a joker to redeem a different tile from an exposed hand only the other way around. I looked through your post on jokers but didn't see anything about this situation. Just because we've never seen it done doesn't mean it's against the rules but we thought we would ask for clarification.
    Thanks for your help
    Cathy

    Hi, Cathy!
    You wrote:

    The player wanted to use a joker to redeem a 6Bam because...
    It doesn't matter why! It's illegal regardless of purpose.

    I looked through your post on jokers but didn't see anything about this situation.
    I assume you mean the Jokers section of FAQ 19. The rule you were looking for is FAQ 19-AL, "Can I exchange a joker for a non-joker tile (reverse redemption)?.

    Just because we've never seen it done doesn't mean it's against the rules
    See rule 7 on page 23 of the official rulebook, "Mah Jongg Made Easy."

    Reverse redemption is definitely against the rules.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 2, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    What are my tiles made of?

    On Monday, June 1, 2020, 02:01:59 PM PDT, bswartz wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: Do you authenticate tiles. I have a Mah Joingg set dating back to the early 1920’s. From one of your articles I have determined that the tiles are definitely not ivoryl A jeweler that I trust could not absolutely make the distinction between bone and man made material in spite of the striation lines that are present. I woiuld be interested to know what you would charge for the purpose of correctly identifying the material of those tiles. I send you two or three tiles for your examination. I am interested in determining only what the material that the tiles are made from. As far as a monetary idea of the value, seeing several very similar boxed sets on e-bay, I have a fairly accurate idea of the range of price. I am very aware that prices on e-bay are one thing, sales prices are another. But once I know the material of the tiles, I feel I could determine a reasonable price for the set when I decide to make a listing.

    Hi, b.
    I charge $100 to do what you want to do - and your set might be worth about that much. I think it would be better to just send me some photos of your tiles. You say there are striations - that means the tiles might be ivory, bone, or celluloid ("French ivory"). Your jeweler couldn't tell if they were manmade material or not, you say. It's easy to differentiate celluloid from ivory and bone - the hard one is differentiating bone from ivory (and you say you've already read my "Is It Ivory" page, so you know they're not ivory). Just save the money (and the time) - send me some pictures, why doncha! No charge to look at some photos.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    June 1, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    I do not understand the scoring after the 100th game

    On Saturday, May 30, 2020, 11:19:06 AM PDT, Pat C wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: I do not understand the scoring after you have played 100 games. Prior to that it was pretty much standard but now I do not understand it. Help if you can. Thanks

    Hi, Pat! Maybe if you say the title of the app you're playing, another reader of this board might have some info for you. When seeking support with any app, you need to provide:
    - The full title of the app or program;
    - The name of the game's publisher, if you can find it*
    - What platform you play the game on (iPhone? Android? Chrome? Firefox? Safari? etc.)
    Also, here we can only help with "real" mah-jongg apps - not tile-matching apps purporting to be mah-jongg but they're not.


    Above: real mah-jongg is a 4-player game

    Above: tile-matching games are solitaire games - played with mah-jongg tiles but not rightly called "mah-jongg"

    * If you don't know the name of your app's maker, see FAQ 24.
    Good luck finding the answer to your question!

    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 30, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Why wouldn't the computer let me, part 2

    On Friday, May 29, 2020, 05:44:57 PM PDT, catherine s via PayPal wrote:
    ccs sent you money
    Hello Thomas Sloper,
    You were sent $25.00 USD from ccs...
    To see all the transaction details, please log into your PayPal account. It may take a few moments for this transaction to appear in your account.
    Transaction date
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    Description Unit price Qty Amount
    Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers
    Item #: MJ@Sloperama
    $25.00 USD 1 $25.00 USD
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    PayPal is committed to preventing fraudulent emails. Emails from PayPal will always contain your full name. Learn to identify phishing

    Thank you very much, Catherine!
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 30, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Why wouldn't the computer let me win?

    On Friday, May 29, 2020, 01:55:22 PM PDT, Catherine S wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: why am I not allowed to call a tile to complete a pair when it (the completion of the pair) is mahjongg???
    My hand was:
    2 of one dot
    2 of two dot
    1 of 3 dot
    4 of four crack
    4 of five crack

    Hi, Catherine.
    There are two main reasons why an app won't permit a winning move:
    1- The rules of mah-jongg prohibit the move (or would penalize you for making the move);
    2- The creator of the app made a boo-boo. In other words, "it's a bug."
    In most cases, it's number one. It's rare that it's a mistake (a "bug"), because when there's a bug this obvious, and the app has been around for a while, a serious bug would surely have already been reported to the software publisher or developer, and fixed. You didn't say which app you're playing, but if you want to contact the app publisher/developer, maybe FAQ 24 will help.
    But let's take a look at the hand you were holding:
    11 22 3 4444 5555
    It looks to me like you were attempting to make Consec #5 from the 2020 NMJL card, but you were making it with only two suits, when it's supposed to be three suits. The rules of mah-jongg would penalize you for declaring mah-jongg with the tiles you were playing, so the app simply didn't allow you to make a fatal error.

    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 29, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Looking for a 5th player

    On Thursday, May 28, 2020, 04:08:03 AM PDT, susan f wrote:
    Find Players/Teachers
    The mah-jongg variant I play is: American
    We have 4 steady Monday night players, looking for a 5th steady player.

    I'm sorry, Susan, but my Find Players/Teachers/Events bulletin board is offline until the coronavirus emergency is over.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 29, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Old Chinese 3 suited playing cards deck, probably “linear style”

    On Thursday, May 28, 2020, 02:39:43 PM PDT, Outlook Express <peter wrote:
    Old Chinese 3 suited playing cards deck, probably “linear style”
    Hi Tom. I know that you don’t like abstract quedtios, but I have no other means of ascertaing what a complete set (126 cards) might potentially be worth. My specifc question is : Are they scarce ?
    I am assuming it a precursor to Mahjong.
    If you can’t help, OK, but I need to ask you the question.
    Best regards,
    Peter A.
    Obtener Outlook para iOS

    Hi, Peter.
    So you're asking about 3-suited money cards, along the lines of these:

    Maybe your "linear style" looks different? There are three styles of money cards shown in FAQ 11-B. Is "linear style" perhaps one of those? Your cagey attitude suggests you either own such a deck or are considering purchasing one (and don't want anybody jumping in and outbidding you). That information (own versus buy) would have been helpful for me. All I can say is that the value of such things depends on:
    1. Age (not just apparent age)
    2. Condition (see FAQ 7-H)
    3. Desirability (beauty, uniqueness/rarity, usefulness...)
    That's all I can tell you, based on your email. I can't tell you the scarcity of something I can't see. Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 28, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Which thing happens clockwise?

    On Thursday, May 28, 2020, 06:23:57 AM PDT, Mary A wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    Everything moves counter-clockwise from one player to the next except for one thing, as I recall. When does a clockwise movement occur in the game?
    Sent from my iPad

    Good morning, Mary.
    The thing that happens clockwise is wall depletion. I suppose one of these images from FAQ 19-Q explains it better than the other, but I don't know which one is more effective at communicating this answer:

    Here's another way of looking at it: those two directions in one illustration:

    I'd love to hear back from you which illustration clarifies the answer better. Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 28, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Column 739

    On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 09:43:32 AM PDT, lindaz wrote:
    Column 739
    Hi Tom,
    Regarding Column 739--interesting that you used 5's in each problem. Was there a hidden message? I love your quizzes!
    Be well, Linda

    Hi, Linda! Glad you enjoy the quizzes. There was no hidden message in that one. Hope there were no hidden mistakes!
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 27, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Is there a way to disable Skip and Waiting?

    On Sunday, May 24, 2020, 09:31:43 PM PDT, Marcia S wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    I love playing on this site, but what really annoys me is the SKIP and Waiting for callers. They are such a waste of time. Is there any way my group can dismantle them?
    Marcy
    Sent from Marcy's iPad

    Hi, Marcia. Maybe if you say what mah-jongg site you play on,* another reader of this board might have secret knowledge of a way to disable those settings. Or you can ask the game's maker/publisher directly (see FAQ 24).
    * (You said "this site," but there's no playable game here.)
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 24, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Playing from the wrong wall, part 2

    On Friday, May 22, 2020, 06:21:37 PM PDT, Donna E wrote:
    Fwd: Playing from the wrong wall
    Tom hi,
    I always love all of your Q and A and continue to learn.
    In your answer about what happens when someone picks from the wrong wall. The answer in Mah Jongg Made Easy continues on the next page, page 22. (C) and says if someone notices, all hands are thrown in and the game starts over.
    Thank you,
    Donna

    You are quite right, Donna! I should have turned the page.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    Saturday, May 23, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Corrections to some part of your website

    On Friday, May 22, 2020, 10:31:00 AM PDT, Kirwan wrote:
    Corrections to Q&A
    Thank you for the great guidance and tips that you provide for playing Mahjong.
    I also enjoy reading your whimsical comments in the Q&A section. I did notice a few errors in the 2020 Q&A. You may have already heard them. If so, I apologize. I don't mean to be rude, but what else do I have to do these days.
    Here goes:
    Consecutive Run #2--the fourth Answer therein refers to "Consec #3"
    Consecutive Run #4--the illustration shows four flowers for a total of 18 tiles. There are no flowers in this hand.
    336 33669 336699 is labeled S&P #3 is really S&P #5. It also says S&P #3 in the Answer.
    None of these errors impact the correctness of your answer...thankfully.
    Stay safe.
    Carol K

    Thanks, Carol! Took me a while to figure out which part of my website you were talking about. I don't mean to be persnickety or in any way "teacherly" here - I get confused when someone refers to my FAQs as Q&A because to me, "Q&A" means this bulletin board where people ask questions and I give answers. When I started reading your email, at first I thought you were correcting one of my columns. But now I realize you're talking about FAQ 16 (which is, I suppose confusingly, written like a Q&A). And I thank you for the help in cleaning it up.
    You probably don't care but what happened is I copied a lot of those from previous FAQ 16s, since many of the hands are repeats from previous years. Again: I thank you for help in fixing copy-and-paste errors!
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 22, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Quints #1

    On Thursday, May 21, 2020, 01:43:32 PM PDT, Johanna K wrote:
    Quint question
    First line in Quints shows the numbers and dragons to be different colors, but the parenthesis says any suit, any dragon. Does that mean one can use dragons that match the number suit?
    johanna k

    Yep! See full explanation of how to interpret a hand whose color-coding seems to be contradicted by its parenthetical in FAQ 19-J.
    All the frequently asked questions about the 2020 NMJL card are answered in FAQ 16. I recommend you bookmark both.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 21, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    I see five 8 Bams.

    On Thursday, May 21, 2020, 12:48:13 PM PDT, Lee wrote:
    Check the 8 Bams.
    I see five 8 Bams. I did forward this screen shot to RealMahjong. I’m waiting for an explanation.

    I see five 8Bs too, Lee! How 'bout that, looks like you found a bug!
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 21, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Column 738

    On Thursday, May 21, 2020, 06:01:56 AM PDT, John H wrote:
    Column #738
    In column #738, hand #1, I agree with your discards, but I disagree with the comment you made in support of your decision: "Using the 6B and R pairs together with F and 6D, you have six tiles for Any Like #2." Any Like # 2 is a 2 suited hand; you've listed 6 tiles including all three suits, so you have at most five tiles toward that hand.
    I enjoy your site.
    Stay positive, test negative!
    John H

    You are absolutely right, John! I goofed. Positive/negative - good one!
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 21, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Not all players are female

    On Thursday, May 21, 2020, 05:31:01 AM PDT, Michael R wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    May 21, 2020
    Greetings Tom,
    I have been following your great columns and commentary for several years. Especially appreciating your comments on the new card when it appears each year…
    I understand that more and more males and younger players are learning and enjoying the game, for which I am pleased, as I am a male, who has been playing for several years, and teach on occasion to male players.
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: I noted in your recent Column #739 concerning ‘Defence against Two Exposures’ with the new 2020 card -
    - you provide 14 examples of hands
    - twenty (20) times in your explanations you use the words “her” or “she” - which gives me the appearance that you are only talking to women players.
    In Column #738 - no references to “her” or “she” in 7 exercises
    In Column # 737 - five hand examples, you refer to ‘she’ and ‘her’ a total of 24 times…..
    I did not take the time to look at other Columns… I think you got the ‘message’...
    I won’t belabour the point I am making - men DO play this game, with hopefully an increasing participation
    Please accept my comments gracefully, knowing that I am a great reader of your columns, quote you frequently, and study your commentaries faithfully….
    All of your columns are great and I enjoy reading and learning from your explanations and experience. Is there a more recent edition of your book from the 2007?
    Stay safe in this crazy world we are presently experiencing… good health,
    Regards,
    Michael R
    Montreal, Canada

    Greetings o fellow male in a female-dominated world!
    Comments accepted gracefully. And sorry, no - there is no newer edition as yet. My first tentative explorations at getting an update going was not met with enthusiasm. I need to give it another shot.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 21, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Playing from the wrong wall

    On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 05:55:28 AM PDT, Ginger D wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: Situation: Third wall pushed out, play continues and all players picked and discarded a couple of times, Problem: it was the wrong wall and one person wanted to throw tiles in , another said no because we all played.
    Question: Does play continue or is everyone dead and all tiles thrown in and restart of game?
    Sincerely
    Ginger

    Hi, Ginger!
    According to the 2020 edition of Mah Jongg Made Easy, the first player who picked from the wrong wall is dead, and all others continue playing from the wrong wall (and then resume from the correct wall when the wrong wall is depleted).

    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 20, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA

    See correction to this reply, posted on Saturday, May 23, above.


    Mystery piece

    On Monday, May 18, 2020, 06:05:43 AM PDT, Ann wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is: Thanks for your site! Love playing mah-jong with my family. I recently bought a set in an Asian grocery store in Australia. It came with this. Any idea what it's for? Thanks!

    Hi, Ann!
    You'll find this "mystery bit" described in FAQ 7-D. It's used to indicate "original East" for round-tracking purposes.
    Stay safe and healthy. And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 18, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    I am a customer and can't get any sound

    On Sunday, May 17, 2020, 01:31:04 PM PDT, Brenda H wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    I am a customer and can’t get any sound while playing.My iPad does normally have sound when I play.My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    Sent from my iPad

    Hi, Brenda.
    I'm sorry, but I did not make the game you are having a problem with. But I did write an article about how to get technical support for a computer game. I hope the article helps.

    Stay safe and healthy. And may the audio be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 17, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA

    P.S. - Here's another thought: maybe if you say which mah-jongg app you're playing, another reader of this board will be able to help you with your problem. - Tom


    what happens if you declare someone dead in error

    On Friday, May 8, 2020, 11:30:08 AM PDT, Rachael B wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:what happens if you declare someone dead in error
    Sent from my iPhone
    Have a great day!
    Rachael B

    Hi, Rachael!
    You need to pay her. Read FAQ 19-AB for the Erroneous Death Challenge rule details.
    Stay home, stay safe. Don't panic! And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 8, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Can I use a joker in the 2468 kong, part 2

    On Thursday, May 7, 2020, 01:16:35 PM PDT, Tanya N wrote:
    Re: Mahj Question
    Thank you!

    You're welcome!


    Can I use a joker in the 2468 kong?

    On Thursday, May 7, 2020, 10:19:43 AM PDT, Tanya N wrote:
    Mahj Question
    Regarding the 2020 national Mahj Jongg League card, under the "Singles and Pairs", the 4th combination:
    FF 2468 DD 2468 DD
    Can a joker be used for the 2, 4, 6 or 8?
    Thanks!

    Tanya, please find the answer to this question in FAQ 16.
    FAQ 16 answers all the frequently asked questions about the 2020 card.
    FAQ 19 answers all the frequently asked questions about National Mah Jongg League rules.
    Please bookmark them both!

    Stay home, stay safe. Don't panic! And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 7, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA

    P.S. "2468" is not a kong. See the previous question, below. - Tom



    Can I use a joker in the "2020" kong? Can I call a discard for the "2020" kong?

    On Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 06:20:05 PM PDT, Karanian <linda wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    When playing with the new 2020 card, can you use a joker in the “2020” Kong? And can you call for a tile in the “2020” Kong?
    Thanks!

    Linda, "2020" is not a kong. Read FAQ 19-E1.
    FAQ 19 answers all the most frequently-asked questions about American mah-jongg rules, and FAQ 16 answers all the most frequently-asked questions about the NMJL card.
    Stay home, stay safe. Don't panic! And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 6, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Do you think these are really stone?

    On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 02:36:21 AM PDT, Stefan S wrote:
    Japanese (?) Mah-Jongg set
    Dear Mr. Sloper,
    I hope you are well and healthy. My name is Stefan S and I'm
    writing from Leipzig, Germany. About two weeks ago I bought a set as a
    gift. Unfortunately, the flower tiles are missing and although I
    understand that they are not essential, it would be great if I could
    replace them. However, I am stuck at the first step of identifying the
    material the other Tiles are made of.
    The vendor claimed that the set was made from stone. The previous owner
    said in Japan around 1940. The material is comparatively light, though.
    I estimate the density around 1.7 g/cm3 or 0.06 pound per cubic inch.
    Also, stone seems to be a very uncommon material. Yet, I can not see any
    lines indicating growth. (I have no experience whatsoever in the
    matter.) Besides, there are sticks - I guess for counting point - that
    are made from bone and they are distinctively more yellowish than the
    tiles. On a close up one can see particles and a little bit of
    structure, but everything seems homogeneous and isotropic. I will send a
    few pictures in another mail. I want to make sure that the first one
    gets through.
    The box is wood with the front sliding upwards and drawers. Compared
    with the ones on your page it appears rather primitive. There are no
    Arabic numbers or Latin letters on the tiles except on the one of dots.
    These tiles bear the letters "NSK" on the center.
    I understand that any definite statement would probably be rather
    difficult from afar. But anything you'd be willing to say would be
    appreciated.
    kind regards
    Stefan

    On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 02:54:24 AM PDT, Stefan S wrote:
    Re: Japanese (?) Mah-Jongg set
    Dear Mr. Sloper,
    here are some pictures. The ruler is in centimeters. Along the long edge
    the tiles are very close to one inch. Please let me know if there is
    anything you would like to see in greater detail.
    kind regards
    Stefan S

    Hi, Stefan. You wrote:

    Japanese (?)
    That seems likely. I have seen initials only in Japanese sets. And the "N" in NSK is likely "Nippon," in other words "Japan." The "K" probably means "Kabushiki-gaisha," or the Japanese equivalent of "Incorporated Company." NSK is probably Nippon Seiko Kabushiki-gaisha, a company that's been around since 1916 and today is primarily known for automotive bearings and automotive parts.

    The vendor claimed that the set was made from stone.
    I don't know. Stone is uncommon for mah-jongg sets (not as robust as plastic, more breakable/scuffable). Sorry I can't help you from your words and photos.

    Stay home, stay safe. Don't panic! And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    Cinco de Mayo, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    She had mah-jongg at the end of the Charleston

    On Monday, May 4, 2020, 04:31:04 AM PDT, Jeffrey L wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    What was the quickest Man Jongg you ever saw?
    Last night, the dealer got Mah Jongg at the earliest possible point.
    When asked to discard their tile to begin the game (after all the passes were complete), they declared Mah Jongg…And with only one Joker!!
    We were using the 2020 card and their hand was a closed 35 point value of FF 1 33 555 (Dot) 5 77 99J (Crack)
    Have you ever seen that happen? What are the odds?
    Thanks

    Hi, Jeffrey! You wrote:

    What was the quickest Man Jongg you ever saw?
    [Shrug] I don't know.

    Last night, the dealer got Mah Jongg at the earliest possible point.
    No, it's possible to have mah-jongg even earlier than that (before the Charleston even begins). Column 666 describes "Heavenly Hand."

    When asked to discard their tile to begin the game (after all the passes were complete), they declared Mah Jongg…And with only one Joker!!
    Well, that isn't "Heavenly Hand," but still pretty special.

    Have you ever seen that happen?
    No.

    What are the odds?
    Forty-two. See FAQ 19-CI.

    Stay home, stay safe. Don't panic! And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May the Fourth be with you, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Encouragement to continue operating Sloperama.com

    On Monday, May 4, 2020, 03:16:36 AM PDT, service@paypal wrote:
    You received a payment
    Hello Thomas Sloper,
    You received a payment from Evelyn Henderson for Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers
    Customer details
    Customer name: Evelyn H
    Amount received: $10.00 USD
    For: Sloperama Mah-Jongg Answers
    Amount paid each time: $10.00 USD
    Maximum amount you can bill: $10.00 USD
    Billing cycle: Monthly
    Next payment due: Jun 4, 2020
    Sincerely,
    PayPal

    Thank you again, Evelyn!
    Stay home, stay safe. Don't panic! And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May the Fourth be with you, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Mystery tiles

    On Sunday, May 3, 2020, 07:58:12 PM PDT, pat harmoniqueinc.com wrote:
    What are these tiles?
    I have several mahjong sets that we purchased in dusty markets in Beijing about 15 years ago. We bought them to make jewelry, (not to play) but now I’m interested in learning to play and am trying to understand which sets are complete and have not been cannibalized beyond use for the game. Every few sets have 4 of these tiles which I can’t figure out. Any ideas what these tiles mean or how they are used? Thanks!
    Patricia B
    “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” St. Augustine

    Hi, Pat.
    The "Mystery Tiles FAQ" is FAQ 7-E (see links above left). Your tiles look like they might be jokers but I'm not sure (the writing doesn't match the usual joker "100 uses" I'm used to). They might be special "king/emperor" tiles, I'm not sure. You might enjoy browsing the Mystery Flowers FAQ too, if nothing in the Mystery Jokers FAQ comes close enough.
    If you are trying to decide which mah-jongg variant to learn, it depends on whether you want to play with an antique set (in which case you can't play American mah-jongg), or whether you have friends who play, in which case you should learn their variant. See FAQ 1.
    Stay home, stay safe. Don't panic! And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 3, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    How do I report a hack

    On Sunday, May 3, 2020, 02:30:17 AM PDT, lordy f wrote:
    Game bug
    Hey I've read you're article...it's awesome
    How do I report the game developers about the game hack by hackers and making money out of it by selling items on the game and the people who can't spend money are having bad experience in game...
    Thank you

    Hi Lordy,
    You say you have read my article, but I don't know which of my many articles you have read. In FAQ 24 I discussed how to get in contact with the makers or publishers of your game, be it a mah-jongg game or not.
    Stay home, stay safe. Don't panic! And may the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 3, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    I can't get in touch with the NMJL office - do you know of a workaround?

    On Saturday, May 2, 2020, 08:42:51 PM PDT, Leona W wrote:
    Mah-Jongg Q+A
    Hi Tom,
    My mah-jongg question or comment is:
    I have not received my 2020 card. I have an email receipt from National Mah Jongg League dated 12/19/19 so I had my order in quite early. There’s no way to reply to the email and the New York office is closed. Do you know of any way of contacting folks at the office to resolve my problem.
    Thanks.
    Leona W

    Hi Leona,
    New York City is going through a terrible ordeal with the COVID-19 virus, the ordeal is not over yet, and many businesses are simply not open yet. I'm afraid you'll just have to be patient a little longer. I'm sure the League staff are all anxious to get back to work, but they want to do it safely.
    Also, as I wrote in the Terms Of Service above, I don't like being asked to get someone in touch with someone else; it puts me in an awkward position. I don't share contact information, I don't connect people, and I don't relay messages - I hope you understand!
    Stay home, stay safe. And may your order be with you before too long.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May 2, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    What are these mystery tiles, part 4

    On Friday, May 1, 2020, 10:09:30 AM PDT, Outlook Express wrote:
    Re: Mystey Tile
    Hi Tom,
    Mystery Tiles (now identified as Jokers).
    I will most likely buy the set anyway, as you hinted, if the price is reasonable. It will be my first Chinse/ Asian set. I have already learned the necesary Chinese letters and numbers for the cracks and winds.
    Kind regards,
    Peter A.

    Excellent!
    Stay home, stay safe. May the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    May Day, 2020
    Los Angeles, California, USA


    Looking for an older post? Just click the link below! Several times a year, older postings are archived so as to keep this bulletin board lean and quicker to load. The archive goes back several years, and it's real easy to access older questions and answers!

    WANNA SEE MORE MAH-JONGG Q&A?
    CLICK HERE to go back in time and read older Mah-Jongg Q&A postings!
    CLICK HERE to return to the present and see the latest Mah-Jongg Q&A postings!


      Color key


        • Green = a happy email from a grateful reader.
        • DarkBlue = an FAQ, a question that's been asked and answered frequently.
        • Purple = an less-than-happy email from a reader with a complaint.
        • Red = a forbidden technical support question about a computer game.
        • Orange = an out-of-the-ordinary email.
        • Black = none of the above. Regular mah-jongg question or comment: one that is not an FAQ, neither happy nor unhappy.


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