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NMJL Rules (FAQ 19)
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FAQ 16. Frequently-Asked Questions about the 2022* National Mah Jongg League card


Did You Know? 2022 and NEWS are not kongs! (That means no jokers, and no exposure prior to mah-jongg.)
This principle also applies to "246" (2468 #8), "1122" (Quints #3), "357" (13579 #4), and the bottom S&P hand on the 2022 card. Jokers may only be used in groups of 3 or more Like tiles, and only groups of 3 or more Like tiles may be exposed prior to mah-jongg.


FF GGGG 2022 RRRR (2022 in Any 1 Suit, Dragons - Greens and Reds Only)
(2022 #1)


222 000 2222 2222 (2s Any 3 Suits)
(2022 #2)


FFFF 2022 222 222 (Any 3 Suits)
(2022 #3)


FF 2022 2022 2022 (Any 3 Suits)
(2022 #5)


FFF 2222 FFF 8888 (Any 2 Suits - These Nos. Only)
(2468 #6)


22 444 44 666 8888 (Any 3 Suits)
(2468 #7)


FF 246 888 246 888 (Any 2 Suits)
(2468 #8)


FFF 1111 FFF 1111 (Any 2 Suits)
(Any Like Numbers #1)


111 DD 111 DD 1111 (Any 3 Suits)
(Any Like Numbers #2)


FF 1111 DDDD 1111 (Any 3 Suits)
(Any Like Numbers #3)


DDDDD NNNN 11111 (Any Dragon, Any Wind, Any No.)
(Quints #1)


1122 33333 33333 (Any 3 Suits, Any 3 Consec. Nos.)
(Quints #3)

    There is no space between the 1122. Does that mean it is not two pairs and you can use a joker?
    What difference does it make if there's space between the pairs or not? Spaces on the card have no significance whatsoever. The back of the card states that jokers may be used only in a pung, kong, quint, or sextet. The terms "pung" and "kong" and "quint" and "sextet" are also defined on the back of the card. "1122" is not four like tiles, so it is not a kong. (It's also not a pung, quint, or sextet.) Look for the word "NEVER" in big bold capital letters on the back of the card (circled).

    Do the two pairs (the 1122) have to be lower than the quints, or can they both be higher, or can I put one pair lower and one pair higher?
    The symbols indicate that 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. You can't mess with the order of the pairs and quints!


CONSECUTIVE RUN

    Can I use zeroes in Consecutive Runs? Like 000 1111 222 3333 or 777 8888 999 0000?
    No. The only place on the card where you are permitted to use zero is where the card shows a numeral "0". Read FAQ 19-BH.


11 22 333 444 5555 -or- 55 66 777 888 9999 (These Nos. Only)
(Consecutive Run #1)

    Can I make this hand with different numbers, like 4-5-6-7-8?
    No. Read the parenthetical: "These Nos. Only."


FFF 1111 FFF 2222 (Any 2 Suits in Any 2 Consec. Nos.)
(Consec #2)

    This hand wants two pungs of flowers? Really?
    Yes, really. See the answers to 2468 #6 (above) if you want to ask something about those flower pungs.

    Do I have to use just ones and twos?
    No. Read the parenthetical.

    Do I have to use bams and craks?
    No. Read the parenthetical.


FF 1111 2222 3333 -or- FF 1111 2222 3333 (Any Run)
(Consecutive Run #3)

    Does "Any Run" mean I can use different numbers?
    Yes. Any three consecutive numbers.


11 333 5555 777 99 -or- 11 333 5555 777 99 (Any 1 or 3 Suits)
(13579 #1)

    It's just the odd numbers, I get that, but how about if I make it 11 3333 555 77 999 for example?
    No, you can never mess with the size of the tile groupings on the card. The suits are flexible, and in Consecutive Runs the numbers are mostly flexible, but the tile grouping sizes are set in stone. Kongs shown on the card must always be kongs, pungs must always be pungs, pairs must most definitely always be pairs. 13579 #1 must be played as a pair of ones, a pung of threes, a kong of fives, a pung of sevens, and a pair of nines.


1111 333 5555 DDD - or - 5555 777 9999 DDD (Any 1 Suit with Matching Dragons)
(13579 #5)

    It does not say 'these nos only' in parenthesis so could I make 3333 555 7777 DDD?
    No. When there's no parenthetical, the card means what it says. Read FAQ 19-AJ.


1111 NN E W SS 1111 (Any Like Odd or Even Nos.)
(Winds - Dragons #4)

    Hand #4 under Winds and Dragons.... it states "any like odd or even number" and shows the numbers as bams and craks.
    No, it doesn't! It shows the numbers in green and red, but that does NOT mean bams and craks. Read the back of the card and FAQ 19-BY.

    I am assuming it's ANY TWO SUITS for the like numbers in the Winds hand... but I'm sure other people will have other opinions and say "it's bams and craks ONLY." Please clarify!
    You assume correctly; it's any two suits.

    Is this really any like number?
    Yes. Since it says "odd or even," it's truly ANY like number.

    Unsure why the card bothers describing it as odd or even.
    Surely so that it doesn't have to be listed twice, like
    1111 NN E W SS 1111 (any odd) and
    2222 NN E W SS 2222 (any even). Saves space on the card, doncha see.

    can the numbers be 1111 and 3333 for odds?
    No, those aren't like numbers. Can be 3333 and 3333 or 8888 and 8888... For an odd and even example.

    can the numbers be zeroes?
    No. The only place you can use zero is where you see "0" printed on the card.


NNN E W SSS DDD DDD (Any 2 Dragons)
(Winds - Dragons #7)

    Do the dragons have to be greens and reds?
    They're not marked G and R, so they're any dragons. Oh, and then there's the parenthetical right there: it says "Any 2 Dragons".


3333 6666 999 999 (Any 3 Suits, Pungs 9s Only in Opp. Suits)
(369 #5)

    Can you use 333 333 or 666 666 instead of 999 999?
    No. Read the parenthetical.


11 33 55 77 99 11 11 (Odd Nos. in Any 1 Suit, Any Pairs of Like Odd Nos. in Opp. Suits)
(S&P #2)

    What does "any pairs of like odd nos. in opp. suits" mean?
    It means that for the two pairs at the right, you don't have to use ones. You can use either ones, threes, fives, sevens, or nines. And they must be the two suits you didn't use for the 13579 pairs sequence.

    Could I use a pair of, for instance, threes and a pair of sevens?
    No. They have to be "like" (alike). Read FAQ 19-AU.

    What does "opp. suits" mean?
    That means that your two same-number pairs cannot be in the same suit as your 11 33 55 77 99.


FF 22 46 88 22 46 88 (Any 2 suits)
(S&P #2)

    Why isn't there a space between the 4 and the 6?
    Why do you think there should be a space there?

    Hey, I'm the one who's supposed to be asking the questions here!
    Turnabout is fair play. (~_^)


11 22 33 44 55 66 77 (Any 7 Consec. Nos.)
(S&P #4)

    Do those seven pairs have to be same color(even though not stated) or can they just be consecutive ? Of different colors
    The card's color-coding is explained on the back of the card.


    Every player should read the back of the NMJL card
    every year. There may be changes, and many frequently
    asked questions are answered on the card.
    Every player owes it to the other players to know
    all these basic rules of the game.

    It says right up top that 1 color means any 1 suit. So you have to use seven consecutive number pairs in one suit.


336 33669 336699 (Any 3 Suits)
(S&P #6)

    That's a pung, a quint, and a sextet - so can I use a joker? And can I call for exposure?
    No. There is no pung in the hand, and there is no quint, and there is no sextet. The terms "pung" and "quint" and "sextet" apply only to "like tiles" (like = identical). These "groupings" in S&P #5 are made up of singles and pairs. Look at the title of this section of the card. It's called "Singles and Pairs" because, well, it's all ... single tiles, and pairs of identical tiles.

    In this section of the card, you cannot use jokers, and you cannot make any exposures, not only because all the hands are marked with a C but also because the hands in this section are all made solely of "Singles and Pairs." Read FAQ 19E (click here). Also: every player should read everything on the NMJL card. Turn it over and look at the back. Look for the word "NEVER" (in all bold capital letters).

    Can I call a discard if it's the tile I need to complete this hand for mah-jongg?
    Yes.

    Isn't there supposed to be a 2022 2022 2022 hand at the bottom right corner?
    There's no rule such as what you're thinking there is. I don't know why it was moved to the 2022 section, not that that doesn't make sense.


Didn't find what you were looking for in this FAQ? Check these links...


The official rulebook, and a newsletter. Every table should have the official 2020 revised rulebook.
Every year, the League issues rule clarifications in its newsletter. Every person who buys the card
directly from the League receives a subscription to the newsletter, which is mailed every January.


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