Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome New Mah Jongg Players!

New Mah Jongg enthusiasts are on the horizon.  Our beginning class started last week and we are so excited for them!

To get them started, let's talk about what to do when you first open your hand of 13 tiles!

Here's a sample hand chosen at random.
First sort the tiles into suits and numerical order.


Jokers on the left.  You probably won't be discarding them.  And you aren't ALLOWED to pass them.  Why would you want to??

Let's look for some tiles that go together.  Same suit?  Same number?  Lots of winds or dragons?


The strength of this hand are the two pairs:  8 BAMS and 9 BAMS...and they're consecutive, too!
It would also be best to keep the 8 CRAK,  9 DOT and Red Dragon.  First passing tiles will be the 5 tiles on the right of the rack...unless of course other tiles come to you that indicate another hand.  Not a simple game, is it!?!

See if you can find hands on the card that would use those tiles.
There are at least 6...maybe more.
A HINT:   All 6 are located in just 4 sections of the card. 

See if you can find them...answer tomorrow.  Knowing those hands will help you know what to keep...and what to pass when the Charleston starts.  And what to keep and throw when the game starts.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the concealed hand

Why do players avoid the concealed hand?  I know...it's hard when you can't call...but the advantage is that you CAN'T expose...so others have much less idea what you're playing.  And you don't have to think about calling during play.  BUT...you do have to keep track of how many of your tiles are going out!

Now,  I didn't say they DON'T know what you're playing....they could have some idea.  If winds are going around in the passing...and they don't get thrown when play begins, someone is keeping them.
Maybe a concealed winds hand. 

OK...so you usually need a couple of jokers for a concealed hand...to make up for those discards that you can't call.  Unless you're doing a singles and pairs hand, which is always concealed.

Just be careful not to expose 3 winds.....a sure giveaway that you've exposed a pung in a concealed hand!  You're DEAD!

PS:  Tonight the doctors introduce a new class of beginners to the game of Mah Jongg!  What fun!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tournament Follow up

Didn't win or place, but I showed up and had fun.

And....just to follow up on my last post about playing outrageous hands:

In the very last round, I opened with:

2 Crak, Soap, 1Crak, 1Crak, 2 Bam, Soap, 1Bam, 1Bam, 1Dot....and a few other tiles.

What could I do!  I had to play it.

I picked another 1Dot, a 2Dot, and two flowers.  Now I'm set to call.  I just need the last Soap!

No Soaps are out.  As I pick and throw, I have this sudden realization.  Someone has a pair of Soaps and they're using them!  Bummer!

I was right.  The player to my left was playing the like numbers hand with 3 soaps and she had 2.
But the thrill of coming SO CLOSE to that hand.....what fun!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Tournament

I've been in Atlantic City for 3 days at the Four Seasons Mah Jongg Tournament.  Joanne Bourne runs an excellent tournament.  It's well organized and the rules are clearly defined.

12 rounds (48 games) and a chance to come out on top for the prize of $1000.

Here's how it starts:

I sit down in the first round and make the first Mah Jongg.  Just a 25 point hand, but I picked it myself, (an extra 10 points.)  Hey.... I'm off to a good start.  Then I come within 1 tile of a quints hand but don't make it, there's a wall game (we all get 10 points) and again...almost a quint hand for me,  but someone else makes a hand first. The round is over and I've got 45 points.

Round two.  Can't get a joker to save my life.
So, I finally make a pairs hand:  FF NN EW SS 11 22 33
I get 10 points extra because it's jokerless....so now I have 60 to add to my 45: 105

Round three:   No mah jonggs for me.  A wall game.  +10  And I throw Mah Jongg to an exposed hand.  -10.  I end the round with 0 and 105 for the evening.

At this point I'm not really in the running any longer.  The top score for the first night is somewhere above 300. 

But win or lose,  I'm here to play fast, fun Mah Jongg and that's what I do.  I love this game and this is where I can get lots of it!  Today is the last day and there are 3 more rounds.  I'll be bold.  Play some outrageous hands if I can.  Maybe I'll try FF 2011 2011 2011!
At the last tournament I made: FFFF 3333 5555 15 for the very first time!  I love making a hand I've never done before!

And I'll continue to have fun!  What could be better than four days in Atlantic city.  Even though the tournament is over today at 1PM,  I'm staying until tomorrow.  There are casinos here, too, you know!

It's a great experience.  I meet folks from all over.  We chat over lunch.  They've come from 7 different states, as far away as California, and range in age from 44 to 92.  There is even 1 man.  Someday, more men will realize what a great game this is!

~S.



Monday, September 5, 2011

Back to School

It's September already and kids are going back to school.
So are the Mah Jongg Doctors!

We begin our classes through Lakeland Continuing Education on Sept. 20.
We're teaching 2 classes this semester:

Beginning Mah Jongg - 1  (for those just starting out)
and
Beginning Mah Jongg - 2 (for those with some knowledge of the game, or who have completed Mah Jongg 1)

You can read all about it  here.  Click on Fun and Games


And you can get the registration form here!