Last night, just as I was beginning cocktail hour before a family dinner, the phone rang and it was my long time friend Lorraine. I thought she wanted to chat and I would have to cut things short since I had company, but no! It was a call for the Mah Jongg Doctor!
She was playing MJ with a group of friends in Florida and a question came up.
She had already exposed a kong of 4 bams with no joker. She had a joker but didn't use it. Now she needed 2 singletons: 2BAM and 4BAM.
"I know the hand," I said. "You're playing with an old card."
"Yes, we didn't have enough 2011 cards. I should have used a joker in the exposure!" she said, "and saved the other 4 BAM."
"Yes," I said.
"So, am I dead?"
"Not if you can use the Kong of 4BAMS for another hand. AND....you don't call yourself dead. That's up to another player to do. If they're right, you stop picking and the rest of the table gets more picks. If the other player is wrong, that player is dead."
You can only be called dead if the other players can tell from you're exposures that you're playing a hand that can no longer be made because tiles that you need are already discarded. Ususally for pairs.
Or you can be called dead if you have exposed a hand that is concealed (and it couldn't be another hand) or if you do not have the correct number of tiles in your hand.
Note: This year's card has a similar hand:
FFFF 3333 x 5555 = 15
Don't forget to save a natural 5 and 1 for the singletons at the end of this hand!
Enjoy the game and call or email if you have a Mah Jongg Emergency!