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SLOPER ON MAH-JONGG

By Tom Sloper
December 5, 2014

No. 590

American Mah Jongg (NMJL rules). Is it a real rule? Is it a myth? Is it an ex-rule?

1. You can earn a jokerless bonus if you make a quints hand (the minimum possible number of jokers counts as "jokerless").
    a. Real rule
    b. Apocryphal (not a rule)
    c. Deprecated (used to be a real rule)
2. You must have a natural tile (a non-joker) in a concealed set of identical tiles (pung, kong, quint).
    a. Real rule
    b. Apocryphal (not a rule)
    c. Deprecated (used to be a real rule)
3. You must have a natural tile (a non-joker) in an exposed set of identical tiles (pung, kong, quint).
    a. Real rule
    b. Apocryphal (not a rule)
    c. Deprecated (used to be a real rule)
4. You can pick up the most recent natural tile when the most recent discarder said "same" when discarding a joker.
    a. Real rule
    b. Apocryphal (not a rule)
    c. Deprecated (used to be a real rule)
5. The player who speaks the claim first gets the disputed discard.
    a. Real rule
    b. Apocryphal (not a rule)
    c. Deprecated (used to be a real rule)
6. The dealer is the one who distributes the tiles to each player during the deal.
    a. Real rule
    b. Apocryphal (not a rule)
    c. Deprecated (used to be a real rule)
7. The fifth player, if there is one, replaces the player who dealt the previous hand.
    a. Rule
    b. Optional rule
    c. Table rule
8. The dealer wins instantly if she has a complete hand before she passes any tiles in the Charleston.
    a. Rule
    b. Optional rule
    c. Table rule
9. You can keep playing after a death challenge, if you're positive you are playing a valid hand.
    a. Rule
    b. Optional rule
    c. Table rule

Answers:
1: b. 2: b. 3: a*. 4: c. 5: b. 6: b. 7: a. 8: a**. 9: a.
*You cannot claim a discarded joker - you can only claim a discarded natural. So there must be at least one natural in an exposed set.
**I requested and received the rule direct from League president Ruth Unger, since the rule is not published in print anywhere from the League. See FAQ 19 -- it's Frequently Asked Question 19.BJ.



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Where to order the yearly NMJL card: Read FAQ 7i.

Need rules for American mah-jongg? Tom Sloper's book, The Red Dragon & The West Wind, is the most comprehensive book in existence about the American game. AND see FAQ 19 for fine points of the American rules (and commonly misunderstood rules). AND get the official rulebook from the NMJL (see FAQ 3). Linda Fisher's website is the only website that describes American rules: http://sites.google.com/site/mahjrules/.


© 2014 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.