Jewish Journal


by Elaine Sandberg

February 20, 2011 | 3:45 pm

                              ERRONEOUS EXPOSURE

I’ve been receiving several questions about Exposures that have been challenged and found to be incorrect—particularly if the Exposure contains Jokers.  What happens to the Jokers?  Are they available to be exchanged or not?  The answer is sometimes Yes and sometimes No. “Timing is everything”—an old cliché but still relevant—especially in Mahj—-an essential element—if you want to capture someone’s exposed Jokers!

The answer is “Yes” if the Exposure containing a Joker is made before a subsequent Exposure is challenged and found to be erroneous.

An example: Let’s say a player has made an Exposure of a Pung of 2s with a Joker.  Then she makes an Exposure of a Pung of 3s with a Joker.  Her second Exposure is incorrect because there is no Exposed hand on the card that requires a Pung of 2s and a Pung of 3s. Her Exposure has to be challenged and she must return the incorrect Exposure to the rack and the Joker and hand is “dead”.  However the Pung of 2s with a Joker is “exchangeable”.

When an incorrect Mah Jongg is declared, the answer is again “Yes” and “No”—depending upon whether the Exposures are made before the challenge to a declaration of “Mahj” or after. “Yes” if the Exposures are made before the incorrect Mahj is declared. The Jokers are “exchangeable”.

“No”—if the Jokers are exposed after the declaration of an incorrect Mahj hand. They are not exchangeable. Only the incorrect Exposures and their Jokers must be returned to the rack and the hand declared “Dead”.

If no Exposures have been made and an incorrect Mahj hand containing Jokers is challenged, the answer again is “No”. The whole hand must be returned to the rack and the hand is declared “Dead”.

An order to “Play Dead” might result in a treat for Fido, but will, no doubt, result in a penalty for the mistaken Mahj player. 

Til the next time….




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A kid from Brooklyn, a graduate of Syracuse University and an immigrant to California via Palo Alto, San Juan Capistrano, finally, Los Angeles, I have been here for the past 15...

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