Jewish Journal


by Elaine Sandberg

June 6, 2011 | 1:58 am

                                                                  THE SLOW PLAYER

There are many things in Life about which one should be cautious. Being prudent and careful, in many cases, reflects an intelligent and reasonable solution to problems and decisions—like buying a house or a new car or even what to wear to a special event.  And even in Mah Jongg, being cautious and careful reflects good judgment.

But being cautious and careful doesn’t equate to being a slow player. 

A slow player, after learning the game and playing for a while, has a difficult time keeping up with the pace of the game and is indecisive. Unfortunately, many times they are not included and “can’t find” a game.  It’s an unhappy situation for everyone. 

The reason for hesitation and indecision is usually a lack of solid knowledge of the hands on the card—ones available to you and hands others’ Exposures reveal.  A slow player concentrates her attention exclusively on one chosen hand, sometimes by keeping her finger on it throughout the game, revealing to anyone who cares to look, what hand she is playing—is indecisive about keeping or discarding tiles, doesn’t pay attention——to discards, misses opportunities to call the ones she needs, and because knowledge of the hands is weak, finding a new hand becomes almost impossible.

For those who might find themselves in this situation, take heart!  There is a remedy—albeit not easy—but simple!!!

Study the card!  How do you study the card?  By attending to its distinctive characteristics.  For example, there is only one hand that requires a Pung of East and a Pung of West, the 5th Winds/Dragon hand.  Look for how many and which hands require a Pung of 2s vs. a Kong of 2s.  Which hands call for a Pung of nines vs. a Kong of nines.  Which hands require a Pair of Flowers. One hand requires a Pung of Dragons, the Like Numbers hand, and so on.  Pretty soon you’ll start to remember the similarities between your tiles and the cards’ hands.  And pretty soon your skill level will increase—so will your speed and your confidence.
It may take work, time and trouble, but the rewards are more than worth the effort—-you will become a terrific Mahj player!!!!!!

So…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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