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Jewish Journal

TO RACK OR NOT TO RACK

by Elaine Sandberg

February 27, 2011 | 6:52 pm

TO RACK OR NOT TO RACK—THAT IS THE QUESTION

Once again, the controversy over whether to rack your tile or not is the topic of today’s post. It is a point of disagreement in many groups.

For those who are not familiar with the strategy of racking—-it is to immediately place the tile just picked from the Wall into the rack, next to the other tiles.

It is a defensive strategy because as soon as a tile is racked, no player may call for the just discarded tile. If the tile is not racked, a player may call, until the tile is racked or, as the rule (It’s #5 on the back of your card.) states, “discarded”. So the longer you hold the tile, or turn it upside down, or look at, or think about it before you rack it, the greater opportunity there is for another player to call. (And tapping it on top of your rack is not “racking”.)

So with that in mind, the other day my friend Susan complained to me that her group was, unfortunately, at odds because some people racked and others didn’t and when a player called a tile, there followed a controversy about whether racking should be the reason a player’s call was negated. 

Susan is a “racker” and, as it turned out, she was the center of the disagreement. She explained someone, we’ll call Joan, had called. Susan objected saying “I already racked”, followed by Joan complaining it wasn’t fair and she didn’t rack when she picked, so Susan shouldn’t have racked. (Logic I don’t quite follow!)  So to keep the peace in the group, Susan relented and Joan made her Exposure.

“What can I do?” she asked. “They’re my friends.” 

Well, this is not the first time I’ve been asked that. But if no one in your group racks, or if everyone racks, it’s obviously not a problem. But if some do and some don’t, it is.

So my suggestion to Susan was to make a “table rule” that everyone agrees to—a player who doesn’t want to rack, doesn’t, and a player who wants to rack, does, and if the call is negated by a racker, so be it—and no complaints!

I have a feeling that under those circumstances, everyone will soon be racking!

Til next time…
MAY THE TILES BE WITH YOU! 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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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