Jewish Journal


June 27, 2011



                                                              14 TILES FOR EAST

There are a couple of peculiar things about mah jongg.  One is why East gets fourteen tiles and another is why they are chosen by picking the first and third tile off the top..  It’s one of the questions I invariably get asked by someone in class.  At last—-the answers!

Why East gets fourteen tiles is easy.  Fourteen tiles are needed for Mahj and East is given the privilege having the possibility of having Mah Jongg as an opening hand before the start of the Charleston.  Actually, there is a name for it—The Heavenly Hand.  Personally, I have never experienced any East ever having the Heavenly Hand.  But I guess it’s a possibility… albeit an infinitesimal possibility…..

Why does East pick the first and third tiles off the top???? I have finally discovered the answer while doing research for my Strategy book (coming out in the Spring of 2012).  Again, the rule states East starts with 14 tiles.  So everyone picks 12 tiles—3 rounds of 4 tiles each.  East,  instead of waiting two turns to pick 14 tiles, picks the 1st tile as #13 and the 3rd tile as #14 in one turn.  Everyone else picks the 13th tile in their proper turn.  Simple!!!!! And makes sense…I guess

I’ll be gone for the week-end of the 4th so HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY!

Til the next time….



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