Jewish Journal


December 19, 2010




I received an email from a former student the other day, describing a situation that was the cause of some “problem” in her group.  She asked for my “professional opinion”.

Actually, there is no “opinion”, but a definite rule, which I gave.

Here is what she wrote, in essence. 

Evie (we’ll call her) called a tile and placed it up on her rack.  She then started to put the rest of the Exposure out when she looked at her hand and realized she had made a mistake and said, “Oh, I don’t want it.” She put the tiles back in her hand and replaced the called tile to the table. The others in the group complained loudly that she couldn’t do that. They declared that once a tile was called and placed up on the rack, the tile could not be replaced to the table, and the Exposure must be made, no matter what! Peer pressure prevailed and after some reluctance on her part, Evie finally did expose, even tho it wasn’t what she wanted.

My email student asked if this was correct.

Here’s the answer.  In Evie’s case, the group was correct. Once you call a tile, place it up on your rack and expose any part of the combination, you are stuck with that Exposure, no matter what.

But you may return the called tile to the table if you do not expose any other part of your combination, with no penalty.

Evie had inadvertently revealed vital information about the hand she was playing, even tho she made an incorrect Exposure, because the others now had a big clue to what she needed.

My student emailed me a “Thanks” and the result of the game—that Evie didn’t Mahj “because we all knew what she wanted”.

So, be sure to check before you call and Expose.  The mistake can be fatal.

Til next time….


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