Jewish Journal


May 22, 2011



                                                                    DEAD OR ALIVE?

About a month ago I wrote a post about a player who declared herself Dead, because she had made Exposures for a hand she thought was no longer on the card—one she remembered from the 2010 card—the 2nd Consecutive Run hand, which required a Pung and a Kong of 2 consecutive numbers in any one Suit.
She made Exposures of a Pung of 3Dots and a Kong of 4Dots.

The theme of the post was that it was not a good idea to call yourself Dead, because it gave you opponents a 25% greater chance to win and it was the responsibility of the other players to make that discovery, not yours.

Well, a really sharp reader, Arlene Herman, wrote to point out that the player’s Exposures were legit—calling attention to the 1st Quint hand, which require a Pung of 3s and a Kong of 4s in any one Suit.  So Kudos to you, Arlene, for your expert reading of the new card and many thanks for your comment. 

Now let’s talk about another situation regarding a Dead hand.  I got an email from a reader who asked if I thought her play-mates were being unfair and “mean” when her hand was called “Dead” because she mistakenly exposed a Concealed hand. She felt, since she was playing a “friendly” game, and the card was “new”, her mistake might (should) have been forgiven.
Having been there a couple of times in my playing life, I was sympathetic to the situation, understanding the feeling of being wrong….But Mah Jongg is inherently a competitive game.  Making a mistake has consequences and players do and should take advantage of it.  So unfortunately, reader, No, your play-mates were not unfair or mean.  It’s the game. And hopefully, from now on you will check whether a hand is Exposed or Concealed before you start to play.

Til the next time….










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