Jewish Journal


June 19, 2011



                                                                        THE ATOMIC HAND

There hasn’t been a substantial change to mah jongg sets since 1964, when the League ruled that sets should contain 8 Jokers.  Before that, 2 and then 4 Jokers were mandated in the early 60s and before that there were no “official” Jokers.  Sets sometimes came with up to 22 Flowers, which could be used as Jokers.  And it’s been almost 50 years that any substantial changes to the traditional card and its hands have been made.  And actually, although the hands do “change” year to year, they still remain basically the same.

I have recently been made aware of something new—called “Atomic Hand”  or “Nuclear Hand”.  Sounds Explosive!  It’s a hand that consists of Pairs—any Pairs.  I confess, a friend, in passing, said her group was playing it and reported that lots of people are playing it and it was great fun. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to pursue the details.  So I don’t know what the parameters, restrictions, its monetary value, etc. are. Does “Any Pairs” mean Dragons, Winds,  Flowers,  any Suits,  etc. to make up an Atomic Hand?

So, if any of you are familiar with it or have seen it or have played it, please let me know what you know.  I would be really grateful and would love to try it myself.  Maybe, even the League might like to hear about it……

You can leave a “Comment” or email me at elasan@msn.com. And thanks!

Til the next time…

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