Saturday, June 1, 2013

Mah Jongg Tip #3--Learning to Switch Hands When Needed

At the mah jongg table this week, one of the ladies who has been playing for
about a year, was attempting to make the NEWS hand. She was not
successful in doing so. When the game was over, she showed us her
rack. It looked like this--FF, 1 white dragon, 2 jokers, NEWS, NEWS--
what you see above. This is just how she had it arranged on her rack.

As you can see, she was not successful  in drawing the needed dragons,
and she did not have enough jokers to pick up any of them.

As she accumulated more and more winds, she should have SWITCHED
HANDS.. But she had blinders on and all she was thinking about was
drawing dragons. That was ALL she was looking for.

I showed her that by simply taking the white dragon out of the mix and doing
a little rearranging she had this going for her:

And then by doing this...

inserting one joker with the two Norths,
and the other joker with the two Souths,
she would have been in an excellent position to pick up or draw 
one North and one South to complete the two
kongs she needed for... 

 The fifth hand down under WINDS - DRAGONS

It is not a concealed hand, and it is worth 30 cents besides!
Even if she had to expose either the Norths or the Souths,
no one would have known for sure what hand she was doing,
and there was no stopping her from winning, because she had

This is one of thePitfalls of Beginning Mah Jongg--
Not Being Able to Switch Hands When Needed.

While there are times when you should not give up on your hand too soon,
there are other times when your hand takes a turn in a different
direction other than where you started.
If you are going to be successful in winning, you must be able to
recognize when the time is right for you to look elsewhere on the card.
Oftentimes, it is right within the same section, and the best advise I can offer is
to just plan ahead and try to keep as many options open for as long as possible.
C did right by saving more winds, but I do know she threw some away during the
game. She was only thinking NEWS! I think that if she had the like winds 
arranged together as she accumulated them, rather than as two separate 
NEWS, she may have been able to see other possibilities for her hand. Even the
first hand in that section may have come together!

Based on what tiles you see being thrown, what tiles you draw,
 and what tiles you see other players
using, you indeed may have to make the decision to re-group.

Once again, the better you know the card, the better you are at being able
to do this.

Happy Clicking!

If you know of anyone in the Phoenix area who is interested in learning to

play Mah Jongg, please have them contact me at

For The 12 Pitfalls of Beginning Mah Jongg, click HERE.
How To Chose a Mah Jongg Hand

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