ID163-Common Tournament Rules & Regulations

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ID163-Common Tournament Rules & Regulations

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Common Tournament Rules & Regulations

Tournament regulations include the National Mah Jongg League (NMJL) guidelines as published in Mah Jongg Made Easy (2020) plus the following.

Dead Hand Declaration

For all the below situations, the erring player stops playing and receives -0- points unless otherwise noted below.

  • Picking ahead
  • Picking out of turn
  • Having too few or too many tiles on your rack
  • Having an invalid exposure
  • Having a hand that is impossible to
  • Exchanging a joker before picking
  • Discarding before picking
  • Declaring another player’s hand dead erroneously (Call Tournament Director over to verify)
  • Knocking tiles from one’s own rack into the discard If the tiles can be easily put back in their rightful spot the game can continue without the erring player.
  • Knocking tiles over and the tiles cannot be put back in their rightful spot, the game stops. The player who knocked the tiles over receives -10 and all other players receive +10 points.
  • Placing a called (claimed) tile in the sloped part of the ra

Mah Jongg in error

  • If the three other players expose their hands, all get 0 points.
  • If two players do not expose their hands, game continues with two remaining players.
  • If one player does not expose their hand, that player gets PLUS 10 points while others get 0 points.
  • If a player calls Mah Jongg in error and the mistake is rectified BEFORE the hand is exposed and
    BEFORE any other player exposes or disturbs their hand, game continues without penalty.
  • If MJ is called and the player doesn’t pick up their MJ tile and place it on the rack the MJ is no good.

Calling a Discard

Calling a discarded tile must be verbalized. If a discard is taken without it being announced, the called tile must be returned to the table and is no longer available to the caller.  If a discard is called and touched, it must be taken. The called tile must be placed on the flat part of the rack. If the tile is placed in the sloped part of the rack, the hand will be declared dead.

If two people call the same tile for exposure or for Mah Jongg, the tile goes to the next player in rotation. If one player called a tile for exposure and one for Mah Jongg, Mah Jongg always takes precedence.

Joker Exchanges

When doing a joker exchange you must first verbalize it, and then it is recommended that you do a hand-to-hand exchange. If the exchange was not verbalized and you place the tile on the table, it will be considered a discard and no joker exchange will be permitted (no penalty applies).

3-Player Table

Tournaments will make every effort to seat four players at every table. However, if a 3-player table occurs, the Charleston must be omitted. For the fourth game, each player rolls the dice, and the highest roller will be East.

See also ID113 and ID162 

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