"Our Mission is to promote
the wonderful, fun, and challenging game of American-style Mah Jongg by
disseminating information about the game through instruction and support, and
standardizing National Mah Jongg Tournament Rules."
OFFICIAL MAH JONGG RULES FOR SANCTIONED MAH JONGG TOURNAMENTS
MAH JONGG MASTER POINTS® has certified and authorized
this tournament’s Director/Conductor/Manager to run a tournament where MAH JONGG
MASTER POINTS® are awarded.
A Certified Tournament complies with all standards,
rules and scoring of the MAH JONGG MASTER POINTS® SYSTEM. The tournament
Director/Conductor/Manager conducts the management and operation of the
tournament/games as they deem appropriate, as long as the event falls within the
guidelines of the
MAH JONGG MASTER POINTS® SYSTEM.
ON BECOMING MAH JONGG MASTERS™
ADVISED TO BE PROMPT! A POINT PENALTY MAY BE GIVEN TO ANY PLAYER NOT SEATED
WHEN THE GAME BEGINS.
GAMES OR ROUNDS CANNOT BEGIN, UNLESS EVERYONE IS SEATED AND READY TO BEGIN AT
THE SAME TIME.
NOTE: Bonus hands/rounds do not qualify for
MAH JONGG MASTER POINTS®
IF THERE IS A TIE
AT ANY LEVEL, PRIZES WILL BE SHARED EQUALLY
THE CARD: Players are required to display the NMJL card
during tournament play. The CARD is considered necessary equipment;
and further, it is a sign of courtesy to display the card during the
We sincerely value the quality and nature of our tournaments -
played in a gracious and courteous manner.
We have instituted a “ZERO TOLERANCE CODE” as it applies to
inconsiderate, rude, or abusive players:
● Upon the first complaint the offending player will be
asked to refrain from discourteous activity;
● If there is a 2nd complaint, the
offending player will be disqualified, expelled from the tournament and
barred from participation in future tournaments.
THE GAME BEGINS: Each player rotates roll of dice
and breaking of wall, starting with player who rolls highest number
- who is then designated as EAST. (VARIATION: A Player is
pre-designated as EAST [or PLAYER- A, or PIVOT who starts the game as
EAST], and rolls the dice to break the wall.)
In the event of a game-table
with 3 players, on the fourth (4th)-and-last-game in
the round, each player at the table will roll the dice again to
determine who is EAST for the last game.
The game does NOT BEGIN UNTIL EAST THROWS THE FIRST TILE. If another player
throws a tile before East discards the 14th tile, the
other player returns the tile to their rack and is not
VERIFYING SCORES:"A" (EAST) will verify "C’s”
(WEST) scores and initial official computer score card (or score
sheet) and vice-versa. "B" (NORTH) will verify "D’s” (SOUTH) scores
and initial the official computer score card (or score sheet) and
vice-versa. The scorekeeper will not accept any unverified
scorecards or score sheets.
In games/tournaments where there is a designated EAST-SCOREKEEPER, then
all game-scores will be verified by EAST.
a. The First Charleston of 3 passes is
compulsory; the Second Charleston then proceeds if all players
b. Any player may stop the passing after
the first Charleston is completed. A player who wishes to stop the
Charleston after the first pass should
caution the other players in a timely manner, to not make the 2nd
left-pass. If no other player has
racked any tiles from the 2nd left-pass of the Charleston,
then the 2nd
left-pass may be re-called by the
player who wishes to stop the passing. The Optional “across-Pass”
may be completed.
c. There is NO Charleston at a game-table
of 3 players.
Positively NO PICKING AHEAD. Each
Player picks before discarding. A player should be declared "Dead"
for picking ahead. Player’s turn begins when they pick a tile or
call a tile for exposure.
STEALING A TILE (BLIND PASS):
If you steal a tile you may not look at it. If you look at it, you
will be penalized ten (-10) points at the end of that game.
WRONG END OF THE WALL: If a player picks from the wrong
wall –or- from the wrong end of the wall, that player is “dead.”
However, if the mistake is not discovered until after more than one
player has picked from the wrong wall or the wrong end of the wall,
then the game continues and players continue picking from that wall.
A DISCARDED TILE
may be called for Mah Jongg or exposure, until such time as the
subsequent player either DISCARDS OR RACKS the next
tile. A tile is considered RACKED when it is placed within
the rack, not on top of or in front of the rack. Once a discarded
tile has been “covered” by another discarded tile (even a JOKER), it
cannot be claimed for an exposure or Mah Jongg,
SCORING for each hand is same as on the current National Mah Jongg
League (NMJL) Standard Hands and Rules card.
PICK OWN MAH JONGG:Add Ten
to score when player picks own Mah Jongg
b.NO-JOKER BONUS HAND: Add Twenty Points (+20 points)
to score when player declares Mah Jongg and there are no Jokers in the
hand. Exception: There is no bonus given on any of the hands
listed under the Singles - Pairs Group.
WALL GAME: Add ten
points (+10 points
)to each player's score for a "Wall" game.
INCOMPLETE GAME: If a game is not completed within designated
time, each player receives "ZERO." NO POINTS GIVEN. If a
player's hand goes "dead", or is declared "dead", player does not get
ten points even if it is a "Wall" game.
e.PENALTY:Minus -10 points (-10 POINTS) to a player who throws winning tile to
player who has
no exposures on rack or who has one (1) exposure on rack.
(-20 POINTS) to player who throws winning tile to player
who has two (2) exposures on rack.
(-25 POINTS) to player who throws winning tile to player
who has three (3) exposures on rack.
“DEAD” PLAYER In the event of a Wall Game –
Dead players get "0" (Zero).“DEAD” PLAYER receives Zero (0) points, applies even in
the event of being called “dead” on the last discard. NO TABLE TALK (whether
hand is "dead). If you think a hand is "dead", declare it! However, if
you declare a hand "dead" in error, your hand is "dead".
MIS-NAMING A TILE: There is NO scoring penalty for
mis-naming a tile. However.....
If the discarder has the
correct tile in their hand, the correct tile must be discarded
in place of the incorrect tile. If necessary, contact the
Director to ascertain that the correct tile is/is not in the
discarder's hand. (This rule specifically applies to a tile
that is claimed for an exposure.)
If the discarder does not
have the correct tile in their hand, the game proceeds,
following the correct naming of the tile.
discarded tile may be claimed for MAH JONGG. The
discarder is penalized PENALY: Minus
25 (-25) POINTS..
EXPOSING IN ERROR:
a.If a tile is claimed for an exposure, and
it is touched or moved by the player who claims the tile, it MUST be
used in an exposure.
b.If a mis-named tile is claimed for an
exposure, the discarder must provide the correct tile if it is the
discarder’s hand. If the discarder does not have the correct tile in
their hand, the game proceeds.
c.If the claimer has exposed tiles on the
claimer's rack (prior to
verifying that the discarded tile was mis-named), then the exposer must
use the tile that was discarded in an exposure. If unable to use the
tile, then claimer is “dead.”
d.Incorrect exposures may be corrected,
until such time as the exposer has discarded a tile to end their turn.
MAH JONGG IN ERROR:
a.There is no penalty for claiming
Mah Jongg in error.
b.If player claims mah jongg in error, and
displays or exposes any of the tiles in the hand, then player is “dead,”
and receives ZERO points.
c.If a player who has been playing an
exposed hand calls Mah Jongg or exposes in error, any exposures made
BEFORE the error stay on top of rack, and any player may redeem and
JOKER or Jokers when it is their turn. Player with erring hand is
dead and stops picking and discarding.
d.If Mah Jongg is called in error, and three
other players expose their hands, all get "ZERO" (0) points.
If one person does not expose hand, that player gets ten (10) points...
everyone else gets "ZERO" (0) points. If Mah. Jongg is
called in error and two or more hands are intact, game continues.
e.If a concealed hand is incorrectly exposed
for Mah Jongg, tiles must be returned to rack. Joker or Jokers cannot
be redeemed and player stops picking and discarding.
CLAIMING A TILE FOR EXPOSURES OR FOR MAH JONGG: Player claiming a tile for an
exposure or Mah Jongg must place the claimed discarded tile on TOPof the rack,
not inthe rack. The
player shall be called “dead,” for putting the claimed tile in
the rack. This rule does not apply to picking your tile
from the wall for Mah Jongg; in this case you may place the
picked-Mah Jongg-tile into your rack.
JOKERS: Player must pick a tile from the wall to start
their turn, prior to exchanging a tile for an exposed joker on
another player’s rack. Exposed JOKERS from a “dead” hand may be
exchanged, provided the exposure was a correct exposure that was
made prior to the exposed player being declared “dead;” in other
words, that Joker-exposure was not the reason for the
exposed-player being declared “dead.”
MIS-CLAIMING A TILE: A player may “call” a tile and then
decide not to claim a tile, provided they have not touched or
exposed the tile, or have not exposed any tiles from
their hand. They may change their mind with no penalty.
DISPLAYING MAH JONGG HAND: When declaring Mah Jongg,
the hand should be displayed as it appears on the Mah Jongg Card. If
you do not display the hand in proper order, and another player
asks you to do so..... you must do so. If you refuse, your hand
may be declared dead and the game will continue.
SIMULTANEOUS SITUATIONS: Sometimes a tile may be
claimed at the same time as another player racks or discards their
next tile. This comes under the "Mah Jongg Rule of
Simultaneous Occurrence," also known as "Interception," "Precedence
of Claims," and "Concurrency." In this event, the claimant will receive the benefit of
the doubt. Please contact the Director for the official ruling in
TIME LIMIT: Approximately one (1) hour is
allotted for each round. At the discretion of the Tournament
Director, some tournaments may allow 50-55 minutes. After four (4)
games (a round), one player collects score cards and brings all four
(4) of them to Director's table. All four score cards or
be handed in together.
TABLE ROTATION: Rotating to a new table after
every four (4) games is a standard process for tournament play. PLAYER MOVEMENT:
are sitting in an “A” (EAST) Seat – Go UP 1 table after each
are sitting in a “B” (NORTH) Seat – Go DOWN 1 table after each
are sitting in a “C” (WEST) Seat – Go UP 2 tables after each
are sitting in a “D” (SOUTH) seat – Go DOWN 2 tables after each
SUBMITTING SCORE CARDS AND SHEETS:
MAKE SURE THAT ALL SCORES ARE VERIFIED AND SIGNED.
DO NOT LEAVE THE ROOM BEFORE YOU SUBMIT THE SCORE CARDS OR SCORE SHEETS TO THE
In the first session player "A" (EAST)
will collect ALL 4 CARDS or sheets and turn them in to the
In the second session player "B" (NORTH) will collect ALL 4 CARDS
or sheets and turn them in to the official scorekeeper.
In the third session player "C" (WEST) will collect ALL 4 CARDS
or sheets and turn them in to the official scorekeeper.
In the final session player "D" (SOUTH) will collect ALL 4 CARDS
or sheets and turn them in to the official scorekeeper.
IT IS THE COLLECTOR FOR THAT SESSION WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SUBMITTING
ALL 4 CARDS TOGETHER!
VARIATION: Table-score-keeper (sometimes EAST) will submit all
scores to the Director.
CHANGES to scores will not be made once the cards have
been accepted for scoring by the computer. In the event of dispute,
all four (4) players must be present for verification with the
At the end of each round,
please do not sit around and talk. Please leave the room until the
next round is ready to begin. Players who stay in the room and
disturb those still playing may be penalized 50 points.
TOURNAMENTS by their very nature are notably
more structured than social games; standards and rulings are closely
adhered to, in order to avoid errors. If a question arises during
play, DIRECTOR’S RULING will be final. All decisions
made by the Director shall be based on these rules and the
Director’s personal judgment. Arguing with the Director may be
grounds for immediate disqualification. Any question about scoring
or rules should be addressed by the Director and not by the players.
Do not attempt to make rulings that are within the purview of the
Director. Remember, if you resolve a question of rules or scoring
at your table, there can be no recourse to the Director. Only the
Director is authorized to arbitrate any dispute as to rules or
Our Mission is to
promote the wonderful, fun, and challenging game of
American-style Mah Jongg - by disseminating information
about the game through instruction and support, and
standardizing National Mah Jongg Tournament Rules.
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NATIONAL MAH JONGG