Earthly Mah Jongg Hand – Good Omen

It should come to no one’s surprise that I play Mah Jongg online. I consider it continuing education. One of my mantra’s in teaching is I encourage players not to stop the Charleston. For those of you who don’t play Mah Jongg, stop reading now because you won’t care abut this.

The Charleston is the the beginning of the game where players trade tiles with each other without knowing what you are being given until you see them. You trade three tiles at a time. It is mandatory to do this three times, which is called one round of Charleston. The second round is optional, meaning any one player can stop the whole thing. Once it is stopped all Charleston trading stops. I tell my students not to stop the Charleston due of indecision, which is the number one reason people stop.

The mistake is you are foregoing getting nine new tiles, three at a time and that can really improve you hand.

Today I played my first hand of Mah Jongg online. As the Charleston was going on I honed in on a closed hand in the odds. We finished one round of Charleston and I only had two tiles to trade. This would be the only reason to stop the Charleston. Despite having 11 tiles for my hand I went ahead with the Charleston and traded away one of my flowers that I needed, but knew with 8 of them in the game I could still get another.

Amazingly what I was passed in my last across was everything I needed, including a flower. I was able to do blind pass and no Courtesy in my last passes. As I was East I had fourteen tiles that made a hand. I was so excited I took a screen shot of it. You can see by the number of tiles still in the wall at 99 it was the very first play.

I declared Mah Jongg! This is called an Earthly hand, meaning I made it by passing tiles in the Charleston. In my 30 years of playing it has never happened to me. Just for your edification there is something called a heavenly hand, which means that East was dealt a Mah Jongg hand, no passing. I have never seen that happen.

You can see in the second screen shot that there are still 99 tiles left in the wall. I never discarded or picked! I hope this is a good omen for a very Lucky year!

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