Dangling Dragons Mah Jongg Tournament Rules

Play is according to National Mah Jongg League Rules plus Tournament Rules and uses the NMJL Card.

THE CARD:  Players are required to display the NMJL card during tournament play.  The Card is part of this game and is considered a sign of courtesy.  It should be on display during the official game.


  • fter each round, A (EAST) and C (WEST) will verify for each other. And, B (NORTH) and D (SOUTH) will verify for each other.  If a score is left blank, it will be considered a zero and cannot be changed.
  • Each player should keep a record of their own score on their personal sheet and be aware of their Player number.

You must verbally call for a discarded tile.  PENALTY, if you don’t call the tile, you cannot have it and must be placed back on the table.

JOKERS – Request the exchange and hand the person the tile to replace.  If you put the tile on the tavle without verbalizing the exchange, then the tile is dead for exchanging and available to others for calling for an exposure.


  • NO PICKING AHEAD. If you pick ahead, your hand will be called DEAD.
  • Your turn begins when you pick a tile or call a tile for exposure.
  • Do not place your hand on the next tile or hover over the wall until the player before you have made their discard.
  • IF YOU TOUCH THE TILE, it’s YOURS! This applies to BOTH picking from the beginning of the wall and/or calling the last discarded tile.
  • EXCEPTION: If you pick from the wrong end of the wall and look at the tile, your hand is dead. If you have not looked at the tile, then put it back and continue from the correct side of the wall.  Also, if the wall was moved out and tiles were hidden your hand will not be called dead.  The player pushing out the wall should be careful that tiles are not hidden, or he/she should realign the remaining tiles.
  • A player may call the last discarded tile for Mah Jongg or an exposure until the next player either racks or discards the picked tile.
  • Once a tile is thrown, the previous tile is “dead”. (It’s no longer available)
  • You must discard your tile if: (a) the tile touches the table, or (2) you start to say the name of the tile. It is called intent.  Continue the discard.
  • Player must pick before discarding or exchanging Jokers. The pick is the start of a turn.
  • Picking and Racking: Although the last discarded tile is still available until your tile is racked it is discourteous to rack very quickly. PLEASE take a pause before racking your tile; there is plenty of time.
  • Jokers may be replaced from any exposure before a hand went “dead”. Jokers in an exposure that made the hand dead are not available.
  • When declaring Mah Jongg, the hand should be displayed as it appears on the card as a courtesy to others.


  • If you call a tile for Mah Jongg or for an exposure, the called tile MUST be placed ON your rack, no IN the slope of your rack. This verifies that you picked the right tile.  If you rack the tile, your hand will be called dead and play continues with the remaining 3 players.
  • If you call a tile for an exposure or Mah Jongg, you can change your mind ONLY if you have not touched the discarded tile. If touched, then it must be used for an exposure.


  • If the three other players expose their hands, all get zero (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 zero (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 a mis-named discarded tile is claimed for an EXPOSURE, and the discarder has the correct tile in their hand, then 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 discarders’ hand.
  • If the player does not have the correct tile, then the game proceeds once the tile is named correctly.
  • A mis-named discarded tile can be called for Mah Jongg. The discarder is penalized 25 points and the Mah Jongg receives the point value on the card.


  • If you know a hand is “dead” you can declare it. But if you declare a hand dead in error, your hand is “dead”.
  • East could have MJ after the Charleston (Earthly Hand) or after the initial dealing (Heavenly Hand). In both circumstances, the game is over, and the hand is considered self-picked.
  • If a Joker is exchanged and gives a player their MJ it is self-picked. The Joker can come from their own rack or another rack.  It is called the “finesse Move” and because the Joker is the 14th tile that they are picking, it is self-picked; this is a type of strategy
  • The game does not start until EAST throws.
  • You cannot go dead during the Charleston.
  • Have Patience for others; we all learn differently and we were all new once !!!!
  • Please do not criticize or judge your opponent’s play.
  • RESPECT: Players, please be gracious and courteous to your fellow players. This tournament enforces a “ZERO TOLERANCE” Code for inconsiderate, rude, or abusive behavior.