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Thursday, May 24, 2012


So the card has been out how long?  A month and a half now - and I'm still making stupid mistakes.  There are a lot of things I can blame it on; transitioning from full time to part time work, transitioning from being in a relationship to being single (anyone know any widowers?) transitioning into my golden years or my budding cataracts. But the truth is I'm not focusing.  If I were focusing I would know:
  • The hand is 11 222 11 222 3333 - It doesn't take dragons anymore!  Get it through your head!  I have to learn to stop getting excited when I see a lot of one's and two's and dragons.  Grr.....
  • It's 2012 not 2011!  I have to keep telling myself  I don't need pairs of ones to make the Big Hand.
  • The quint is any dragon not any wind.  Having four souths and four flowers means nothing!!!!!!
Today was pretty bad.  I had a great hand.  In fact, I was set, but I didn't know it.  My hand looked like this:
11 33 55 777 9JJ9.  So exciting - all I needed was a 5 bam.  But I picked a 9 bam.  And I put the 9 bam in my hand and threw out a Joker.  DOH!

Even worse, I am ashamed to say, but I will confess - I was set for a great closed hand but then went dead.  Good thing, though - the hand was 5JJ 7 999 5JJ 7 999. The last 7 bam went out and I started whining about going dead when I suddenly realized  DOH!  I pretended I saw another great hand and acted like I knew what I was doing but boy, did I feel like an idiot.

But I realized I was not alone.  I was playing in a senior center with a very nice group of ladies.  It was my first time playing with them but definitely not the last.  And all around me I was hearing things like:
"I gave away my tile"
"Oh, I'm so stupid!"
"What did I do that for?"
"I had the two one cracks but I threw them out!"
"I knew I shouldn't have thrown that!"
So I didn't feel so bad.  We are, after all, only human and mahj is only a game.  So if you play with me and you hear me muttering under my breath "That's not the hand, that's NOT the hand," you will understand it's my way of telling myself to focus and make the transition from the old card to the new - as if there weren't enough transitions going on...(oh, yes, I'm going to be a grandma!  Woo Hoo!)

How about you?  Any DOH! moments you want to confess?  We won't tell!


  1. all my moments are doh moments.

  2. I've done the same thing with that first hand you talked about! No opposite dragons anymore. Also another one where now you only need 2 flowers instead of 4 but can't recall which one offhand.

  3. The arbitrary hands changing year to year are one of the reasons I switched from american to Riichi. It's the better version to play. Less of a focus on remembering patterns and more on defensive play recognizing what standard hands people are aiming for, as well as learning to read discards and not play into hands.

  4. sometimes it is hard to make a choose with a 2468 hand and the 224688 224688 FF hand, and of course when u choose one, u pick the tiles of the second ;)
    it's hard for me to talk about strategy as i am living in Paris, i am french, and play only online... i would like so much to play real game ! i try to explain rules to friends who play other rules, but it takes time...

  5. Hi Linda...I just started reading your blog. A friend in my newish mahj group got us all interested in the strategy books and blogs and now I'm reading a lot about strategies and defensive play, etc. I've been a bit obsessed and staying up way too late reading online. I really love your style of writing and great ideas. I know I tend to play the same hands (consecutive runs, winds, odds, or 369 usually) and am afraid to try singles and pairs, 2012 hands, even quints. I vow now to try other card sections. We live in Toronto, Canada. I don't buy my card from the League because we're here, but in a Jewish store, so I'm not a member of the league and can't play online with them, though I'd like to. Do you know of any good teachers, other online games or tournaments here? Keep up the blog and thank you.

  6. Cindy,
    I live in Toronto and play Mah Jongg. I know of a local fund raising tournament happening in Toronto on Oct 28. You can contact me at for information.

  7. Cindy,
    I live in Toronto and play Mah Jongg. I know of a local fund raising tournament happening in Toronto on Oct 28. You can contact me at for information.