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Discarded Tile Cannot Be Used in a Joker Exchange (Article ID 127)
Abstract: Discarded tiles cannot be claimed to be used in a joker exchange. Joker exchanges are done only when a player picks a natural tile that is in an exposure or already has the natural tile in his rack. This ruling is not found in Mah Jongg Made Easy.
Question from a player: Can a discarded tile be picked up from the table to use to redeem a joker from an exposure?
Answers from the NMJL: “A tile may only be called in order to make an exposure or for mah jongg. It may never be called in order to replace a joker in an existing exposure.”
Source: NMJL Bulletin Q&A 2020
Other answers from the NMJL:
“A discarded tile can never be called by a player and used to redeem a joker in an exposure. A discarded tile can only be called for an exposure or for a declaration of mah jongg.”
“A discarded tile may only be picked up to either make an exposure or to declare mah jongg. It may never be picked up to redeem a joker in an exposure.”
“A discarded tile can only be called for an exposure or for mah jongg. You may not use it to redeem a joker in an exposure.”
“You cannot pick up a discard to redeem a joker in an exposure.”
“Once a tile has been discarded, it cannot be called for a joker redemption. Tiles may only be called for either an exposure or for mah jongg.”
“The tile may not be called and redeemed for the joker in the existing exposure. A tile may only be called for use in an exposure or for mah jongg.”
Sources for other answers: NMJL Bulletin Q&A (1982 page 3, 1983 page 4, 1984, 1985, 1991 page 5, 1994 page 5, 1995 page 4, 1996 page 5, 1997 page 5, 1999 page 5, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 , 2015, 2018, 2019) https://www.nationalmahjonggleague.org