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Commitment to Mah Jongg (Article ID 7)
Abstract: If a player completes an exposure and then exposes other tiles on the flat part of their rack thinking they might have mah jongg but declares, “I can’t do that,” they can return those additional tiles back to their rack as long as they have verbalized mah jongg.
Question from a player: A player discards a 2 Bam, another player calls the 2 Bam and places the 2 Bam on their rack along with three other 2 Bams from their rack. The same player takes three Dots from their rack and places them on the flat part of their rack alongside the Kong of 2 Bams. The player then says, “Oh I can’t do that,” and puts the tiles back in her rack. She never declares Mah Jongg. Can she do this?
Answer from the NMJL: The player in question, after properly calling and exposing the 2 Bams, may expose other tiles as well, as long as the player has not yet discarded. This really hurts no one but the caller, as it now becomes apparent which hand is being played. As long as mah jongg was not called, this player may return the second erroneous exposure to their hand and discard normally.
Source: National Mah Jongg League Bulletin (2022)