Discarding a Joker and Naming it the Previously Discarded Tile (Article ID 30)
Abstract: It is permissible to discard a Joker and name it the previously discarded tile regardless of how many tiles you can account for. A Joker can also be named “same” and or “Joker.” The NMJL suggests calling a Joker by the previously discarded tile’s name not to bring attention to the tile. Often players are not paying attention to the table but instead engrossed in their hand. They may later see a Joker that was discarded but won’t know who discarded it.
Question from a player: When I am playing a jokerless hand and have a kong of a symbol tile, can I discard the joker and call it that symbol tile to disguise that it’s a joker?
Answer from the NMJL: “When discarding a Joker, a player may say “Joker,” “Same” or actually repeat the name of the previously discarded tile. Regardless of what the discarded Joker is called, it may not be taken/called for any reason whatsoever.”
Source: Mah Jongg Made Easy 2020 page 23 #12
Other answers from the NMJL:
“If a player is trying to make a jokerless hand and calls e.g.”2 Bam” for exposure then wants to clear the hand by discarding a joker, that discard may be called the name of the previous discard which is a”2 Bam” regardless of the fact that the”2 Bam” has been accounted for more than four times.”
“When discarding a joker, we suggest naming it the same as the previous discard. This is recommended so that you will not call attention to other players that you are discarding a joker. However, you may also name it joker or the word “same”.”
“You may name it “joker”, “same”, or you may name it the same as the previous discard. We recommend that you name it the same as previous discard, so you are not calling attention to your opponents that you are discarding a joker. We want players to be alerted to discards and watch the table as well as listen for discards.”
“When discarding a joker, we suggest naming it the same as the previous discard. This is recommended so that you will not call attention to other players that you are discarding a joker. However, you may also name it joker.”
“Joker or jokers may be discard in order to DOG or make a jokerless hand and must be called by the name of the previous discard. The word SAME should not be used.”
“As we want players to be alert to discards at all times, we have found it a little more tricky not to announce joker discards as joker just in case your opponents are so engrossed in their own hands that they will not notice that a joker has been discarded and will get wise to the fact that perhaps you are playing a no joker hand (or dogging). We have found this to be the case many times. Suddenly a player will look up and find a joker in the center of the board and wonder who threw that and when?!”
Source for other answers: National Mah Jongg League Bulletin Q&A (1975 page 3, 1977 page 4, 1978 page 3, 1981 page 2, 1983 page 3, 1989 page 5, 1990 page 13, 1995 page 4, 1995 page 5, 1999 page 5, 2000 page 6, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2016) https://www.nationalmahjonggleague.org