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Passing Blind in the Charleston (Article ID 128)
Abstract: If a player does not have enough tiles in their rack to pass during the first left and last right of the Charleston they may do a “blind pass,” by choosing one, two or three tiles from whom they player they receive tiles.
Although the NMJL does not penalize a player for looking at tiles taken from another player during a blind pass, it is by virtue of its name, supposed to be done without looking. It is recommended that a player who looks at the tiles taken on the blind pass not do so in the future.
Question from a player: How does a blind pass work? What is the penalty for peeking at a blind pass?
Answer from the NMJL: First Charleston: “3RD PASS – Three unwanted tiles to player on left. On this pass, if you find you cannot spare any of the tiles in your hand, you may take one, two or all three tiles that are being passed to you and pass them to the player on your left, without looking at them. This is called a “Blind Pass” and must not be looked at by the player making this “Blind Pass.”
Second Charleston: “3RD PASS – Three unwanted tiles to player on right; however, as in the first Charleston, a blind pass may be made on the final right pass.”
Sources: Mah Jongg Made Easy 2020 pages 12-13
Other answers from the NMJL:
“A blind pass may be made by passing one, two, or three tiles without looking at them, to the player on the right during the second Charleston.”
“The league does not recommend a penalty for looking at a blind pass. We do suggest that you remind others that they may not do this, that the reason that this is referred to a “blind pass” is that it is not to be looked at, but merely passed.”
Sources for other answers: Back of Card (panel 1); NMJL Bulletin Q&A (1989 page 5, 2017) https://www.nationalmahjonggleague.org