Pick First then Exchange Jokers (Article ID 79)
Abstract: You must pick a tile from the wall before doing a joker exchange. If you call a discard you must make your exposure before doing the joker exchange.
Question from a player: Can I do a joker exchange before I pick or call a tile?
Answer from the NMJL: “Player must pick or call first before doing the Joker exchange. If you do a Joker exchange before you pick or call your hand is “dead”.”
Source: Mah Jongg Made Easy 2020 page 23 #4
Other answers from the NMJL: “A like tile cannot first be replaced for a joker in order to call a previous discard for exposure. The 14th tile must be picked first or called first before the like tile may be exchanged for the joker.”
“A tile cannot first be replaced for a joker in order to call a previous discard for exposure. The 14th tile must be picked first or called before the like tile may be exchanged for the joker.”
“You may not first exchange a symbol tile for a joker and then use that joker to call the last discard for either exposure or mah jongg. You may only do a joker exchange when it is your turn, and your turn does not begin until you pick or call your 14th tile.”
“You must pick your 14th tile or call a discarded tile first and then you may redeem as many jokers as you have symbol tiles from one, two, or three racks.”
“You must make your pick from the wall for your 14th tile or make your call for an exposure first and then you may redeem as many jokers as you wish from one, two or even three racks.”
“You must make your pick from the wall or make a call for an exposure and then you may make as many exchanges as you wish. What constitutes your turn is either a pick from the wall or a call of a discarded tile.”
“You must first call a discarded tile, put up your exposure then redeem as many jokers as you wish. If these exchanges result in mah jongg, it is considered self-picked and player would receive double value by all other players.”
“Pick or call first and after that you may redeem as many jokers as you have symbol tiles, from one, two or even three racks.”
“Only after a tile is picked or called may a joker be redeemed. A player may only redeem a joker with it is their turn. It is not a player’s turn until they have either picked or called a tile and they can account for 14 tiles. If a player redeems a joker before having their 14th tile, their hand can be declared dead.”
Sources for other answers: National Mah Jongg League Bulletin Q&A (1967 page 5, 1968 page 4, 1969 page 4, 1970 page 4, 1971 page 4, 1972 page 5, 1973 page 4, 1974 page 4, 1975 page 4, 1979 page 4, 1981 page 5, 1982 page 3, 1987 page 4, 1990 page 5, 1991 page 5, 1993 page 5, 1997 page 6, 1998 page 6, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010 , 2012, 2018, 2020) https://www.nationalmahjonggleague.org