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Pushing Out and Picking From the Wrong Wall (Article ID 85)
When a player pushes out the wrong wall and someone notices that a player has picked and racked a tile from that wall, that player’s hand can be declared dead. In this case, play continues from the wrong wall. When the tiles have been depleted in the incorrect wall, the correct wall is then pushed out and the game continues.
When a player pushes out the wrong wall and it is not noticed until later, all hands are thrown in and a new game is started.
When the wrong wall has been pushed out unknowingly and someone happens to declare mah jongg, they are entitled to the win.
Question from a player: What happens if the wrong wall has been push out and tiles have been picked from that wall?
Answer from the NMJL:
Pushing out the Wrong Wall:
- If a player pushes out the wrong wall and a tile from the wrong wall is picked and racked, the player who racked now has a “dead” hand. The tile remains with the “dead” hand. The game continues from the wrong wall and then proceeds from the correct wall.
- If the wrong wall has been in play and someone calls Mah Jongg, they are entitled to the Mah Jongg and the person who pushed out the wrong wall pays for the table.
- When the wrong wall has been in play and noticed, all hands are thrown in and the game starts over.”
Source: Mah Jongg Made Easy (2020 page 21-22 #20 [a,b &c])
Other answers from the NMJL:
“When a wrong wall has been pushed out and tiles have been picked from the wrong wall, then all hands should be thrown in and the game stops. However, if the wrong wall has been pushed out and tiles picked from the wrong wall have resulted in mah jongg, the mah jongg should be honored.”
“All hands should be thrown in and the game ceases however; if tiles picked from the wrong wall result in mah jongg, then the mah jongg is honored.”
Sources for other answers: National Mah Jongg League Bulletin Q&A (1995 page 4, 1997 page 6, 1999 page 6, 2000 page 6, 2007, 2019) https://www.nationalmahjonggleague.org