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Commitment to Picking a Tile from the Wall (Article ID 20)
Abstract: Once a player lifts or moves a tile they are committed to taking their pick from the wall. If the tile was merely touched and not moved in any way the player can change their mind and therefore call the previously discarded tile. This ruling is not found in Mah Jongg Made Easy
Question from a player: A player lifted the next tile from the wall as it was her turn, but then decided to put the tile back as she did not look at it and she wanted to call the previous discard. May this be done?
Answer from the NMJL: “A player is committed to taking a tile from the wall if the tile has been moved in any way. A player can change their mind if the tile has been merely touched.”
Source: National Mah Jongg League Bulletin Q&A 2018
Other answers from the NMJL:
“When a player lifts the tile from the wall, she has committed to that tile and it is now hers.”
“The player started to make their exposure already, and has thereby made a play and a commitment. “
“Once the person made her intention to pick her tile by lifting it off the wall, she cannot put it back and decide to call the previous discard.”
“When a tile is discarded, the next person in turn makes their intention to pick a tile and, in fact, does pick a tile, Even though they haven’t looked at it yet, they cannot put the tile back and decide to call the previous discard.”
Sources for other answers: National Mah Jongg League Bulletin Q&A (2000 page 5, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2005, 2007, 2017) https://www.nationalmahjonggleague.org