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Playing with Futures is Not Sanctioned by the League (Article ID 122)

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Abstract:  A 14 tile game is not sanctioned by the league and picking or looking ahead is not permitted.

Question from a player:   Is it acceptable for a player to pick a tile from the wall in advance of their turn?  Can I look at my picked tile in a 14-tile game?

Answers from the NMJL:  No looking ahead.  Players are not permitted to pick the fourteenth tile from the wall before the player to the left discards a tile.”

Source: Mah Jongg Made Easy 2020 page 18 #2


Other answers from the NMJL:

“Our first cardinal Rule. No picking or looking ahead. There is no game in which the player is entitled to any advance knowledge of what she is picking in order to make a choice. ”

“Our first cardinal rule. No picking or looking ahead! Please do not make your own rules and then when these rules result in trouble, ask our opinion. There is no future tile. Pick and discard in turn.”

“We do not sanction picking or looking ahead. No game of chance allows a double choice and the 14th tile is not yours until the previous player has picked and discarded and a split second had elapsed to allow another player to claim the discarded tile.”

“Our first and cardinal rule, no picking or looking ahead. Please do not make your own rules and then when these rules result in trouble, ask our opinion. Our rules are made to avoid the trouble of where, when, and how the future tile should be handled. ”

“Our first and cardinal rule, no picking or looking ahead. Please do not make your own rules and then when these rules result in trouble, ask our opinion. Our rules are made to avoid the trouble of where, when, and how the future tile should be handled. There is no future tile. Pick and discard in turn.”

“The fourteenth tile does not belong to the players picking ahead. It only becomes their tile when it is their turn.”

  1. “Our cardinal rule is no picking or looking ahead.
  2. There is no game in which the player is entitled to an advanced knowledge of what he is picking in order to make a choice.
  3. If a player is picking a joker or any other wanted tile and would ordinarily pung or kong something in his hand he is having a double choice.
  4. If there is an intervening call and you already have see the tile and must therefore give it to an opponent you then know the tile that is in the opponents hand if he does not discard it.

For example: If a player is picking a wanted tile and the bettor sees that tile and a call is made the player may not remember which tile he has picked and puts back another tile this can cause unwarranted suspicion on the part of the bettor and this player may be thought to be cheating.”

“No looking ahead. Players are not permitted to pick the fourteenth tile from the wall before the player to the left discards a tile.”

“No picking or looking ahead. There is no game in which the player is entitled to any advance knowledge of what she is picking in order to make a choice. This problem that brings many letters pouring into our office and many telephone calls is about groups of players who pick the 14th tile ahead of their turn. The 14th tile does not belong to a player until the previous player has discarded and no other player calls that discard for either exposure or mah jongg. The 14th tile does not belong to the players picking ahead. Picking ahead only creates problems and does not make for a better game. Play the league’s rules – it makes for a more enjoyable time!”

“Picking ahead does not make for a faster game because it causes to many problems and confusion. That 14th tile does not belong to a player until the previous player has announced their discard and no other player calls this discard for exposure.”

“No looking ahead. Players are not permitted to pick the fourteenth tile, or working tile (sometimes referred to as the “future” tile from the wall before the player to the left discards a tile.”

Sources for other answers:  National Mah Jongg League Bulletin (1967 page 4, 1967 page 5, 1968 page 4, 1969 page 5, 1971 page 4, 1973  page 4, 1974 page 4, 1975 page 4, 1976 page 4, 1981 page 4, 1982 page 3, 1983 page 3, 1985, 1996 page 5, 1997 page 5, 1998 page 5, 1999 page 5, 2000 page 5, 1985, 1987 page 5, 1988 page 5, 1989 page 5, 1991 page 12, 1993 page 5, 1990 page 5, 1991 page 12, 1995 page 4, 1998 page 5, 2002, 2001, 2014, 2005) https://www.nationalmahjonggleague.org

Playing with Futures is Not Sanctioned by the League (Article ID 122)
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