Official Rules will be available for review by being posted and/or handed out at every IML event. In case of disputes, Event Director's decisions are final.
Tournaments & Marathons
Rules & Points
Israel Mahjong League Events
OFFICIAL STANDARDIZED RULES FOR TOURNAMENTS
MAH JONGG MASTER POINTS® SYSTEM as Adapted and Adopted by Israel Mahjong League.
PARTICIPANTS ARE ADVISED TO BE PROMPT! A POINT-PENALTY MAY BE GIVEN TO ANY PLAYER NOT SEATED WHEN THE GAME BEGINS.
NOTE: GAMES OR ROUNDS CANNOT BEGIN UNLESS EVERYONE IS SEATED AND READY TO BEGIN AT THE SAME TIME.
NOTE: BONUS HANDS/ROUNDS DO NOT QUALIFY FOR MAH JONG MASTER POINTS®
NOTE: IF THERE IS A TIE AT ANY LEVEL, PRIZES WILL BE SHARED EQUALLY
EXPANDED RULES FOR ISRAEL MAHJONG LEAGUE SANCTIONED TOURNAMENTS
1) THE CARD: All Players are required to display the Selected card during tournament play. The CARD is considered necessary equipment; and further, it is a sign of courtesy to display the card during the official games.
2) COURTESY: We sincerely value the quality and nature of our tournaments - played in a gracious and courteous manner. We have instituted a “ZERO TOLERANCE CODE” as it applies to inconsiderate, rude, or abusive players:
a) Upon the first complaint the offending player will be asked to refrain from discourteous activity.
b) If there is a 2nd complaint, the offending player will be disqualified, expelled from the tournament, and dis-invited from participation in future tournaments.
c) At the end of each round, please do not sit around and talk. Please leave the room (if possible) until the next round is ready to begin. If you must remain in the room, please be considerate and courteous of those still playing. At the discretion of the Director, players who stay in the room and disturb those still playing may be penalized.
d) It is discourteous to criticize your opponents' playing. Please do not push your opponents to play faster, until the final game of a round; in this situation time may be of the essence.
3) THE GAME BEGINS: Each player rotates roll of dice and breaking of wall, starting with player who rolls the highest number - who is then designated as EAST. (VARIATION: A Player is pre-designated as "EAST" [or "PLAYER- A," or "PIVOT" who starts the game as EAST] and must roll the dice to arbitrarily break the wall.)
a) In the event of a tournament-game-table with 3 players, on the fourth (4th) and-last-game in the round, each player at the table will roll the dice once again to determine who is EAST for the last game. Reminder: East has an advantage of having a 14th tile.
b) The game does NOT BEGIN UNTIL EAST THROWS THE FIRST TILE. If another player throws a tile before East discards the 14th tile, the other player returns the tile to their rack and is not penalized.
4) VERIFYING SCORES: "A" (EAST) will verify "C’s” (WEST) scores and initial official computer score card (or score sheet) and vice-versa. "B" (NORTH) will verify "D’s” (SOUTH) scores and initial the official computer score card (or score sheet) and vice versa. The scorekeeper will not accept any unverified scorecards or score sheets. VARIATION: In games/tournaments where there is a designated EAST SCOREKEEPER, then all game-scores will be verified by EAST.
a) The First Charleston of 3 passes is compulsory* (Right-Over-Left); the Second Charleston then proceeds if all players agree (Left-Over-Right).
b) Any player may stop the passing after the first Charleston is completed. A player who wishes to stop the Charleston after the first pass should caution the other players in a timely manner, to not make the 2nd left-pass. If no other player has racked any tiles from the 2nd left-pass of the Charleston, then the 2nd left-pass may be re-called by the player who wishes to stop the passing. A player cannot deny stopping the 2nd pass because they have merely glanced at it. The 2nd passed tiles must have been racked, for another player to deny stopping the Charleston. The Optional “across-Pass” may be completed.
c) There is NO Charleston at a game-table of 3 players in a tournament. For the 4th game, everyone rolls the dice again for East. This is to assure that everyone has an equal opportunity to get the benefit of the 14th tile that is accorded to East.
d) *In the event of a so-called "HEAVENLY HAND" or "HOLE-IN-ONE" HAND (wherein, EAST has all 14 tiles that constitute a legitimate Mahjong hand), then EAST can STOP the required passing of the tiles for the Charleston at that point. East will NOT receive additional points for a self-picked Mahjong.
e) If, on the first left pass or last right pass of the Charleston...all 4 players are waiting for the others to pass a third (blind) tile, then East (who has the advantage of the 14th tile) must complete the pass first.
6) STEALING A TILE (BLIND PASS): If you steal a tile during the Charleston, you may NOT look at it. If you look at it, you will be PENALIZED MINUS 10 (-10) points at the end of that game. Stealing is permitted only on the first Left or Final Right passes.
7) PICKING YOUR TILE:
a) Positively NO PICKING AHEAD. Each Player MUST pick a tile before discarding a tile, or when exchanging a tile for a Joker in another player's exposure.
b) A player must be declared "Dead" for picking ahead or picking out of turn (also see Item 7E below). c) Player’s turn begins when they touch the next tile in the wall (and subsequently MUST take that tile from the wall), or when they claim a discarded tile for their exposure.
d) A player may change their mind when claiming a discard; but if they touched that discard, they MUST take and use that tile for their exposure.
e) When an opponent accidently touches a tile from the wrong end of the wall or out of turn, it is polite to caution them of the error before that tile is looked at by the player or placed in their rack.
8) PICKING-AND-RACKING: When a tile in the wall is TOUCHED by the next player, the player must take that tile - their turn is considered started. That player may NOT claim the previous discard. PLEASE NOTE: Some players have gotten into the habit of Picking and Racking in one fast and continuous movement. This is considered unsporting and ungracious; thereby not giving that player's opponents a fair and timely opportunity to claim a previously discarded tile. Please make an effort to pause for a second between picking and racking your tiles.
9) NUMBER OF TILES ON A PLAYER’S RACK: There should be 13 tiles on a player's rack. A player should be discouraged from picking with one hand-and discarding with the other hand. However, this is not (yet) an illegal move. Also, a player may pick a tile, and place it in front of their rack, and then discard a tile to end their turn. This is not (yet) an illegal move. However, that player takes the chance that the previously discarded tile will be claimed before their picked tile is placed in the rack/and the discarded tile is named and touches the table. This is a clumsy and ungainly method of play; and could cause unnecessary dispute.
10) WRONG END OF THE WALL: If a player picks from the wrong wall –or- from the wrong end of the wall, that player is “dead.” However, if the mistake is not discovered until after more than one player has picked from the wrong wall or the wrong end of the wall, then the game continues, and players continue picking from that wall. A player who pushes their wall out must be conscious of the fact that the wall, and any subsequent remaining tiles MUST be clearly aligned - so that all players are able to see the additional tiles. A player will not be penalized if the wall-pusher has not pushed the wall out at the correct angle; or that remaining tiles are hidden from view.
11) REMAINING TAIL OF THE WALL: A player who pushes their wall out, must be conscious of the fact that the wall and any subsequent remaining tiles MUST be clearly aligned - so that all players are able to see the remaining tiles. A player will NOT be penalized if they are unaware that there are unseen tiles remaining from the end of the previous wall; that the wall-pusher has not pushed the wall out at the correct angle; or that remaining tiles are hidden from view.
12) DISCARDED TILE: A DISCARDED TILE may be called for Mahjong or exposure, until such time as the subsequent player either DISCARDS OR RACKS the next tile. A tile is considered RACKED when it is placed WITHIN the rack, not on top of or in front of the rack. A tile is considered DISCARDED if it is named or is placed on the table. Once a discarded tile has been “covered” by another discarded tile (even a JOKER), it cannot be claimed for an exposure or Mahjong.
a) A discarded tile must be claimed verbally according to 2016 NMJL rules; and if not, the player loses the right to claim that tile.
b) If a player claims a discarded tile for an exposure, then exchanges a symbol tile from within their hand for a Joker in an opponent’s exposure and declares Mahjong with that NEW 14th tile within their hand, then that Mahjong is a SELF-PICKED Mahjong.
c) If a player claims a discarded tile for an exposure, and then exchanges a tile from within their OWN HAND for a Joker from within their OWN HAND and declares Mahjong – then that Mahjong is NOT a SELF-PICKED Mahjong. NOTE: The player who moves around their own 14 tiles (which already constituted a full 14 tiles for Mahjong) does not get a “Self-Picked Mahjong.” *** (FOR ISRAEL MAHJONG LEAGUE PLAY: Players who claim a discarded tile and on that turn rearranges their tiles resulting in an exchange of a Joker from their own exposures and then is able to declare "Mahjong", does NOT get bonus credit for a "Self-Picked Mahjong"
13) SCORING: See posted Point Scoring List.
a) PICK OWN MAHJONG: Add Ten points (+10 POINTS) to score when player picks own Mahjong
b) NO-JOKER BONUS HAND: Add Twenty Points (+20 points) to score when player declares Mahjong and there are no Jokers in the hand. Exception: There is no bonus given on any of the hands listed under the Singles - Pairs Group.
c) WALL GAME: Add ten points (+10 points) to each player's score for a "Wall" game.
d) INCOMPLETE GAME: If a game is not completed within designated time, each player receives "ZERO." NO POINTS GIVEN. If a player's hand goes "dead", or is declared "dead", player does not get ten points even if it is a "Wall" game.
e) Minus 10 points ( -10 POINTS) to a player who throws winning tile to player who has no exposures on rack or who has one (1) exposure on rack.
f) Minus 20 points ( -20 POINTS) to player who throws winning tile to player who has two (2) exposures on rack.
g) Minus 25 points ( -25 POINTS) to player who throws winning tile to player who has three (3) exposures on rack.
h) Minus 10 Points ( -10) for “dead” player in Wall Game.
i) Minus 25 Points ( -25) for player who MISNAMES discarded tile that gives Mahjong to their opponent.
j) **A "HEAVENLY HAND" does NOT receive bonus points for a self-picked Mahjong. Please see ITEM 5:4 above.
14) MIS-NAMING A TILE: There is generally NO scoring penalty for mis-naming a tile. HOWEVER....
a) If the discarded tile is claimed for an EXPOSURE, and the discarder has the correct tile in their hand, then the correct tile MUST be discarded in place of the incorrect tile. If necessary, contact the Director to ascertain that the correct tile is/is not in the discarder's hand.
b) If the discarder does not have the correct tile in their hand, the game proceeds, following the correct naming of the tile.
c) A MIS-NAMED discarded tile may be claimed for Mahjong. The discarder is penalized the appropriate number of points. PENALTY: Minus 25 points to discarder who gives opponent their Mahjong with the misnamed tile.
d) If a player claims a mis-named tile for an exposure, and the discarder does not have the correct tile in their hand - and the claimer prematurely exposes their tiles before touching and exposing the claimed tile -and discovers they have exposed the incorrect tiles, then the exposure must USE that discarded tile in an exposure. If the exposer cannot use that tile, then the exposer's hand is dead.
15) EXPOSING IN ERROR:
a) If a tile is claimed for an exposure, and it is touched by the player who claims the tile, it must be used in an exposure.
b) If a mis-named tile is claimed for an exposure, the discarder must provide the correct tile if it is in their hand. If the discarder does not have the correct tile in their hand, the game proceeds.
c) If the claimer has PREMATURELY EXPOSED THEIR TILES, before ascertaining that the discarded tile was mis-named, then the exposer must use the tile that was discarded in an exposure. If unable to use the tile, then claimer's hand is “dead.” (STRATEGY NOTE: Player who prematurely exposed may use the discarded claimed tile in any way, in order not to be declared dead. For example, you may use 2 jokers with the claimed discard, and change your hand accordingly).
d) Incorrect exposures may be corrected during the player's original turn, (e.g., a pung to a kong, or a quint, or back again; moving tiles o n and off the exposure ledge of the rack, until such time as the exposer has discarded a tile to end their turn.
16) MAHJONG IN ERROR:
a) There is no penalty for claiming Mahjong in error.
b) However, if player claims Mahjong in error, and displays or exposes any of the tiles in the hand, then player is “dead,” and receives ZERO points.
c) If a player who has been playing an exposed hand calls Mahjong or exposes in error, any exposures made BEFORE the error stay on top of rack, and any player may redeem and JOKER or Jokers when it is their turn. Player with erring hand is dead and stops picking and discarding.
d) If Mahjong is called in error, and
1. three other players expose their hands, all get "ZERO" (0) points.
2. If one person does not expose hand, that player gets ten (+10) points, everyone else gets "ZERO" (0) points.
3. If Mahjong is called in error and two or more hands are intact, game continues.
e) If a CONCEALED hand is incorrectly exposed for Mahjong, tiles must be returned to rack. Joker or Jokers cannot be redeemed, and player stops picking and discarding.
f) Please Note: if a player has claimed a discard and has begun to make an exposure with the claimed tile - and also claims Mahjong BUT DOES NOT expose any other tiles other than the exposure with the claimed tile - then player can continue to play if they realize they did not have Mahjong.
17) EXPOSING A CLAIMED DISCARD FOR AN EXPOSURE OR MAHJONG: Player claiming a tile for an exposure or Mahjong must place the tile on TOP of the rack, not in the rack. A player’s hand should be declared “dead,” for putting the claimed tile in the rack. Known as “continuation of line of sight,” this is to assure that the claimed tile is indeed the tile that was discarded; and allows verification of the actual tile by the other players
18) JOKERS: Prior to exchanging a tile for an exposed Joker on another player’s rack, a player must pick a tile from the wall to start their turn; or have picked up a claimed tile and built their exposure. Exposed JOKERS from a “dead” hand may be exchanged, provided the exposure was a correct exposure that was made prior to the exposed player being declared “dead;” in other words, that Joker-exposure was not the reason for the exposed-player being declared “dead.” A player may NOT exchange for an opponent's Joker to complete their exposure with the recently claimed discarded tile. When a player begins to discard a tile and discovers there is a Joker that can be exchanged for that tile, the player has indicated their intent to discard if that tile is named (even a fractional portion of the name); or if that tile has touched the table prior to the player verbally requesting to exchange for the Joker. FOR INSTANCE: “Seven Bam; Seven Ba; Seven; Sev; Se.” Once uttered, the tile can no longer be exchanged for a Joker in an opponent’s exposure.
19) MIS-CLAIMING A TILE: A player may claim a tile and then decide not to take that tile, provided they have NOT touched OR exposed the tile, or have NOT exposed any tiles from their hand. They may change their mind with no penalty.
20) DISPLAYING YOUR MAHJONG HAND: When declaring Mahjong, the hand should be displayed as it appears on the Mahjong Card. If you do not display the hand in proper order, and another player asks you to do so, you must do so. If you refuse, your hand may be declared dead, and the game will continue. **PLEASE NOTE: You do NOT need to place your exposures in order during actual play of the game.
21) SIMULTANEOUS SITUATIONS: Sometimes a tile may be claimed at the same time as another player racks or discards their next tile. This comes under the "Mahjong Rule of Simultaneous Occurrence," also known as "Interception," "Precedence of Claims," and "Concurrency." In this event, the claimant will receive the benefit of the doubt. Please contact the Director for the official ruling in this matter.
22) TIME LIMIT: Approximately one (1) hour is allotted for each round. At the discretion of the Tournament Director, some tournaments may allow 50-55 minutes. After four (4) games (a round), one player collects score cards and brings all four (4) of them to Director's table. All four score cards or sheets must be handed in together.
23) TABLE ROTATION: Rotating to a new table after every four (4) games is a standard process for tournament play. PLAYER MOVEMENT:
i) If you are sitting in an “A” (EAST) Seat – Go UP 1 table after each round
ii) If you are sitting in a “B” (NORTH Seat – Go DOWN 1 table after each round
iii) If you are sitting in a “C” (WEST) Seat – Go UP 2 tables after each round
iv) If you are sitting in a “D” (SOUTH) seat – Go DOWN 2 tables after each round
24) SUBMITTING SCORE CARDS or SHEETS:
BE SURE THAT ALL SCORES ARE VERIFIED AND SIGNED.
DO NOT LEAVE THE ROOM BEFORE YOU SUBMIT THE SCORE CARDS OR SCORE SHEETS TO THE SCOREKEEPER.
THE COLLECTOR FOR EACH SESSION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SUBMITTING ALL 4 SCORE CARDS TOGETHER!
Table scorekeepers will submit all scores to the Director.
1ST session player "A" (EAST) will collect ALL 4 CARDS or sheets and turn them in to official scorekeeper.
2ND session player "B" (NORTH) will collect ALL 4 CARDS or sheets and turn them in to official scorekeeper.
3RD session player "C" (WEST) will collect ALL 4 CARDS or sheets and turn them in to official scorekeeper.
4TH session player "D" (SOUTH) will collect ALL 4 CARDS or sheets and turn them in to official scorekeeper.
25) CHANGES TO SCORES will not be made once the score cards or score sheets have been accepted for scoring by the computer (or the Director). In the event of dispute, all four (4) players must be present for verification with the Director.
26) TOURNAMENTS by their very nature are notably more structured than social games; standards and rulings are closely adhered to in an attempt to avoid misunderstandings. If a question arises during play, the DIRECTOR’S RULING will be final. All decisions made by the Director shall be based on these rules and the Director’s personal judgment. Arguing with the Director may be grounds for immediate disqualification. Any question about scoring or rules should be addressed by the Director and not by the players. Do not attempt to make rulings that are within the purview of the Director. Remember, if you resolve a question of rules or scoring at your table, there can be no recourse to the Director. Only the Director is authorized to arbitrate any dispute as to rules or scoring.
PLEASE NOTE: The OFFICIAL STANDARDIZED RULES FOR TOURNAMENTS herein reflect a studied and fair approach to achieving an equitable and level playing field in Israel Mahjong League Tournaments. In some instances, the player will notice that these rules may somewhat differ from those compiled by the National Mah Jong League (NMJL) or other governing bodies for social and home games.
Copyright © 2017 Mah Jongg Madness. All Rights Reserved.
Adapted and Used with permission granted by copyright owner 2021.
Tournaments & Marathons Points
TO KEEP SCORE
PENS MUST USED FOR SCORING
Approximately 1 hour is allotted for 4 games
EAST keeps score for each table; then individual player signs to verify own score.
Please ask for help if there you are not sure BEFORE verifying each score. YOU are responsible for your accurate scores.
Check all scores prior to submission. Changes will not be made to final scores after submission.
Please do not tally scores; event monitors will tally scores.
NO gambling is allowed. NO exchange of money is allowed whatsoever.
SCORING for each hand is the same as on the current card (selected for each event) which MUST be present and used during all games.
If you PICK YOUR OWN MahJong +10 POINTS
If you have MahJong with NO Jokers + 20 POINTS (EXCEPTION: "Singles or Pairs hands")
WALL GAME +10 POINTS for each player
DEAD HAND gets "0" POINTS even for a WALL GAME (See DEAD HAND below)
INCOMPLETE GAMES (time runs out) ZERO POINTS for all players
If you THROW WINNING TILE TO PLAYER W/ 1 OR LESS EXPOSURE -10 POINTS
If you THROW WINNING TILE TO 2 EXPOSURES -20 POINTS
If you THROW TO 3 OR MORE EXPOSURES -25 POINTS
If your HAND IS DECLARED DEAD -10 POINTS
If you MISNAME THE WINNING TILE WHEN YOU THROW IT -25 POINTS
HEAVENLY HAND does not receive any additional or bonus POINTS