Anticipation

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Anticipation, anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting…
Those of us of a certain age surely remember Carly Simon’s song “Anticipation”. The lyrics were later used during a commercial for a brand name ketchup. But at this time of year, Mah Jongg players aren’t thinking so much about ...

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Are We Having Fun Yet?

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stress-on-brain-1

My head hurts from thinking
I’m so stressed over this hand
I don’t know what to do
I need a miracle
I can’t wait until this is over
Let me out of my misery
This is awful

Hard to believe, but the above phrases have been muttered at Mah Jongg games I have attended. There are probably similar ones I didn’t hear. Mah Jongg is an activity that we voluntarily attend. We ...

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The Law of Averages

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Law of averages: (noun) the expectation that a possible event is bound to occur regularly with a frequency approximating to its probability, as in the (actually false) example: after five heads in a row the law of averages makes tails the better bet 

 

Playing Mah Jongg, I often think about the “Law of Averages”. It would be nice to think that if four players play eight games on any given day, each would win two games. Or, if players won more than their share on a particular day, then the next time they played, they would ...

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The Road Not Taken

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tworoads

As Robert Frost said so eloquently:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both…
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

How many times have we played Mah Jongg and had to decide between two hands? There we are, staring at the card, trying ...

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Getting my Mah Jongg Face On

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It’s usually fairly easy to tell my mood by my facial expressions. I admit it; I’ve never had a “poker face”. In fact, when I used to play poker many years ago, the other players could tell immediately by my eyes widening when I had a good hand, and would often fold.

I’ve had to learn to hide my feelings when playing Mah Jongg. ...

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Enjoying Mah Jongg, and Life, after age 50

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biking
I remember as a young teen, thinking that once I reached my 40s and beyond, I would have little interest in social activities and little energy to do them. Perhaps it was that era or maybe I simply imagined that I would be similar to my mother, going to work and performing necessary chores and shopping, but not otherwise physically or mentally ...

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   A Knack for Racking

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One of the cardinal rules of Mah Jongg is that a discarded tile is in play until the next player picks a tile and places it on his/her rack, what we Mah Jongg players call “racking”. Until that tile is “racked”, another player can call for the previously discarded tile.  I am not an expert player and sometimes take too long to make a decision about what hand to play.  But I consistently “rack” my tiles quickly.

As a new player ...

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Was it Luck or Skill?

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I am an avid Mah Jongg player who has played regularly for two-and-a-half years. I love the game, the patterns, and the mental stimulation. I consider myself a good player, but somewhat “streaky”. I may win three games a few weeks in a row, then not be able to complete a hand on the card for two or three sessions. It’s not that I feel I’ve played badly those weeks I don’t win, but sometimes a hand that looks so ...

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