Discard Early or Late?

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We’ve all been in this situation dozens of times. A player makes an exposure and you are holding a “hot” tile that you are certain this player wants for another exposure. It’s early in the game. You have two choices- to discard the tile early or hold onto the tile until later in the game.


There can be obvious advantages to both. If discarding early, the player needing the tile may not be able to call for it. This is most likely to happen if the tile you are discarding is needed for a pair. However it may also happen if the player needs a joker or two to call for the discard. I’ve talked to many players who use this strategy. Since Flowers are needed for many hands and are often coveted by multiple players during the same game, many players try to discard them early in the game if they are certain they won’t need them.


What about holding onto the tile? It’s possible the player will make the exposure by picking his/her own tiles, or if someone else discards one. If a joker is used, you might be able to exchange your tile for the joker- thereby getting an extra bonus. If you have multiple choices for discards, it’s possible you might never have to discard the tile at all. Many times it can be beneficial to use this strategy.


Sometimes these strategies can backfire. The tile is discarded; the player calls for it, and makes the exposure. It happens to all of us. Just be certain the discarded tile isn’t called for Mah Jongg!

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