Is Second Best Good Enough?

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Rosette-Ribbon---4-1-2--X-11--Fifth-Place_71822437It generally takes a combination of skill and luck to win Mah Jongg games. Sometimes it takes a little more of one than the other. Some days it seems like both are lacking and it is difficult to win any games.


We all have an occasional game where we don’t played well. It seems to me that we Mah Jongg players evaluate ourselves very critically. I generally am happy if I have played a game well with the tiles I have been given. So one day this week I played several games well, I think, and felt that familiar excitement realizing I was one tile away from calling Mah Jongg. However, despite being “on call” for six games, I won three. Not a bad percentage, but what about those games where I played well, and was eagerly awaiting that fourteenth tile to complete my hand, but another player won instead?


I feel that it’s certainly better to know I have played a game well but didn’t win, than to lose because I played poorly. There are some days that I don’t win any games, although I feel I’ve mostly played well. I bemoan the fact that I had skill but no luck during those games. Those are the days I ask myself if second best is good enough. Since I can use my skill to play the tiles available to me, and have no control over luck, is this second place really good enough? I could argue that it takes a fair amount of both skill and luck to be “on call” for Mah Jongg.


What do you think? Are you satisfied to come in second place?

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  1. Terry Frank  August 25, 2015

    Yes, it can be rewarding to be “on call” and not be the one to declare “mah jongg.” Perhaps you made a decision to change hands and then you started to pick tiles toward that hand. That is a great feeling. But even if you suddenly find yourself “on call” and someone beats you to it, one must remember that the winner should not have to hear things like, “I was sooo close!” or, “Look how I ended the Charleston!” (These comments are my pet peeves and belong in another post.) But winning isn’t everything and a well played attempt (and resisting throwing a “hot tile”) are worth something.)

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