During Tuesday evening’s Mah Jongg game, the end of the wall was fast approaching. We had already completed three wall games this particular evening and we had five such games last week! This seems to be a new trend for us. Is it because it is January and we all now know the card like the back of our hand and can figure out who is playing what hand? Are we all playing defensively that much more? Are we all gravitating to the same hands as usual or is it that we are trying some of the more challenging hands which take longer to form?
As discussed in some of MahJonggMentor.com’s previous blogs, do you play now to challenge yourself or do you let the tiles dictate the hands you play? I was trying to figure that out as we played the other night. The jokers kept hiding in the wall. Just one of those nights when no one was having much luck being dealt a handful. There were times during the Charleston that the exact same tiles went round and round. No one put a tile in their hand. As we began to play, a pattern emerged — all the tiles on the table were odds or there was the whole set of winds. We kept playing the same sections of the card at the same time. Personally I was letting the tiles tell me what to play – I read my partner’s blog and I just was hoping to win!
The past couple of games I also have been observing the players a bit more. We all have “tells” just like in poker and other games. Especially when you are trying to figure out which hand in a section to play. I have noticed my friends actually put their fingers on the hand in the section of the card they are playing. Am I the only one to see this happening? I also have witnessed too many of the players pick up their Charleston passes and hold them at an angle above their rack so that all the world can see what is being passed. Sometimes I think oh pass me those I can use them! Then of course I have the friend who all of a sudden gets quiet. then you know she is on call!
So as the end of the wall approached on this hand and I watched my friends toss a Joker and then another figuring it was wall game, It was one of those hands where the Jokers were hard to come by and I thought I was going to play another tough hand but it seemed to come together for me. Oh well I do not mind the wall games, as I think it means we are playing well, reading the tiles, playing defensively and challenging hands. So as everyone was prepared to throw in their hands I quietly drew the last tile and declared Mah Jongg thankful for the last hidden Joker!