Variety is the Spice of Life!

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As we enter the new calendar year, we begin to anticipate the new “Mah Jongg” year and card. It seems a long time between January and April.  If you are an avid player, you may be getting tired of the card, after all it is eight months old already.  Have you built all the hands?  Do you have a favorite section?  Or are you just bored with the 2015 NMJL Card at this point?

If you are looking to spice up your play, I have a few ideas for you….

There are alternative cards out there.  These are hands developed by others to keep the game interesting.  They use NMJL rules but the patterns are different.  These cards are not used in tournaments, but merely established to provide alternative hands to play.  There are three that I know of,  The American Mah Jongg Association puts one out,  Marvelous Mah Jongg is another, and lastly is The Next Generation Card, put our by Destination Mah Jongg.

The other option, is quite simple.  As a group, everyone at your table play with a prior year card. It could be from 1997 or 1957 it really doesn’t matter as long as the four of you use the same card. I have done this with my family over the years and it is quite fun!

These are just a few alternatives for use throughout the year or just  to keep your game interesting and fun in the interim(or winter doldrums) if you don’t feel challenged any more. I have seen the American Mah Jongg Association card, but its been several years. If you are using these alternatives.  Feel free to share your experiences with our members.


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  1. Beckie  February 17, 2016

    Being new to the game, can I order previous year cards if i wish?

  2. Faye  February 25, 2016

    Thanks for your question. Old cards are usually available with some searching on eBay or Pinterest. The National Mah Jongg League only sells the current year card and I believe that is true of most of the suppliers.

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