In Chinese culture, the rabbit is said to be the luckiest out of all the twelve zodiac animals of the lunar calendar!!
Grab your lucky rabbit's foot and let's hop into the 2023 Mah Jongg playing card
which promises to be a fun and challenging card! Only 9 hands are repeated from the 2022 playing card and 39% of the hands are new hands.
The patterns are creative allowing for the 756 variations that can be made from the 70 hands as written on this card. Players will have many opportunities to go down many rabbit holes in search of creative combinations!!
Some Observations of the 2023 Playing Card:
This year, FLOWERS are plentiful in Pairs and Kongs but say so long to double Pungs of Flowers! Flowers are required in 44% of the hands and are in all ten categories of the playing card. There are NO Pungs or Quints of Flowers this year. In fact, exposing a Pung of Flowers will make a hand automatically not viable.
During the Charleston, avoid passing Flowers if you can. If not using Flowers in your hand, hang on to them and attempt using them as joker bait during game play, but do not wait until end game to discard these blooms.
17 Hands require Two's tiles and 29 Hands require Threes tiles. During the Charleston passing, be mindful of not passing TWOs, THREEs and Soaps together in one pass. A player may inadvertently help their opponent toward a 2023 hand or a hand requiring number 2 and/or 3 tiles. Even the Quints hand #2 requires using Twos and Threes in the run... again, highlighting the numbers in our current year.
A blast from the past category has been added under the Any Like Numbers section...named "ADDITION HANDS." There is no tile in the set that represents the mathematical symbols of a
plus (+) or equals (= )sign. . The league just has a bit of fun when they create addition and multiplication hands. These four Addition hands are equations that must be made with the numbers indicated only. All sums are Kongs of the even numbers 2, 4, 6, or 8. As fun as it might be to pull a rabbit out of a hat, you may not make up your own equation with a sum of nine or less.
~ The BIG Hand is back where it belongs as the last concealed (c) Hand in the Singles & Pairs section with a value of .75. Please remember NO Jokers may be used in a 2023 grouping...or in the Pair of Flowers...NOT even for Mah Jongg.
~ Take a minute to double check your exposure when you CALL for a tile since there is a great variety of hand patterns. You can make changes to your exposure (ie. You exposed a PUNG but meant to expose a KONG) during your turn, but once you properly name and discard a tile, you could be stuck with an incorrect exposure. If this happens, hunt like Peter Rabbit in Mr McGregor's garden for another hand using your exposure.
~ Always verify the winning Mah Jongg hand!
Players should not throw all their tiles in to begin a new game until the winner's Mah Jongg Hand is placed in Hand order on their rack and is verified as correct!
Be mindful of playing a concealed (c) hand! You may NOT call for any tiles during game play. When playing a closed hand, you may call ONLY for your final tile for Mah Jongg.
FOLLOW the White Rabbit to the PATTERNS on the 2023 Playing Card:
Pattern recognition helps to remind us of what blocks of tiles compose each Hand. By relating to the rhythm of the Hand (ie. Pung Kong Pung Kong), players can think more clearly about what melds of tiles must be filled to complete their hand. Remembering where repeated patterns on the card are located, players will learn the Hands, remember the rhythms of tile groupings in the hand, and avoid making errors in exposures.
The following are prevalent patterns on the card this year:
PUNG KONG PUNG KONG PAIR KONG KONG KONG
PAIR PUNG PAIR PUNG KONG
PAIR PUNG KONG PUNG PAIR - The bell shaped curve hand, or as I like to see it as a bunny slope hand, is also a familiar pattern that can be found in six hands on the 2023 card.
~ Please note that there are many Hands that require single tiles! Single tiles are treated like PAIRS as you may NOT CALL for a single tile except for your final tile for Mah Jongg!
Discarding single tiles near end game can be riskier this year. Competent players read their opponents' exposures as well as the discards.
HOW CAN I GET TO KNOW THE 2023 CARD BETTER?
Each April, I create a worksheet packet with questions for players to answer that will help familiarize themselves with the current playing card. Examples of the questions I have included on the worksheets are:
~ List the matching and opposite Dragon Hands on this year's card?
~ How many hands have Flowers on the card?
~ Can you locate the hands with a Bell-Shaped Curve rhythm of Pair, Pung, Kong, Pung, Pair?
~ List some unique patterns that can be seen in the hands on this card?
I provide a downloadable and printable worksheet packet that includes:
2023 card overview
worksheet on the playing card
worksheet on the patterns of hands
answer keys & explanations
The worksheets help all players of all playing levels see the playing card from various perspectives. The worksheets are intended for ALL players, from Beginner to Advanced!
Familiarity with the hands on the card as well as an understanding of the patterns and rhythms of the hands leads to creativity of play.
Strong players will begin to determine what Hands their opponents may be playing when exposures are made. Strategy can be employed when a player becomes knowledgeable and comfortable with all of the Hands on the card. Switching hands may become essential and proficient players are adept at finding back up hands as well.
Please click on the link below if you would like to purchase the 2023 Mah Jongg Worksheet Packet! Once purchased, you can download and print the worksheet packet which includes the 2023 card overview, worksheet pages, and answer keys.
The 2023 worksheet card packet is available on my SHOP page...click on the link below:
f you are an Arizona local player and plan to attend one of the 2023 Playing Card Workshops with me in April or May, you will be provided this worksheet packet to complete at the workshop. The worksheets are included in the fee for the lesson.
If you cannot attend an in-person workshop, this worksheet packet will definitely help you become very familiar with the new card. Learning and playing Hands from all of the categories on the card will render you a stronger, more flexible & knowledgeable player.
I hope you learn from and enjoy these worksheets as much as I take joy in creating them!!
Listen in on my most recent guest spot on Fern Bernstein's wonderful Mah Jongg Mondays podcast (episode 116) for another way to become more familiar with the changes and new hands on the 2023 playing card. Fern and I discussed many nuances of the hands, clarified some of the instructions for hands, and hunted for certain patterns of hands together. Listening to Fern's podcast episodes relating to all things Mah Jongg makes many of my morning walks that much more enjoyable!
Happy 2023 Mah Jongg to all and....
May the tiles be Ever in your Favor!
Purchase the 2023 Mah Jongg Worksheet Packet NOW! Click on the link below: