Can you win during goulash?

American, Filipino... Any other rule sets you may have heard of or come across!

Moderator: Shirluban

Post Reply
bronfer
Fresh Reacher
Fresh Reacher
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:32 am

Can you win during goulash?

Post by bronfer » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:41 am

Hi,
I'm a newbie on this forum. An Aussie who has been playing mah jong for a few years with gals on my street.
We had a new position come up today about goulash.
We had started swapping tiles across and left and right. One player had just made two swaps. She then found her tiles went mahjong - as she was East, she had 14 tiles. Could she call Mah Jong, or did she have to complete the swaps - thereby losing valuable tiles for her Mah Jong.
As we play just for fun (no money changes hands), the other 3 elected to give her Mah Jong.
Is there a rule for this occurence that we should have followed?

Many thanks
Cheers
Bronwyn

Iapetus
Senior Reacher
Senior Reacher
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:00 am

Re: Goulash question

Post by Iapetus » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:28 am

bronfer wrote:Hi,
I'm a newbie on this forum. An Aussie who has been playing mah jong for a few years with gals on my street.
We had a new position come up today about goulash.
We had started swapping tiles across and left and right. One player had just made two swaps. She then found her tiles went mahjong - as she was East, she had 14 tiles. Could she call Mah Jong, or did she have to complete the swaps - thereby losing valuable tiles for her Mah Jong.
As we play just for fun (no money changes hands), the other 3 elected to give her Mah Jong.
Is there a rule for this occurence that we should have followed?

Many thanks
Cheers
Bronwyn
1. This is a topic about Reach (Riichi, Modern Japanese) Mahjong in the Reach Mahjong forum. Your question about swapping concerns American Mahjong, and thus belongs to the Other Rules forum.

2. Some quick research on the rulesets and an inquiry made by Tom Sloper to the NJML tells that the procedure with initial dealer wins is the following:
  • Before any Charleston: The dealer is allowed to win if the hand. This is the only exceptional case.
  • After first pass of first Charleston: The dealer has to swap away three tiles of the complete hand. Too bad.
  • After the second pass of the first Charleston: A player is always allowed to "Blind Pass" by passing away 1-3 of the tiles he/she is passed during the third pass, without looking at said tiles. So a dealer with a complete hand can Blind Pass all three received tiles during the third pass and keep his/her hand intact.
  • After the third pass of the first Charleston: A player is always allowed to refuse the second Charleston and the Courtesy Pass and continue with the hand they have.
  • After first pass of second Charleston: The dealer has to swap away three tiles of the complete hand. Too bad.
  • After the second pass of the second Charleston: A player is always allowed to "Blind Pass" by passing away 1-3 of the tiles he/she is passed during the third pass, without looking at said tiles. So a dealer with a complete hand can Blind Pass all three received tiles during the third pass and keep his/her hand intact.
  • After the third pass of the second Charleston: A player is always allowed to refuse the Courtesy Pass and continue with the hand they have.
In your case, the dealer had completed two passes, so she could simply Blind Pass the tiles she was given during the third pass. Then she could refuse the second Charleston, refuse the Courtesy Pass, and call Mahjong.

Of course, if your group doesn't use Blind Passes, or doesn't allow players to refuse the second Charleston and/or the Courtesy pass, then a dealer with a complete hand can't do that either. The only case where a complete dealer hand can exceptionally prevent swaps is when the hand is complete before any tiles are swapped.

Edit: All of the following applies to the American Charleston, not the British Goulash.
Last edited by Iapetus on Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
or2az
Gold Boarder
Gold Boarder
Posts: 805
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:10 pm
Location: USA

Re: another gameplay question

Post by or2az » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:37 am

Google this:
Mah-Jong - British Rules - The Game - The Goulash
A player must always exchange three tiles - even if he is within one or two tiles of a Mah-Jong hand. And it’s conceivable that East Wind may be able to call Mah-Jong between exchanges.

User avatar
Shirluban
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 776
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:53 pm
Location: Svartalfheim
Contact:

Re: Can you win during goulash?

Post by Shirluban » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:22 am

Moved

You have more chances to find info about "exotic" rules on Tom Sloper's site:
http://www.sloperama.com
Cats don't do タンヤオ (tan-yao) but タニャーオ (ta-nya-o).
World Riichi Championship Rules
Comparison of riichi rules around the world

bronfer
Fresh Reacher
Fresh Reacher
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:32 am

Re: Can you win during goulash?

Post by bronfer » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:48 am

Thank you everyone for your responses. I'll look at Sloper's website, I had forgotten about him, I remember his site from when I first started playing.
Cheers
Bronwyn

User avatar
Tom Sloper
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 297
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:01 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: another gameplay question

Post by Tom Sloper » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:58 pm

or2az wrote:Google this:
Mah-Jong - British Rules - The Game - The Goulash
A player must always exchange three tiles - even if he is within one or two tiles of a Mah-Jong hand. And it’s conceivable that East Wind may be able to call Mah-Jong between exchanges.
Right.

And Iapetus is right, also (regarding American, not British/Australian, mah-jongg). National Mah Jongg League rules do not apply to British/Australian mah-jongg. (As per his own follow-up edit.)

The American Charleston has mandatory passes and "blind passable" plays, and even an optional pass. The British/Australian/Western goulash isn't described in any of the books with wishy-washy words or phrases like "optional" or "blind pass."

Well, okay, so in "Mah Jongg, Anyone?" (a book that in recent editions has me listed as co-author) the razzle or Charleston is labeled "an optional procedure," but that just means that the players can choose whether or not they are going to start a razzle or Charleston when they play a goulash hand (a replay due to a game nobody won).

It's not stated in any book that Western players have an option of passing or not; by choosing to play a razzle/Charleston, they've agreed to make exchanges, period. But I also think or2az is right: mah-jongg trumps everything, so if East gets a complete mah-jongg hand in the midst of all that, s/he can just say "mah-jongg!" It's only reasonable.
4649おねがいします。

User avatar
Scott Miller
Junior Reacher
Junior Reacher
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:16 am
Contact:

Re: Can you win during goulash?

Post by Scott Miller » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:06 am

According to "Mah-Jong 3rd Edition" which is the rulebook endorsed by the British Mah-Jong Association, there is no EXPLICIT mention that East is allowed to mahjong during the goulash. That said, the rules pertaining to the goulash do have this last sentence awkwardly tacked on to the end of the goulash section:
The only difference is that no chows are allowed in a goulash, unless they are part of a special hand.
Normally in the BMJA rules, one chow is permitted in the winning hand... so clearly this sentence is referring to a winning hand during the goulash. How can a rule restrict a player from having any chows in a non-winning concealed hand as a work in progress? The only context of this sentence that makes sense is as pertains to a winning hand.

So clearly the BMJA rules imply that East can in fact win during the goulash... they just for some reason missed specifically saying it... so barring an official contradictory ruling by the BMJA, I'd say East CAN mahjong anytime during the goulash.

To compare this to the National Mah-Jongg League rules, the NMJL is very specific about winning during the Charleston (goulash) phase:

According to "Mah-Jongg Made Easy," published by the National Mah-Jongg League (authority on "American" Mah-Jongg):
The first Charleston in compulsory, even if a player has a "set" hand from the wall. Exception: If East, who has 14 tiles, draws a Mah Jongg hand, the Charleston is waived.
That said, once the Charleston (goulash) begins, if East draws a mahjong hand after the first pass... they are unfortunately obligated to pass three tiles in the second pass, likely ruining their winning hand in the process.

Getting back to the OP's question... after TWO passes of the goulash have been made, can she mahjong? Even in the American rules she still can, since in the American rules, after the first two passes, players may blind-pass the third pass, keeping their current (winning) hand unaltered.
On this pass only, if you find you cannot spare any of the tiles in your hand, you may take one, two, or all three tiles that are being passed to you and pass them to the player on your left, without looking at them. This is called a "Blnd Pass."
... and thus able to declare mahjong once the Charleston (goulash) is complete.

So in either the British or American, I'd say yes, your friend could have won with a winning hand after the second pass.
Editor, Mahjong News
Author, "Mahjong from A to Zhú"
Columnist, "Tiles of the Unexpected" in "Mahjong Collector Magazine"
World Riichi Championship Committee
Vice President of the Mahjong Int'l League
Chow Eater

User avatar
Tom Sloper
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 297
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:01 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: Can you win during goulash?

Post by Tom Sloper » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:41 am

Scott Miller wrote:According to "Mah-Jong 3rd Edition" which is the rulebook endorsed by the British Mah-Jong Association, there is no EXPLICIT mention that East is allowed to mahjong during the goulash. ... So clearly the BMJA rules imply that East can in fact win during the goulash... they just for some reason missed specifically saying it... so barring an official contradictory ruling by the BMJA, I'd say East CAN mahjong anytime during the goulash.

To compare this to the National Mah-Jongg League rules, the NMJL is very specific about winning during the Charleston (goulash) phase:
The Charleston is not the same thing as the goulash, though. The goulash is the playthrough of an entire hand, and the "Charleston" (also called a "razzle" in Western MJ) is an optional procedure that starts off the goulash, prior to the play of the goulash hand.
4649おねがいします。

Post Reply