October 10, 2004
American mah-jongg (2004 NMJL card). Nora griped, "I should have won that hand. I started with nothing, turned it into a hand, and was waiting. Darn!"
Here's what she was dealt:
The problem with mah-jongg is you often get a hand like this. One pair, and a couple of jokers. It makes you think you have something, when you actually don't. Would you pass what Nora passed? See answer #1, below.
In return, she got W 8B 6C. Would you target the families she did? See answer #2. By the end of the Charleston and courtesy:
Either way she'd go with these, she'd need flowers. And maybe a pair of 3C. She'd have to see what she'd pick. Seven picks later:
A 3C went out but Nora couldn't take it. A short time later, an 8C went out. Decision time! Would you do what she did? See answer #3.
Twelve turns later, Sophia threw 9C.
No quiz this time. Of course Nora konged it. Discarding 6C, she needed F to win.
Then Sophia picked a tile and said "Maj."
Thus began Nora's griping.
1. The three worst tiles in Nora's hand were 2C 4C 2B. Just one problem - that's an awfully nice pass (Esther might well be able to build a 2468 hand from it). Nora's philosophy was to try to help herself over not helping others, so she passed it anyway.
2. At this point Nora had:
This could be 369 #1 or consecutives #4 (she knew she'd need flowers). She decided to pass W 7C 8B.
3. The 3Cs were not coming in, so she went for the run.
Note: one tile from the "nice pass" Nora initially gave to Esther made its way into Sophia's winning hand. But Nora's hand was far-fetched from the start.
Click the entries in the header frame, above, to read other columns.
Question about this column? See an error? Let us know about it on the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board.
Haven't ordered the 2004 NMJL card yet? Read FAQ 7i.
© 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.