|By Tom Sloper
January 13, 2013
American Mah Jongg (2012 NMJL card). What would you discard?
1. It's 369; more tiles towards #1 than towards #3. There are two tiles you can chuck: 6D and 9D.
2. You can't throw S or a 3, so it's just between E and W. Joker bait (column 423) usually doesn't work with winds, so throw whichever one you want.
3. It's even between Evens #4 and Consec. #3. The Evens hand is fraught with peril since you need to complete two pairs. The values are equal, so it's best to go safe (in this case, Consec.); throw a 2 or a 4.
4. Consec.; there are more tiles for #4 than for 1 or #5, so discard 1B or 2B. (retaining #5 as a fallback).
5. This is stronger for 2012 #1 than for W-D #4, so discard R. It'll only hurt for a moment.
6. There are more tiles towards S&P #2 than Consec. #4. You don't kill either one by discarding 2B or 9B.
7. Consec. #1 and Odds #2 outweigh Consec. #3 here, so 8D can go.
8. Elevens vs. Consec. #3; either way, you don't need that third 1D; it's a literal "third wheel."
9. Those 2Cs don't fit. Easy.
10. Like Nos. outnumbers Consec. #2. Save 4C for joker bait, and chuck 3B now.
11. W-D #3 vs. Consec. #2 vs. Like Nos. W-D #3 has more tiles, so throw F (Fs are traditionally hot; throw hotter tiles earlier rather than later).
12. Looks like Consec. #6. G and F are not needed.
13. Odds #6 is weaker than Odds #1 and #2, so 1B is superfluous.
14. You can maintain Like Nos. and Consec. #5 if you keep 7B and 8D; break up 8B.
Click the entries in the header frame, above, to read other columns.
Question or comment about this column? I often, um... intentionally... "miss" something; maybe you'll be the first one to spot it! Email and the discussion will be posted on the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board.
Where to order the yearly NMJL card: Read FAQ 7i.
Need rules for American mah-jongg? Tom Sloper's book, The Red Dragon & The West Wind, is the most comprehensive book in existence about the American game. AND see FAQ 19 for fine points of the American rules (and commonly misunderstood rules). AND get the official rulebook from the NMJL (see FAQ 3). Linda Fisher's website is the only website that describes American rules: http://sites.google.com/site/mahjrules/.
© 2013 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.