|By Tom Sloper
April 7, 2013
American Mah Jongg (2013 NMJL card). Charleston. What would you pass?
1. One pair: nines. Is there something that can be made from that start? I don't know yet, but those fours will never go with those nines. Pass 4D 4C W.
2. Those twos are shouting 2468, or Like Nos., or Consec. Sevens and nines not compatible. Pass 7C 7B 9B.
3. Flowers and fives. Could go Odds, Like Nos., or Consec. Even numbers can go, except 4B and 6B (check out Consec. #4). Pass 4D 8D 2B.
4. Ones and threes. Most likely Odds, with the possibility of Consec. #5. Pass 6C 8C 9D.
5. These are the same 4 players as #s 1-4 above. Player 1 has added the tiles passed by player 4, and so on. This player's tiles still don't point clearly to one hand (or even one family). What does not go with the pung of nines? Soap, 1D, and... it's painful, but... 3D.
6. W-D #4 doesn't look good because there are no 2Cs. S&P #4 doesn't look good, either. Pass 1C E W.
7. Think high odds, pass 3C 4B 6B.
8. Either Consec. (1, 2, 3) or Odds (1, 3, 5). But there are no fives here. Anyway, lots of passables. How about 7C 8D R.
9. 369 is an option now, and it looks better than Consec. Pass 4B 8B and 8C.
10. Still not sure exactly which hand to go for, but 6B and R can go, and of course 7C.
11. The three tiles received (1D 3D and soap) are all useless. Pass them on.
12. Still looks like Consec. 4D E W can go.
A new card can be a challenge. Just remember: if you can't zero in on a hand at this stage, a simple process of elimination can get you on your way.
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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.