|By Tom Sloper
June 2, 2013
American Mah Jongg (2013 NMJL card). Defense by the numbers. An opponent is showing two pungs. What do you do?
1. Consec. #6 is a concealed hand. No other hand fits, so she's dead.
2. Consec. #2 or Odds #2. The hot tiles are 6C 8D 7C 5D 9B. Your only clues are what she discards and how she reacts to unwise discards of those hot tiles.
3. If she thinks she's making Consec. #2, she's misreading the color-coding. No valid 2013 hand can be made from these two pungs. Call her dead.
4. She must be thinking she's making Odds #8. But that's a concealed hand. Call her dead.
5. The only hand this fits is Odds #8, a concealed hand. You know what to do.
6. She's making W-D #4; E and W are hot.
7. She can't be making Consec. #6 (that's a concealed hand. That leaves 369 #5. The hot tiles for are 3D 3B 9C. The threes are key; look to see if her pairs are alive (if not, call her dead).
8. The only hand this fits is Consec. #6, a concealed hand. You know what to do.
9. She must think she's making Consec. #6, but that's a concealed hand (as previously discussed).
10. She can't be making Evens #6, because that's a concealed hand. She must be making Consec. #1. The hot tiles are 5D 7D 9D. 5D and 9D are key.
11. Consec. #2. The hot tiles are 7B 9C.
12. It's a mystery what she thinks she's doing. The only 369 hand with a pung of nines is #1, and this ain't that. Call her dead.
13. This isn't 369 #1, either. Call her dead.
14. Winds-Dragons #3. N and S are hot.
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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.
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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.