|By Tom Sloper
August 18, 2013
American Mah Jongg (2013 NMJL card). What would you discard?
1. Could go Like Nos. #1 (6 tiles+J), Like Nos. #2 (8 tiles+J), or Sevens #1 (8 tiles+J). Like Nos. #1 is the weak option, but oddly, that doesn't give you any tiles to discard. Killing Sevens is the best way to go, though (leaves two options). Discard 6C, 7C, or F.
2. Consec. #1 (8 tiles+2J), #4 (7 tiles+2J), or (long shot) #6 (8 tiles+2J). Forget the long shot. Consec. #1 is stronger. Discard 8D or 9D.
3. Consec. #2 (8 tiles) or Sevens #1 (7 tiles). You can discard 5D, a 4C, and 6C without killing either option.
4. Consec. #1 (9 tiles) or #2 (8 tiles). 4B is not needed for either option.
5. Like Nos. #1 (7 tiles+2J) or #2 (9 tiles+2J). That soap is extraneous; chuck it.
6. You have two extraneous tiles: a third five and a third nine. Discard either one.
7. Sevens #1 (7 tiles+J) or Consec. #2 (10 tiles+J). Ones and F can go. You've narrowed it down to one hand.
8. Consec. #1 (10 tiles+J) or #2 (8 tiles+J). Consec. #1 is closer, but getting the 1D to make the pair is iffy. Consec. #2 is the most powerful hand on the card, but in this case, it's understandable that you'd probably discard 6B or 7B. It would be safer, though (albeit maddening) to discard low dots instead.
9. Like Nos. #1 (7 tiles+2J) or #2 (10 tiles+2J). Clear choice. Kill the flowers.
10. W-D #1 (8 tiles+2J), #2 (8 tiles+2J), or #5 (9 tiles+2J). #5 is stronger, so get rid of dragons.
11. Consec. #5 (6 tiles+2J) or 2013 #2 (8 tiles+2J). You don't need G; 1C might want to go next.
12. Like Nos. #2; soap and 1B are both superfluous. What you really need now is 1D or J.
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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.