|By Tom Sloper
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American Mah Jongg (2014 NMJL card). What would you do if you see these on an opponent's rack?
1. Only one hand this can be: Odds #6. 9C and F are hot; F is key (see column 607). But since there are eight flowers in the deck, it's a minor key.
2. Evens #4. Hot tiles are 4C and 6B. No "key" clues, since the hand needs no pairs.
3. It's 369 #4. Hot tiles are 9B and F; F is key.
4. Evens #3 or #4. Hot tiles are 2C 4C 2B 6B 6D. If the crak pairs are dead, her only option is Evens #4.
5. Don't bother looking for this in Odds; this is Consec. #3. The hot tiles are fours in all suits. Look to see if any of the fours are dead on the table (column 607), since she needs pairs of all of them.
6. She's making Consec. #2, the most powerful hand on the card (column 604). She needs 5D 8B.
7. This is Odds #2. She needs 5B 9D.
8. This is Evens #1. She needs 2C 4C and 6C; 2C and 4C are key.
9. Odds #6; hot tiles are soap and F (F is key).
10. This is Odds #2. She needs threes and fives in the other two suits. Hope for clues based on what she discards.
11. Like Numbers. 2B and F are hot; 2B is key.
12. A dead giveaway (literally): it can only be W-D #5. Only problem: it's a concealed hand. Call her dead (and yes, you really should call her dead).
13. Consec. #1: 1D 2D are key, and 4D is also hot. Odds #2: she needs ones and threes in the other suits.
14. Odds #5. Oh, and also could be Consec. #6. The hot tiles are 5D 7D 8D 5B 8B. Lots of keys; look for dead pairs that reduce her options.
Thanks to sharp-eyed readers Dale P., Gay L., and Bee!
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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/.
© 2014 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.