|By Tom Sloper
August 10, 2014
If you want to view this column full-screen (without nav frames above and left), tap this icon.
American Mah Jongg (2014 NMJL card). Charleston. What would you pass?
1. Three pairs: ones, fours, sixes. You can't make a hand with all three pairs, so see which two pairs have the most "friends" in the hand. In this case, that's the fours and sixes. Go for the Evens section, retaining any nearby numbers for a possible Consec. (with fours and sixes, that would be numbers between three and seven, if any come in). For now, pass 1B 1D 9D.
2. Presumably this combination would have come together later during the Charleston (it's an unlikely original deal). Anyway, note that there are a lot more low-consec. tiles than high-consec. Keep everything between 1C and 5C. Pass any three tiles to the right of the 5C.
3. Think Consec. #6 and Like Nos. (fours). The discardables are sevens, N, and G.
4. Two pairs: fours and dragons. Together with the other craks, this is a good start for Consec. #7. Pass a bam, a dot, and R.
5. A hodgepodge - no pairs. Count highs (5) and lows (6), count evens (4) and odds (6). Lean towards Consec. as a general rule; pass the outliers. In this case, E and S and 9B. If you don't like passing two winds, pass E 9B 6C.
6. The sevens and ones suggest Addition #1. But see all the other tiles; they suggest Consec. or high Odds. Pass low: 3B 3C 4C. It's not a pretty pass, but neither is the hand.
7. Consider S&P #5, a real possibility here. Pass ones and 5D; hope to pick flowers (and no more jokers).
8. This wants to go Consec. #1 in dots, but it doesn't want to badly enough (no fives). Also see Consec. #6 and S&P #5. If this is the first left, pass 4B 6C and blind pass one. If it's the second left, give up on S&P; pass 6C 4B 6D.
9. Like Nos. (eights) or Evens. Pass E R F.
10. Think Consec. #1 (low over high) and Odds #1 (better than Consec.). Pass 4B 5D 4C; the 4C might come back, and pungs are easy anyway.
Click the entries in the header frame, above, to read other columns. Can't see header frame because you're viewing this column in full screen? Tap this icon to see the list of columns with nav frame. Anytime you want to get rid of nav frames, you can just tap a mobile icon.
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/.
© 2014 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.