|By Tom Sloper
April 8, 2012
American Mah Jongg (2012 NMJL card). The new card is here. Let's start the new season with some WWYP (What Would You Pass), 2012-style. Some random deals:
1. Could be a start for a 2012 hand. Or Consec. Or Evens. How about this: if you pass 6B 7B 5D, you can go for 2012 #1 and have Consec. #s 2, 3, and 5 as backups.
2. Strong indications of a Consec. Hand, so there are several tiles to choose the passers from: 9B S G R. Better not to pass both dragons at one time, so choose one to hang onto--for now.
3. Pair of eights, but without best friends. Consider Consec. #3 and W-D #4; pass 1D 3D 9B.
4. Pair of sevens, and lots of consecutive numbers. I like 5678 with this (Consec. #3). I don't like any of those twos, but to pass 2B 2C 2D would look very odd, and might give somebody a Like Numbers direction. I'd pass 4D 1C 2B. Your mileage might vary.
5. Pairs of N and 1C, together with S, suggest W-D #2. And look, there's even a 1B and a 1D. I'd pass 9C 8B 4D.
6. Pair flowers, pair sevens, pair jokers. And the new card doesn't have Sevens hands anymore--dang! Could go for 13579 #4, Elevens #2, Consec. #4 or 5. Too many possibilities, and too many AWOL pairs. Forget Elevens (no ones). Forget 13579 and Consec. #4 (no soaps). Just shoot for Consec. #5 (6B 7D 8C); I'd pass E 3B and either 5C or 9C (flip a coin).
7. Pair F, pair W. Weak start for W-D #5. Could become a 369 hand. I'd pass 1B 2D 7D. Winds are likely to come in, 369 might come in.
8. This kind of hand can get you in big trouble. You think all those jokers will carry the day, but if you go for a hand that needs pairs you don't have, you can still lose. You should not go for Elevens #2 and keep the 7D, for instance. But you can keep the ones and go for the three-suit hand. Possible 2468 backup. I'd pass 7D 2B 9D.
9. I'd go for odds here, pass any three evens. Wouldn't pass the soap just yet (as a temporary defensive move).
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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/.
© 2012 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.