|By Tom Sloper
June 17, 2012
American Mah Jongg (2012 NMJL card). Charleston, the first left pass. What would you pass? Blind passing is permitted. And: go for the second dance, or not?
1. Looks vaguely Consecutive. Pass G, R, and 1B; don't stop the Charleston. You need more clues.
2. Without flowers, this isn't great for Elevens, but those eights are sore thumbs, as is E. Lose the sore thumbs, and hope the dance goes on.
3. The fours and Souths don't go together except for S&P #1, which is too far away (as is Consec. #1). 2012 #1 is best; pass 4C 5C 4B; not a pretty combo to pass, but passing the 4C pair would be uglier.
4. Possibilities include 2012 (#2, #3; six and four tiles respectively, not counting J), 2468 (#2, #6; five and four), and Consec. (#4; five). Go 2012 #2, forget Consec. Pass 4C 5D 6D, and don't stop the dance.
5. Like Numbers or 2468, with a Consec. #4 option. 1D and 9D can go. Blind pass one, but don't stop the Charleston.
6. Like Numbers or Elevens. Pass the threes, blind pass one, don't stop. Without dragons, eschew Odds.
7. What goes well with that pair of ones? Not 7B, 9B, soap, or S. So choose three of those to pass (use any defensive strategies you usually use).
8. Threes and nines; so think 369 or Like Numbers, forget everything else. Pass anything that doesn't fit, using whatever defensive principles you prefer.
9. We can target specific hands with this (not just general families of hands); 2012 #4 or W-D #4. Pass one N and 3C. Blind pass one. I wouldn't stop the Charleston, but you could if you want.
10. Definitely 369. Pass 8B 5C for sure. Will likely want to go 369 #2, so dots and F are also expendable. I'd rather not pass F at this juncture.
11. With three jokers, think Quints. These tiles could go #3 (seven tiles) or #4 (six tiles). Pass 6D 8D 8D; or blind pass three and stop the Charleston.
Click the entries in the header frame, above, to read other columns.
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.