|By Tom Sloper
October 7, 2012
American Mah Jongg (2012 NMJL card). Charleston. What would you pass? Don't think longer than the others!
1. Reasonable start for Consec. #4 or W-D #4 (NEWS). Pass 5C 7B 1D.
2. Consec. or Evens. Process of elimination: E N F. Yes, it isn't ideal to pass two winds at once. Sometimes your need trumps a minor strategic principle.
3. A clear call for 369. Pass 5, 8, and 7. Choose a hand later.
4. Ones and Ws don't go together. Think 2012, pass anything that doesn't fit the 2012 family.
5. Like Nos. (twos) or Consec. Pass 4C 7C 5B.
6. Odds or W-D #2. Pass 1B E R. Passing Wh too early can give someone a direction (i.e. 2012). Passing it later might put it in someone's hand after she no longer needs new ideas.
7. Three hands, need to count tiles. W-D #4 (8) or 2012 #4 (6), possibly Consec. #6 (7). Forget 2012, then. If this isn't a blind pass move, you only have 1D and 4B to pass, so drop Consec., pass anything that doesn't fit W-D #4.
8. Nines and Ws don't go together, so go 369. Include a W in your pass.
9. With three Js, think Quints first. Got three consecutive numbers (3 4 5). You have lots of passers.
10. Ones and eights says Elevens, but you have no 3s or Fs. No jokers, but no S&P combos. Fall back to Consec., pass 9D and 4s for starters.
11. Strong Evens #7. Pass odd craks and G. You will need to break up 1B, but no need to start with that.
12. This is ugly and smelly (contains numerous red herrings). Go for Consec. dots, pass whatever else.
13. Strong 369. Pass anything that doesn't fit.
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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.