By Tom Sloper

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Column #39

American (2003 AMJA card). This group enjoys both the added challenge and the whimsy of the AMJA card. Edgar considered his options.

With twos and fours in different suits, Edgar decided to retain all tiles that went with Evens and Sequences. After the 1st left, the hand was already shaping up.

This was looking very good for Even #2 (four pungs: twos and sixes in bams, fours and eights in dots, and a pair of J). By the end of the courtesy, nothing else had come in but an 8D, and he was sure this was the hand he was going for. He didn't really have a fallback position, though, much less any jokers.
As he picked and threw, he watched his opponents, to see if they gave any clues as to their hands. Nobody made any exposures. Finally Edgar, closing in on the hand, picked a joker.

What he needed now was two more 6Bs and another Joker. As the game went on, Edgar noted that Winnie and Samuel seemed like they were enjoying the game less and less.
Then a quandary: Samuel threw 6B. If Edgar took it, his only joker would be on the rack where anybody could redeem it. There was some wall yet. He decided to pass. And he was glad he did, when he picked a second joker, and eventually a third. He threw 8B, waiting for 6B or J.

The wall shrank until Edgar picked his last tile: soap. Nobody was going to throw 6B at this point, so he dogged. "Joker." The game ended in a draw, and Nellie went nuts. "Who had my soap? Look at this!" She turned her tiles over - it was the seven-pair "FRIENDS" (Nojo #4), missing only a soap for the D.

Edgar showed her his single soap. And Samuel showed a pair of them. Which goes to show that it's possible to enjoy this game even when you don't win.

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.