By Tom Sloper

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Column #53

Western style. "Whee!" Wendy whooped. The other players all sat back into their seats, waiting to see what she had. It took her a while to add it up.

"Exposed pung of simples is two, exposed pung of honors is four, concealed pung of terminals is eight. That's fourteen. Plus twenty-four for mah-jongg and a flower is thirty-eight. Rounded up, forty. Times two for Clean is eighty, times two again for Prevailing Wind is a hundred and sixty!"

She looked at Easton. "Three hundred and twenty for you."

A group sigh as the players reached for their chips. And we haven't even gotten into the settling up between the non-winners yet. So let's not. Let's watch how it had developed. Wendy's deal had been a good one in the first place.

She knew she would have no trouble with the requirement to make a clean hand with no more than one chow. The 7D pair was too bad, though. Especially since she'd have to pass it, whole, in the Charleston.

By the end of the dance she'd acquired a pair of One Bams. She'd passed G during the Charleston and guess what her first pick was...

She threw White, and started thinking seriously about doing a Clean Pairs hand. Susan threw 6B but Wendy didn't want to chow too early. She picked 8B, discarding G. Norma threw 5B, and Wendy's Pairs plan went out the window. "Pung."

There followed a rapid punging party. Easton now had a pung of Souths and Wendy had a pung of Easts. To cap it, Susan threw 6B. "Chow."

Since the rule was that a clean hand could have no more than one chow, Wendy had no choice. She threw 3B, waiting for 1 or 4.

The tension mounted as three turns passed without anyone throwing what she wanted. But on the fourth pick, Wendy got 1B.

Easton had an honorable kong and four flowers (two his own, so doubled twice) so he raked it in from Norma and Susan. But winning is still better.

Links to sites where Western rules are described (every author's description varies somewhat):

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.