By Tom Sloper

Friday, June 27, 2003

Column #83

American (2003 NMJL card). Nora exposed her tiles and pointed to the jokers she had to use. "Who had my four craks?" she demanded to know.

Wesley denied vehemently that they were ever hers. Here's his sad tale, starting with his deal.

What family would you target with this hand, which tiles would you pass, and why? Answer #1 at bottom.

In his first pass, he got 7C 8B 4D. After just one pass, he already had to make a decision about what to pass across. His clear choice was 2D. Why? Answer #2 at bottom.

After the Charleston, his hand was shaping up nicely.

A few turns later, he picked 4D and a joker.

Unknown to Wesley, Nora had a pair of 4C in her hand and was using it to make Run #5. She was not only never going to throw one, but since she was sitting to his left, if anybody else threw one, she would get it and his hand would be deader than an ashtray (remember those?).

Wesley was waiting to call 8B and 4D. Once he'd made both, he could take 4C if anyone threw it. Meanwhile, Nora picked 2B and was ready to call 3D or 4C for maj.

Esther threw 4D. "Gimme!" Wesley called. Two away now...

Sophia threw 3D, and that was Nora's maj tile.

1. Answer. It's a no-brainer: evens (the 2468 family). He's got two pairs and four singles that all go with that family. First pass should be odds, of which there are four: 9C 159B. Temporarily hang onto 5B for a possible Run hand (Run #5). 9C 1B 9B.

2. Answer. This hand now has a very good shot at 2468 #6. Crak pairs, dot pungs, bam kong. The 2D doesn't fit. The 6B also doesn't fit, and is also an acceptable answer, but consider Like Numbers.

Click the entries in the header frame, above, to read other columns.

Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.