By Tom Sloper

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Column #95

American (2003 AMJA card). Nellie's deal pointed her one way. By the end of the Charleston a second hand had presented itself. The two hands were even. She won on the second hand.

It looked to Nellie like Run #2 would be best. For her fallback plans, she considered Odd Balls #3 and Gimme Five #3.

In the second across, she got 3D and a pair of 6B. This suggested Three's #4. For her first choice plan, what she needed was G. There was one getting passed around, but it never came Nellie's way.

What are Nellie's hands? Answer at bottom.

Edgar's first discard was 9D - Nellie couldn't take it, even if she wanted to commit to one hand so soon. Remember that G she'd wanted in the Charleston? Well, that was Winnie's first discard. O the unfairness of life!

After a while, she'd picked one tile each towards the two hands. Then she picked a joker, and had to choose between the two hands.

She decided it was better to go for the exposed hand. She threw 1B.

Winnie punged it with a joker - and Nellie was able to redeem it on her next turn. Shortly, Samuel threw 9D. If she called it, she wouldn't have her joker pair. But darn it, another 9D had already gone out, and she needed to make progress!

She discarded 2B. Her next pick was G. "Now I get this," she moaned as she threw it back. Edgar made a pung with a joker, and Nellie picked the redeemable tile, so she had another joker. Another player took one of the jokers from Nellie's 9D kong. Nellie picked another joker. Throwing N, she was waiting for 3C for mah-jongg. And she got it.

Answer: Two hands, both even. Run #2 and Three's #4. Awkwardly, the only tiles shared by both hands are the flowers and joker. Not a good strategic position.

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.