By Tom Sloper

September 14, 2003

Column #126

Chinese Official rules. Sometimes you play a hand well, but somebody else beats you to the punch. Here are a couple of examples.

Example 1. Samantha's deal was clearly a chows hand. She'd figure out which exact hand later. For starters she threw Wh and resolved not to call. Several turns later she picked 1C and had to decide.

It wasn't strong enough to go for pure straight in craks - but might be good for pure straight in bams. She decided it might be better to go for mixed straight, in which case 1C or 7C could be discarded now.

Then West and North threw tiles she could chow - but of course she could only chow from East. East (Earl) had a couple of exposures up, and punged R when Samantha picked and threw it. Looked like he was doing Five Types. Then finally Samantha closed in on a hand when Earl discarded 5B. She discarded 3C.

She sighed when her next pick was 3C. That could have been her pair! It was maddening that Noriko and Waiyee kept throwing her tiles but finally she got a 2B. Then Waiyee won on Earl's discard. Coincidentally, Waiyee made Five Types, and Earl had been waiting for 4B or E to make Five Types.

Example 2. Noriko's deal looked like it might be chows or clean (bams).

Not ready to commit yet, she threw 3C. When Samantha discarded Wh, Noriko jumped. "Pung!" She discarded 8C. Soon the hand was starting to look good for Mixed Shifted Chows.

She discarded 5D. Her plan:

The plan was ruined when Earl won on her discard for an expensive Clean hand. Mah-Jongg would be a fun game if it wasn't for the other players!

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.