By Tom Sloper

February 22, 2004

Column #150!

American mah-jongg (2003 NMJL card). It was a strange weekly Thursday game. A couple of weird things happened. For instance, I was holding this:

I was waiting for 8B or J (2468 #6). Everybody could see the fours and sixes, so I figured nobody would throw 8B or 8D. A couple of 8Ds were out, but 8B was raw (none were visible at all). The wall was getting really short... okay, so it was down to the last couple of tiles. I figured it'd be a wall game. But after picking the very last tile from the wall, South threw 8B. Everybody was inhaling to begin the kvetch session, but I cut that short by saying (rather forcefully and surprisedly), "mah-jongg!"

South had been holding:

She hadn't been able to get any Wests at all, and just needed a safe discard. She had all the 8Bs in her hand, so she figured that was safe!

And so it might've been... in any form of mah-jongg except American! Don't overlook joker power!

Another of my hands that evening looked like this:

I wasn't about to go for Like Numbers #2 with all those flowers! I picked 4B and 4C, getting rid of 4D. Then I called 4B for a kong, trashing 5B. I punged F, discarding the last 5B, and was waiting for 4C or J.

West threw my 4C. I won it, jokerless and double dice (a table rule my Thursday group uses). $1.00 - $.50 - $.00 (South was pie).

Today I'm participating in a tournament at Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Senior Center in Santa Monica, CA. The tournament is run by Bill & Judi Nachenberg, whose "Mah Jongg Fun Days" website is located at http://www.geocities.com/jnachenberg.rm/. If you're in the Los Angeles area, and you play American mah-jongg, you should get on the list!

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

Copyright 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.