By Tom Sloper

March 7, 2004

Column #152

American mah-jongg (2003 NMJL card). Today we examine some problem hands. For each hand, what would you do?

1. From the 2/22/04 Felicia Mahood tournament:

2. At the end of the first Charleston:

3. Picked R and it's early:

4. Picked J:

5. It's the second across:

6. It's the first across:

1. This suggests both Run #5 and Run #6, with identical tile counts either way. Run #6 is the better choice. Flowers are easy to get, only one G is needed, and it could be difficult to make kongs from the 8D and 9C. Call if 6B or 7B is thrown.

2. There are many ways this can go: Run #1, 13579 #1, S&P#1. With only two tiles to pass, it's not a bad idea to stop the Charleston.

3. This could be Like Nos. #1 or #2 or 2468 #4. Picking R or 8D makes it a coin-toss: 2468 #4 is worth more but is harder to get. If luck has been with you, go for it. Otherwise throw 8D (use R for joker bait later).

4. 13579 #6 is closer than Run #1, but it's a concealed hand and you'd have to break up a pair. Don't let those doubts sway you. Look at the discards and exposures. If 3B and F aren't looking doubtful, go for 13579 #6.

5. Without any 3s, best to break up the 1B pair. Go for high odds.

6. Three hands: 369 #2, 2468 #2, and (if E and W get passed, which often happens) S&P #3. Pass 9B, 4B, and either 6B or 4C. What you pass might come back in the 2nd left. And 2468 #2 is a long shot anyway.

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

Copyright 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.