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By Tom Sloper
November 4, 2012

No. #544

American Mah Jongg (2012 NMJL card). What would you discard?

1. Those flowers are only good for hands #1and #3 (seven tiles, not counting the jokers, each). Other options include #4 and #5 (also seven each) and #6 (eight tiles but concealed). You have to eliminate something; I wouldn't eliminate #6. Discard 3B.

2. Three jokers means think quints first. 2B doesn't fit with #1 or #2, so chuck it. If you prefer the safe conservative option, Consec. #1 or #2, discard 3D.

3. Consec. or Like Numbers? Let me count the ways. No, don't bother. Can't use the third soap.

4. Eight tiles towards S&P #4. Those dragons will lead you down a primrose path. There are no more than six tiles towards any Evens hand using dragons. But ignoring dragons, you have two seven-tile options (Evens #2 and #4). So slay a dragon.

5. Consec. #1 is out of question given absence of fives. Eight tiles towards #2 (6-7-6-7-8) and #3 (6-7-8-9). Break up 8C.

6. Odds #3 is closer than Consec. #4. Throw F or 2D.

7. Keep the flowers if you want to go for Like Numbers (six tiles, not counting jokers). Keep the 5D if you want to go for Odds #7 (also six). Keep the craks if you want to go for Consec. #1 (seven tiles, but lotsa luck picking in those pairs).

8. How do we let these things happen? Stop thinking 369, and lose those dragons, too. Like Nos., probably.

9. The mah-jongg gods are tormenting you with Elevens #2, in several dimensions at once. If you can't choose one now, you can eliminate one now. Or you can thumb your nose at those gods, and go for Like Numbers.

10. As in #8 above, forget 369. This time, get even.

11. Probably want to go for Odds #7. You have two superfluous tiles: F and the third 7C.

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© 2012 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.