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By Tom Sloper
January 13, 2013

No. #553

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

1. It's 369; more tiles towards #1 than towards #3. There are two tiles you can chuck: 6D and 9D.

2. You can't throw S or a 3, so it's just between E and W. Joker bait (column 423) usually doesn't work with winds, so throw whichever one you want.

3. It's even between Evens #4 and Consec. #3. The Evens hand is fraught with peril since you need to complete two pairs. The values are equal, so it's best to go safe (in this case, Consec.); throw a 2 or a 4.

4. Consec.; there are more tiles for #4 than for 1 or #5, so discard 1B or 2B. (retaining #5 as a fallback).

5. This is stronger for 2012 #1 than for W-D #4, so discard R. It'll only hurt for a moment.

6. There are more tiles towards S&P #2 than Consec. #4. You don't kill either one by discarding 2B or 9B.

7. Consec. #1 and Odds #2 outweigh Consec. #3 here, so 8D can go.

8. Elevens vs. Consec. #3; either way, you don't need that third 1D; it's a literal "third wheel."

9. Those 2Cs don't fit. Easy.

10. Like Nos. outnumbers Consec. #2. Save 4C for joker bait, and chuck 3B now.

11. W-D #3 vs. Consec. #2 vs. Like Nos. W-D #3 has more tiles, so throw F (Fs are traditionally hot; throw hotter tiles earlier rather than later).

12. Looks like Consec. #6. G and F are not needed.

13. Odds #6 is weaker than Odds #1 and #2, so 1B is superfluous.

14. You can maintain Like Nos. and Consec. #5 if you keep 7B and 8D; break up 8B.

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