|By Tom Sloper
Cinco De Mayo, 2013
American Mah Jongg (2013 NMJL card). What would you discard?
1. Not counting jokers, eight tiles towards Odds #1, ten towards #6, and seven towards #8. Throw 9C.
2. Seven tiles towards Consec. #4 (twos in the middle). Discard 6D or 8D and remove the red herrings.
3. Forget 2013 #1; discard a wind tile.
4. Evens #6 is worth more, but you'll have to be really lucky. Throw F (unless you perceive danger there).
5. Consec. #3. You were hoping for another G but got J instead. Do you throw J? Con: it tells people you're dangerous, putting them on defense. Pros: it's a safe discard, and it messes with your opponents' heads, giving you an advantage. Yes. Throw J.
6. Consec. or Evens? If you want to go Consec., throw 2C. If Evens, this is pretty lousy; throw 2C.
7. Six tiles (plus jokers) towards Consec. #1 or Sevens #3; seven (plus J) towards Evens #6. Ten tiles towards S&P #2. The problems with S&P: you have no sixes or dragons, and you'd have to get rid of the jokers and the third 4B. The problems with Evens #6: you can't claim any discards, and you're missing two numbers. Discard anything that doesn't work for Consec. #1 or Sevens #3: throw 9B first.
8. Odds #6 (ten tiles) or #8 (nine tiles). Flowers not needed for either option; pull one up by the roots.
9. Not enough sixes for 369. Think Like Numbers, and throw anything that isn't a nine.
10. Eight tiles (plus jokers) towards 2013 #1; only six (plus J) towards W-D #2. Throw N, 3D, or 3B.
11. 369 #6 and Like Nos. #2 outweigh 369 #1. Between those two, 6D is the tile to discard.
12. Eight tiles towards Consec. #2 or #4. Nine towards Consec. #1, but no fives. No 8D either, so concentrate on Consec. #2. Throw 9C.
A tip o' the Sloper hat to sharp-eyed reader Linda Z.!
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Question or comment about this column? I often, um... intentionally... "miss" something; maybe you'll be the first one to spot it! Email and the discussion will be posted on the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board.
Where to order the yearly NMJL card: Read FAQ 7i.
Need rules for American mah-jongg? Tom Sloper's book, The Red Dragon & The West Wind, is the most comprehensive book in existence about the American game. AND see FAQ 19 for fine points of the American rules (and commonly misunderstood rules). AND get the official rulebook from the NMJL (see FAQ 3). Linda Fisher's website is the only website that describes American rules: http://sites.google.com/site/mahjrules/.
© 2013 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.