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By Tom Sloper
Cinco De Mayo, 2013

No. #563

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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