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By Tom Sloper
May 26, 2013

No. #566

American Mah Jongg (2013 NMJL card). You've just picked the tile at the right. What would you discard?

1. You picked 7B; keep it. Looks like high odds or high consec. Throw 1C or a dragon (keep the 4C pair for joker bait, as discussed in column 423).

2. Picked 9C; now it looks good for high odds or Like Nos.; throw 6C.

3. That 5B points towards Odds #4. Shame that those 9Bs have to go. At least one of them, for now.

4. Got a 3rd 9C. Problem: Odds #4 can use only two. Throw it back.

5. 6C isn't needed for Evens #2, #4, or #5.

6. Evens #4 or #5, and you have to decide right now. Not counting Js: eight tiles towards #5, nine towards #4. #4 is stronger and less risky. 8C and 4B can go.

7. A decision must be made. You'd need to keep all three Fs for Odds #3, but there are no more than three non-Fs for that hand. You'd need just two Fs for Consec. #5, but there are no more than four non-Fs for that one. So just six tiles for each (not counting J). Likewise, six tiles for Odds #2. Look at Odds #7; seven tiles, but you're missing whole pairs. Make life simpler; just go Odds. Kill 8D.

8. Seven tiles (not counting J) towards Odds #3, and seven towards Odds #2. The 5Bs don't work for either. Ten towards Odds #7, but no 5D pair. Throw 5B.

9. The pair of fives doesn't have enough near-number neighbors for Consec., so aiming for Odds, throw a two.

10. Possible Consec. #2 or #5, as well as Odds #3 or #4. Naah, the heck with Consec. #2. Get rid of 6D.

11. Odds #4 is stronger than the other two possibles (Consec. #5 and Odds #3). One option has to go, and throwing 1D leaves two good options alive.

12. Eight tiles towards Odds #4 (not counting Js); only seven towards Consec. #5. 4B and F can go.

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