|By Tom Sloper
May 4, 2014
American Mah Jongg (2014 NMJL card). Continuing defense by the numbers. An opponent is showing two pungs. What do you do?
1. Consec. #6; the hot tiles are 2B 3B 4B 2C 3C 4C. Watch for clues; the twos and threes are key. If any two or three is dead (three or more visible among discards or exposures), then one way of making the hand is excluded from consideration, and you know how to defend.
2. 369 #5; the hot tiles are 6C 9C 6B. Be on the lookout for 6C; it's a key tile. If 6C goes dead, the hand is dead (and you should say so).
3. Evens #3. The hot tiles are 2C 4C 8C 2B 4B 8B. Twos and fours are key.
4. Two possible hands: Consec. #2 (the most powerful hand on the card*) or Odds #2. The hot tiles are 6C 7C 8B 9B. Tread carefully.
5. She's dead; this combination does not fit with any exposable hand on the 2014 card. It could work with Consec. #7, but that's a concealed hand.
6. Consec. #6; the hot tiles are 6C 7C 8C 6D 7D 8D. The sixes and sevens are key.
7. Consec. #6; the hot tiles are 4C 5C 6C 4B 5B 6B. The fours and fives are key.
8. Consec. #1 or #6. The hot tiles are 7B 7B 9B 7D 8D 9D 5C 6C 9C. Sevens and eights are key, as are 5C and 6C.
9. 369 #5; the hot tiles are 3B 6B 9B 3D 6D 9D. The sixes are key.
10. Consec. #1 or #6. The hot tiles are 1C 2C 5C 3B 4B 5B 3D 4D 5D. The following tiles are all keys to figuring it out: 1C 2C 3B 4B 3D 4D.
11. Evens #1; the hot tiles are 2D 4D (both key) soap.
12. Odds #4; the hot tiles are 1C 3C 5C 1D 3D 5D. The ones and threes are key.
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* Coming next week: "The Most Powerful Hand On The Card"
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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.
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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/.
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