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By Tom Sloper
May 18, 2014

Column #605

American Mah Jongg (2014 NMJL card). Defense by the numbers. What do you do when you see these exposures atop an opponent's rack?

1. She's making Consec. #2. Hot tiles are threes and fours in the other two suits.

2. Could be 2014 #2 or Consec. #6. Hot tiles are 1D, soap, 3B, 2C, 3C. Key tiles are 2C and 3C. If you see at least three of either tile among discards or exposures ("dead on the table"), then you know that she cannot make Consec. #6, so you have to defend against 2014 #2.

3. This could make Consec. #2 or Quints #1. The hot tiles for Quints are 2C 5C. 2C is key; if you see that it's dead on the table, then she can't make Quints, and has to be doing Consec. The hot tiles for Consec. are more difficult: 1B 2B 1D 2D 5B 6B 5D 6D.

4. Consec. #6 or Evens #4; hot tiles are 2B 8D 5B 4C 5C; 4C and 5C are key.

5. Consec. #2; hot tiles are 3D 6B.

6. 369 #2 or Consec. #2; hot tiles are 3C 7C 6D 8D.

7. This one could be any of three hands: Odds #1, Odds #2, Consec. #1. For the two #1s, the hot tiles are 1B 3B 5B 6B 8B. For Odds #2, the hot tiles are fives and sevens in the other two suits. Four keys: 1B 3B 5B 6B. If you see any of those dead on the table, you can eliminate one hand as a possibility.

8. This can only be Evens #1. Hot tiles are 2D 4D 6D; 2D and 4D are key.

9. This exposure is a dead giveaway; she's making 369 #5. The hot tiles are threes, sixes, and nines in all suits. Sixes are key; if one is dead, you can eliminate a possibility. But it's still a tough one to defend against!

10. Odds #2 or #4; hot tiles are 1C 3C 3B 3D; craks are key.

11. 2014 #2; the hot tiles are 4B and soap.

12. Odds #4; hot tiles are 1C 1D 3D; the dots are key.

A tip o' the hat to sharp-eyed readers Valerie M. and Linda Z.!

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Question or comment about this column? I often, um... intentionally (yeah, that's the ticket)... "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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