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By Tom Sloper
July 27, 2014

Column #613

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American Mah Jongg (2014 NMJL card). Charleston exercises. Last week, by request, I targeted Singles & Pairs. This week, by request, let's go with those same deals and see if we can find a non-S&P option that's better. Start with a tile count. I expect this one, too, to be controversial!

1. Consec. #1 (6 tiles + 1J) or S&P #2 (8 tiles); no big advantage either way, so try to preserve both options. Pass E W and either 3B or 3D.

2. S&P #7 (11) or 2014 #2 (5), #3 (6), or #4 (7). Clearly best to go for S&P #7. Pass S 3B and F (per last week).

3. S&P #4 (10), Evens #1 (5+1J), Evens #5 (5+1J), or Evens #6 (7+1J). The S&P outweighs Evens #6 by just two tiles, but keep both open by passing 3B 7D G.

4. In descending order: S&P #1 (10), W-D #4 (8), W-D #1 (6), or Like Nos. (5). Pass 5C 9D W.

5. S&P #6 (9), 369 #3 (6, 2 ways), 369 #5 (6, 2 ways), or 369 #6 (6). Flowers not needed at all; pass F 2B 8D.

6. S&P #3 (10), Odds #1 (7), Odds #7 (7), Odds #5 (6), or Odds #2 (5). Pass 6D 7B 7B (sometimes you have to pass a pair to retain your best options).

7. S&P #5 (10), or Consec. #6 (7+1J). Although they're equal, I'd rather play safe, not discard a joker, and go Consec. Pass 1C 2C N.

8. S&P #6 (11), 369 #3 (8+1J), #5 (8+1J), or #6 (7+1J). 369 #5 and #6 are flexible, so are closer than the tile count suggests. But #6 requires an immediate decision (as does S&P), so I'd go #3 or #5, which also requires a choice that would stymie King Solomon. 6B 6B 6D.

9. S&P #3 (11) or Odds #1 (8+2J). Must break up something anyway, so pass 3C 3D 8B, go for Odds.

10. S&P #5 (10) or Consec. #6 (9+1J); advantage Consec. Pass 4D 5D 5D.

11. S&P #2 (7), Consec. #1 (6). Pass G S S already.

12. S&P #7 (11), 2014 #3 (7+1J), 2014 #4 (7+1J). You have to ruin S&P anyway; pass 1B 3B 4C.

A tip o' the Sloper hat to sharp-eyed reader Gay L.!

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