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By Tom Sloper
August 10, 2014

Column #615

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American Mah Jongg (2014 NMJL card). Charleston. What would you pass?

1. Three pairs: ones, fours, sixes. You can't make a hand with all three pairs, so see which two pairs have the most "friends" in the hand. In this case, that's the fours and sixes. Go for the Evens section, retaining any nearby numbers for a possible Consec. (with fours and sixes, that would be numbers between three and seven, if any come in). For now, pass 1B 1D 9D.

2. Presumably this combination would have come together later during the Charleston (it's an unlikely original deal). Anyway, note that there are a lot more low-consec. tiles than high-consec. Keep everything between 1C and 5C. Pass any three tiles to the right of the 5C.

3. Think Consec. #6 and Like Nos. (fours). The discardables are sevens, N, and G.

4. Two pairs: fours and dragons. Together with the other craks, this is a good start for Consec. #7. Pass a bam, a dot, and R.

5. A hodgepodge - no pairs. Count highs (5) and lows (6), count evens (4) and odds (6). Lean towards Consec. as a general rule; pass the outliers. In this case, E and S and 9B. If you don't like passing two winds, pass E 9B 6C.

6. The sevens and ones suggest Addition #1. But see all the other tiles; they suggest Consec. or high Odds. Pass low: 3B 3C 4C. It's not a pretty pass, but neither is the hand.

7. Consider S&P #5, a real possibility here. Pass ones and 5D; hope to pick flowers (and no more jokers).

8. This wants to go Consec. #1 in dots, but it doesn't want to badly enough (no fives). Also see Consec. #6 and S&P #5. If this is the first left, pass 4B 6C and blind pass one. If it's the second left, give up on S&P; pass 6C 4B 6D.

9. Like Nos. (eights) or Evens. Pass E R F.

10. Think Consec. #1 (low over high) and Odds #1 (better than Consec.). Pass 4B 5D 4C; the 4C might come back, and pungs are easy anyway.

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