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By Tom Sloper
June 7, 2015

Column #637

American Mah Jongg (2015 NMJL card). Defense. What do you do when an opponent has exposed these?

1. Easy. She's making Consec. #5, the most powerful (read: "easiest") hand on the card. Hot tiles are threes and fours in the other two suits.

2. Two possible hands: 2015 #4 and W-D #6. The hot tiles are twos, ones, and fives - and red and green. Ones and fives are key tiles (whenever you see a one or five go dead on the table, that tells you what suit she is not using if she's making the 2015 hand).

3. This could make Consec. #5 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. Could be Consec. #1 or Consec. #5. 1D and 5D are key; if you see either one go dead on the table, you know she can't make Consec. #1, in which case her only recourse is Consec. #5.

5. Consec. #4 or #5; hot tiles are 3D 6B 6D G.

6. Consec. #5 or 369 #3; hot tiles are 3B 3C 6B 7C 8D. 3B and 6B are key tiles; because she needs pairs of both, if you can see either one dead on the table, you know she cannot make 369 #3.

7. Odds #2; the hot tiles are fives and sevens in the other two suits.

8. Consec. #3. Hot tiles are F and soap. An easy read.

9. This exposure is a dead giveaway; no hand on the 2015 card can be made with a pung of nines*. Call her dead. Note: although many groups espouse a "never call anyone dead" rule, strategically speaking, you should call her dead; removing a player gives you more picks and increases your odds of winning.

10. Easy. Odds #2; hot tiles are 3B and 3D.

11. Also easy. Consec. #4; hot tiles are R and 3B.

12. Another easy one. 369 #1; hot tiles are 3C and 9C.*

A tip o' the Sloper hat to Phyllis R and Barbara H!

* 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. Hit me with your best shot!
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