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By Tom Sloper
August 16, 2015

Column #642

American Mah Jongg (2015 NMJL card). How would you defend against these exposures?

1. Whatever she may think she's doing, she's wrong. There's no such hand on the 2015 card. Call her dead.

2. She's making 369 #1; the hot tiles are 6D and 9D. No key tiles (she can use jokers in both sets).

3. Which hand do you think, of the two possible hands this could be? Sevens #1? Or Odds #5? And is it one suit, or three? Four ways she could be going. All sixes are key, and 3B is key. If 3B goes dead, you know she can only make Sevens. If, say, 6C goes dead, you can eliminate one possibility from consideration.

4. This is Consec. #5, the most powerful hand on the card (in other words, the easiest hand to make because it's so flexible). Her hot tiles are easy to see: 3B 4C.

5. She can make Consec. #1; the hot tiles are 1D 3D 5D. 1D and 5D are key; if either one goes dead, you can call her dead (she has no other legal options).

6. This can be Consec. #2 or Consec. #5. Hard to defend here; flowers are a weak key for Consec. #2 (weak because there are eight flowers and the hand needs only two). The hot tiles are F 7C 5D 7B.

7. Obviously W-D #4; hot tiles are 8C W.

8. Quints #1. The hot tiles are 2B 3B (2B is key; if 2B goes dead, call her dead).

9. This hand does not exist on the 2015 card. You should call her dead.

10. Odds #2, or the easiest hand to make: Consec. #5. Hot tiles are 2B 3B 4D 5D. Keep your eyes open.

11. W-D #6. Hot tiles are R and soap; if just one of those goes dead, you can't call her dead. But if both of those go dead (three of both are used up on the table), then you can call her dead.

12. Two possibilities: W-D #1 or #4. For #1, the hot tiles are N and S (S is key). For #4, all even numbers are hot; watch to see what evens she discards.

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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 about the American game, including official rules not included in the official rulebook. 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).

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