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By Tom Sloper
September 6, 2015

Column #643

American Mah Jongg (2015 NMJL card). Many times, two exposures tell you what an opponent is doing. But sometimes, two exposures isn't enough information. Rarely, just one is all you need.

1. She's making Evens #1. The hot tiles are 2D 6D 8D. 2D and 8D are key tiles; that means if you see either tile go dead on the table, she cannot make her hand. If you count three or more of either 2D or 8D among discards or exposures, you should call her dead. If you have 2D or 8D in your hand, her fate is in your hands.

2. This is Consec. #5, the most powerful hand on the card. The hot tiles are 5D 6B.

3. Very tricky - four possible hands! She might be going for Consec. #2 or #5, or Odds #2 or #4. There are a lot of hot tiles: F, 8B, 6C, 8D, 5C, 7D, and 1B 3B 5B. First order of business is to check her key tiles. If F or 1B or 3B or 5B is dead on the table, you can stop worrying about one of her options.

4. This can only be Odds #3. Her hot tiles are F and 1D. Flowers make for a rather weak key; it would be unusual to see more than six flowers dead on the table. But if F does go dead, she's dead.

5. Two possibilities: Consec. #4 or 369 #1. Hot: 3D, 9D, and fives and sevens in bams and craks.

6. It's 2015 #2, but she's dead. It's illegal to expose a 2015. After you call her dead, she'll have to return the 2015 to the sloping front of her rack (the kong of 1C should remain atop her rack, since when she exposed it by itself, that was a legal move).

7. Clearly W-D #3. S and 5B are dangerous to throw.

8. With Quints #3, any number and any dragon could be hot; all you can do is watch her discards and her body language. Sometimes someone can reveal a lot by the way she reacts to certain discards.

9. Don't bother looking in 369; this is Consec. #5. The hot tiles are 4C 5D.

10. She's making Evens #2. The hot tiles are 2B 6C. With a two-pung two-kong hand, your best defense is to simply not discard what she needs.

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