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By Tom Sloper
January 17, 2016

Column #648

American Mah Jongg (2015 NMJL card). Let's consider four players in a Charleston. We'll enter the brain of each player, going around the table counterclockwise.

1. Your only pair (besides the joker pair, which just says not to go for S&P) is N. Three lows, four highs; four evens, three odds. Not a strong start. Maybe take a shot, keep odds, winds, dragons. Pass some evens.

2. Following the four step method, steps 1 and 2 get us nowhere (no pairs, and nothing jumps out), so on to step 3: highs vs. lows. Lows win; pass highs.

3. Pair sevens suggests Consec. or Odds; choose three to pass from 2C 2D W S.

4. Step 1: pairs of flowers and eights. Step 2: what's friends with those? Answer: 7C and 9B (Consec. #2). Passers: R E 5D 9C 1B 6B. Choose three, as you prefer.

5. After the 1st right, you have winds collecting, and 2015 seems like a possibility. Passers: 4C 3B 7B 9D R (choose three as you prefer).

6. Low numbers still holding sway; pass 8C 8B W.

7. Those high bams are starting to look promising. Pass 2C 6C W across.

8. Consec. #2 hasn't improved, but there's still time. Pass 2D S 9C across.

9. 2015 still a possibility; for the first left, pass 3B 6C 9D.

10. Still low numbers; pass S 9C 1B left, say "first left."

11. Clear passers are R 4C 8C. Pass them left.

12. Consec. #2 now has another way it could go. Those eights suggest possible Like Numbers. Pass R G W to the left. Always say "first left" on the first left.

13. Don't stop the Charleston; you can pass 1B 9C E.

14. Don't stop the Charleston; you can pass 1C 8C R.

15. Keep G and keep 7D 9D? You can stop if you want.

16. Don't stop the Charleston; you can pass 3B 6C 9D.

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