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By Tom Sloper
July 9, 2017

Column #681

American Mah Jongg (2017 NMJL card). Dance the Charleston!

1. Where on the 2017 card are ones and soaps friends? Well, there's 2017, hands 1 and 4... Like Numbers, if you had more ones... Consec #7 if you had some 2Cs... or how about Odds #3? Pass E and G for sure, and ... I don't know, 6D. Remember: the first pass is about elimination, not a firm target.

2. Threes and fours in two suits can be friends in Consec only (or Quints or S&P, but there are too few jokers for the former and too many for the latter*). Pass 9B W and G.

3. Ones and twos in two suits. They can be friends in only 2017 or Consec. Six lows, five highs. Pass W and highs.

4. Eights: Evens, Like Numbers, or Consec. (And when you have no jokers, look to S&P.) Choose your passers from N 3C 5C 1B 5B.

5. Ones and eights are not friends. Eights have many even friends here, so the ones can go. Pass 1B 2B W.

6. Looks crak-rich, but there are only 6 tiles towards Consec #1. Anyway, you can pass 4C 8D N.

7. Twos and nines are not friends.

8. Fives and mostly high numbers, so think Consec. The winds can go. If you like Consec #7, G can go. If you like Consec #5, soap can go. If you want to keep both dragons, 9C can go.

9. Just a pair of flowers. Anything that can work with flowers? Mostly high numbers. Thirteens would need a 3C or 1B or 3D to go with FF 6 7. 2B is expendable, and 9D is on the outskirts of the high-number neighbors. (Translation: pass S 2B 9D.)

10. Pair of Greens. Like Nos. #1 (ones), Thirteens #3, Consec #5, 369 #1. Those are all just 4 tiles, so keep looking. Consec #2 (4 tiles); Odds #2 (4 tiles). Great. You can't keep all those options (they leave only W). Keep it simple; ditch lows. The rest of your hands will clump together: easier to manage.

* Actually, one joker shouldn't be taken as a sign to ignore Singles & Pairs. Just saying.

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Join Johni Levene's popular Facebook group, "Mah Jongg, That's It!" for lively conversations about American mah-jongg and all things mah-jongg.

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Red Dragon & The West Wind, is the most comprehensive book about the American game, including official rules not in the outdated official rulebook.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).

Where to order the yearly NMJL card: Read FAQ 7i.

© 2017 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.