|By Tom Sloper
September 3, 2017
American Mah Jongg (2017 NMJL card). Charleston. Pass three.
1. Just going by tile count, there are eight hands with five tiles each: 2017 #2, #3, #4; Consec #3, #4; Odds #7; S&P #2, #6. But there are six tiles towards S&P #5. Forget S&P #2 and #6. The pair of 5C is a keeper; also, prioritize friends of 5C. Keep 2017 in dots, plus 1C 2C. That leaves precious little for passing. You know my love for Consec #2, so keep 6C. I'm not sold on S&P #5 (just six tiles), so 9C can go, with 6B 9B.
2. There are seven tiles towards S&P #5. But of course S&P hands are really difficult. There are six tiles each towards Odds #7 and S&P #2. Odds #7 is a Concealed hand, but that doesn't mean it's impossible; in fact, four-pungs-and-two-singles hands are pretty easy (which is why the League marked it C). If you really don't like Concealed hands, there are five tiles each towards Consec #1 and #6, and Odds #1, #2, #3, #5, and #6. I would pass W 2D 8B.
3. No pairs; garbage hand. There are seven possible hands, five tiles each. Consec. #7 (concealed), Odds #5 and #7 (the latter a Concealed hand, previously discussed), and four S&P possibles: #1, #2, #5, and #7. Pass three of the lows (whichever ones hurt the least).
4. Three S&P hands with six tiles each. #3, #5, #6. But... S&P!? Alternatively, there are numerous five-tile hands. No soap, and no ones, so don't hold out for 2017 or Thirteens. The pairs (F, 3B) point to Like Numbers, Consec #3 and #5, and 369 #3. Pass 2C and sevens.
5. Flowers, sixes, and fives: Thirteens #2, Consec #3, Odds #4. And there's a seven-tile option, S&P #6 - but you'd have to waste those two jokers. There are a bunch of lesser options too (like Like Numbers and Consec #5). Pass 4D 9D and S.
6. Four six-tile options, all in Thirteens. Anything else you can find has fewer than five tiles (and several of those are Concealed hands). 2C and 3B can go; as for your third passer, take your pick (just not F or 1C or 3C).
7. No pairs. Two five-tile options: Consec #4 and S&P #4. With this kind of garbage, always go Consec. High numbers are prevalent, so pass winds and lows.
8. Those craks! Oh, those craks! Eight tiles towards S&P #2. Consec #1 and #2 are also options, leaving 8C 9C S as the only tiles to pass.
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