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By Tom Sloper
December 2, 2018

Column #710

American Mah Jongg (2018 NMJL card). An opponent has made one or more exposures. Defend.

1. As discussed in a previous column, there are just four non-zero dragon pung hands on this year's card. Look for DDD on the card: Any Like #3, Consec #6, Odds #4, 369 #5. With twos as the number pung, there are only two possibilities, one of which is closed. She must be doing Consec #6, and her hot tiles are ones and threes, but which suit? Look for clues on the table.

2. Consecutive numbers usually means look in Consec. And you'll find that which you seek in 5th place. Her hot tiles are 2B or 5B, and she needs a flower pair. It would be foolhardy to discard a flower.

3. Odds? No: Twelves (Addition), the 3-suit version. She needs 1C and 2C, and a flower kong. Look at the table for 1C and 2C; they're key tiles (if either is dead, you can call her dead). And I wouldn't be discarding any flowers, either.

4. It is to be hoped that readers of this column would recognize Consec #2. The hot tiles are 6C 7B. No key tiles.

5. There is one Quints hand she is not making. The question is, which of the other three hands might she be making? If somebody else is showing a W-D hand, she might not be doing Quints #1. Quints #3 and #4 both have key tiles: 8B 8C 6D and 7D are all pairs, required if she is not making Quints #1. If you see three 8Bs, that eliminates one possibility (you don't have to worry about discarding 6B, 7B, 8B, or 9B). If you see three 6Ds or 7Ds, you don't have to worry about Quints #4. And check her body language for signs of resignation, unless you know her to be a cagey player.

6. As with dragon pungs, flower pungs are rare on the card; just look for FFF. Having looked all over the card, it's easy to eliminate Evens and 369, leaving just Any Like and Odds. She needs either 5B, 5D, 1C, or 9C (and another flower pung).

7. There is no hand on the card where a pung of twos works with a dragon kong. It's strategically wise to call her dead.

8. It's clear which hand she's making: Consec #7, a concealed hand. Call her dead. People always argue with me on this. You don't really think she's holding onto your tiles and will discard what you need, do you?

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