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By Tom Sloper
December 16, 2018

Column #711

American Mah Jongg (2018 NMJL card). Let's dance the Charleston. Which three would you pass?

1. Step one: look for pairs. Step two: what here is friends with nines? Answer: high numbers. Passers: winds, ones, and 4D. Choose any three.

2. Pair of sixes, with numerous nearby numbers providing consec opps in the 4-8 range. Keep 2C for possible Evens use. Pass N 1B R.

3. Pairs of eights and wests. They could go together for W-D #6, so keep those and E. Keep all sevens and eights for possible consec. Could keep twos too, leaving ones and threes to pass.

4. Pairs of sevens, fives, and soaps. Seven tiles towards Odds #2 (and S&P #1). There are six tiles towards Any Like #3 and Quints #3. If you really want to preserve the S&P option, pass threes and a soap. If you like Any Like Numbers better, pass a wind instead of a soap.

5. The only pair is S, which has insufficient friends, so forget that. Look for another pattern. Highs and lows are equal; there are a couple more evens than odds. Remove numeric outliers (in this case, ones and nines). I wouldn't pass dragons just yet. Pass 1D 9C S.

6. Pairs of sixes and flowers. Can they go together? Yes, but friendlessly. Just get rid of the least likely suspects: a wind, the dragon, and the 1B. See what comes in.

7. Pairs of sevens and souths. They're friends for W-D #5 but without any support. Lots of odds though, so pass S and soap and 4D (keeping 1D 2D 5C for possible Addition #3).

8. Norths, easts, and fours. The fours go with the easts and the dragon. The norths can go, and any numbers that don't equal four.

9. Fours and sixes. Looks like an Evens hand. I'd keep 7B for a Consec #2 option, and pass S W 9B.

10. Pair souths only (in other words: nada). Highs and lows are equal. Pass S soap 1D or S S soap.

11. Flowers and threes. Possible 369. Pass sevens and E. Mustn't obsess over the Charleston.

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