To view nav frame at left and columns list above, click here.
 To display only this frame and view this column full-screen, touch here.


By Tom Sloper
June 30, 2019

Column #727

American Mah Jongg (2019 NMJL card). Defending against two exposures on another player's rack.

1. First thing to do is check the Evens family ("2468"), right? But nothing in that family fits, so there's only one other family where you might find this: Consec. And there are two possibilities: Consec #2 and Consec #3. Her hot tiles are 3D 5C F 5B. F is a key tile; she needs a pair. If by some remote chance flowers are dead on the table, don't worry about Consec #3.

2. First thing to check is the 369 family, right? And there are a couple of possibilities: 369 #1, and 369 #3. But don't stop there - six and nine have only two numbers between them (seven and eight), which means Consec needs to be checked, too. And lo and behold: Consec #2 is also a possibility. Her hot tiles are 3B 6B 3C 3D R 7C 8D. Of those, 3B and 6B are key tiles because to make 369 #1 she needs pairs of both.

3. First thing to check is the Odds family ("13579"), right? And Odds #2 fits. But don't stop there - these numbers are near neighbors numerically, so check Consec as well. And we find that Consec #2 and Consec #3 are also possibilities. Her hot tiles, then, are 5D 7B 6D 8B 8C F.

4. Check Odds first: nothing there. So check Consec next. Consec #2 or Consec #3 both fit. But wait, so does Addition #2. Her hot tiles are 4C 6B 6D F 1D 2D.

5. First thing to check is Evens, right? Yes, but there's nothing there (ignore Evens #6 because it's a Concealed hand). As it turns out, there's only one hand on the card that fits: Consec #1. Her hot tiles are 5D 7D 9D. The pairs are key tiles; if either tile is dead on the table, call her dead.

6. Numerous possibilities: Any Like #1, Consec #4, Odds #5, Odds #6, W-D#4. Her hot tiles: 5C F N S 2C 3C 4C 7C 9C. Several pairs; all are key tiles.

7. There is only one hand on the card this can be. This is easy; suss it out! (Hint: scan down the left side of each pane looking for FFFF, then see if a kong of eights fits.) Your defense problem is that you don't know if the player is making the one-suit or three-suit version.

8. Scanning for FFFF down the left side of each pane turns up only Consec #6, but the League sneakily put an FFFF in the middle of 369 #5. Both are a fit. All threes, fives, sixes, sevens, and nines are hot.

To read more columns, Click the entries in the header frame, above. Can't see header frame because you're viewing this column in full screen? Tap  this icon to see the list of columns with nav frames. Anytime you want to get rid of nav frames, you can just tap a  mobile icon.

Question or comment about this column? I often, um... intentionally... "miss" something; maybe you'll be the first one to spot it! Email and the discussion will be posted on the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board. If you want your full name to appear, let me know in a short sentence in the email (I'll omit that sentence when posting). Hit me with your best shot! Like this...

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

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

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 every player should have a copy of Mah Jongg Made Easy, the official rulebook of the National Mah Jongg League (see FAQ 3 for info on mah-jongg books).

If you appreciate the free information on this site, your donation would be gratefully accepted, and would help keep this site running as a free service. Thank you!

Not tax-deductible

© 2019 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.