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SLOPER ON MAH-JONGG

By Tom Sloper
May 17, 2020

Column #739

American Mah Jongg (2020 NMJL card). An opponent is showing two exposures. What's your defense?

1. The only places where you'll find consecutive numbers are Consec and sometimes Quints and S&P. You'll never see pairs exposed (not legally, anyway) and this doesn't fit with Quints, so focus on Consec. This is Consec #3, what I call the most powerful hand on the card. But this pair of exposures totally negates the hand's power. Obvious hot tiles: 4C and 7B.

2. Think this has to be Odds #3? Think again - Consec #3 is the great fooler. Her hot tiles are 4D 6D 7D 6C 8C 9C.

3. This, too, could be Odds #3... could also be Odds #1. Hot tiles: 1C 3C 7B 7D. Those crak pairs are key tiles. If either 1C or 3C is dead on the table, her only hope is Odds #3. So look for those tiles, and watch her body language.

4. It's Consec #3, but which suit is she using for her threes and fours? Look for clues on the table.

5. She's making Consec #5. Hot key tiles: 2C 3C 4C.

6. Obviously Quints #3. She needs 9D. Don't give it!

7. Odds #2. Or maybe Consec #2. Hot: F 3D 5D 6D.

8. She's behind the times; no such hand exists on the 2020 card. You can and should call her dead.

9. Odds #5. Sevens are hot key tiles. If any seven goes dead on the table, her hand is dead.

10. Could be Any Like #1 or #2. Hot: F 5D R G.

11. Could be Consec #2 or #6, or Odds #2. Lotta hot tiles: ones, 2C, threes, fours, sixes, sevens.

12. No such hand on the 2020 card. Call her dead.

13. No dragon quint on the 2020 card. Call her dead.

14. Quints #2. Hot key tiles: 3C and 4C.



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Dragon & The West Wind, is the most comprehensive book about the American game, including official rules not in the outdated official rulebook.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

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