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By Tom Sloper

December 18, 2005

Column #245 American mah-jongg (2005 NMJL card). Charleston exercises. What 3 tiles would you pass, and why? My answers are in italics at the end - no peeking ahead!

1. The pair of ones, with other odd numbers in the same suit, immediately suggests the 13579 family. Keep the soap too (for either 13579 or a Consec. hand), and for now you can also keep all numbers in other suits lower than 5. Pass N, G, 8C.
2. There's no hand that can use all three of the pairs. There are two hands that can use the fours and sevens (Sevens and Consec.). The dragons and sevens can be used in 13579. You're missing a G for the 3rd 2468 option and you don't have any threes for the Sevens hand. There's no use for N, 8B, Wh. Lose'em.
3. This one looks perfect for a Consec. hand or Quints #3. You need to pass 3 tiles. F and W are obvious, but for the 3rd passer look at 6C or 4B (keep all the dots for the quint hand).
4. Three flowers and three lone winds. Looks like the makings of Winds #1. Pass any suit tiles, and the G, and hope others will pass you more winds.
5. Those sixes and greens are definitely telling you something. But it's a sad story. 2468 #3, Quints #2, and S&P #2 are pretty much it. And none of them look good, either. Consider ignoring the dragons and going for a Consec. hand. Your throwables are 8B... and the two Gs. If you're squeamish about passing a pair, pass 8B, 4D, G.
6. The biggest clues here are the pairs of sixes and eights. Clearly a 2468 hand (possibly a Consec. hand, using sixes, sevens, eights). Pass 1B, 9D, G.
7. Go for 369. Choose your passers from among these tiles: 2C, 8C, N, G. Keep the Wh and F for a chance at 369 #1.
8. Go for 13579 or Consec. The Es are a lost cause. Pass 8B 3D E (so as not to pass a pair).


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© 2005 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.