Please click here if you do not see a Nav Frame at left and Header Frame above - you'll need them!


By Tom Sloper

April 2, 2006
Column #260

American mah-jongg (2006 NMJL card). There's a new card in town. Time to dance! For each of the following deals, what three tiles would you pass in the Charleston? My answers in italics below. No peeking ahead!

1. An absolutely miserable hand. When I get one of these, I compare odds with evens first. 8 evens vs. 3 odds - no contest. The W and G are no-brainers. Pass 9D as well.

2. Two pairs, both odd. Only three hands on the card can use ones and fives in the same suit: 13579 #1, #5, and Consec. #1. 8D doesn't go with either. 4C and 9B are the other two sore thumbs.

3. Wow, bad deal. Can we frish? No, huh... I don't want to pass three winds in the first pass. Sometimes instead of counting odds vs. evens, I count highs vs. lows. In this case, highs win. I'd pass 1B, N, W.

4. Two pairs: threes and fives, in two suits. That's what Columbo would call "a clue." Possible 13579 hand or Consec. Runs hand. And of course it could be a 369 hand. I'd pass N (of course), 2D, and 4D.

5. A pair of flowers and that's it. This hand really sucks. What the hey, go for S&P #4 - keep evens, pass odds and honors.

6. No jokers, but it has potential with the ones and threes. I'd pass W (of course), and any even numbers.

7. Pair F, pair 9C, pair J. Find something that uses nines and flowers (not hard since the 2006 card uses flowers much more profusely than last year's card). Possibilities: Like Nos. #1, 13579 #4 or #6, 369 #1 or #2. I'd pass 2C, 7B, 4D.

8. The only pair is E, and that's no good without other stuff to support it. Four evens, four odds, four highs, four lows. The odds on odds are better than the odds on evens, and others might pass winds your way. I'd pass evens. Pick any three.

9. Definitely go for odds. Pass 2B, G, and either 6 or 8B.


Click the entries in the header frame, above, to read other columns.

Question about this column? See an error? Email and the discussion will be posted on the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board.

Haven't ordered the 2006 NMJL card yet? Read FAQ 7i.

Need rules for American mah-jongg? Go to AND see FAQ 19 for fine points of the American rules (and commonly misunderstood rules). AND get the booklet from the NMJL (see FAQ 3).

© 2006 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.