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By Tom Sloper

May 21, 2006
Column #267

American mah-jongg (2006 NMJL card). Charleston. What three tiles would you pass in the first right? My answers in italics below. No peeking ahead!

1. No jokers and just one pair: G. The pair suggests a hand with dragons - and the existence of Wh suggests a hand with multiple dragons. Thus the options are 2006 #2, Like Nos. #2, and Consec. #6. None of them need flowers, but it's probably not a good idea to pass a flower so soon. I'd keep all the craks and dragons. I'd keep the 2D for possible Like Numbers, and I'd pass S 5B 7B.

2. Two pairs: 6B and Wh. Definitely want a hand that uses both. Consec. #4 and #6 are both viable choices, as well as Like Nos. #2. The G doesn't go with the Consecs., but keep it for now. There are several passers to choose from. I'd pass E 1C 2B.

3. What is with the dragons today? At least there's a joker, finally. Again, must look at dragon hands. Could be 2's and 8's (but need 2C or 2D); could be 1's and 9's (but need 9B or 9D); could be 5-7, 7-9 (but need 7's and 9's in dots). Not enough jokers for Quints, not enough like nos. to support Like Nos. (except 7's). 4D and E are clear passers. For the 3rd, pass 8C.

4. Three pairs: F, 4B, 9C. Definitely a Lucky 13 hand - but you need to get lucky to get the 13 in dots. Keep 3's and 9's for a possible 369 option; pass N 7B 8C.

5. Four pairs: F, 4C, 7D, W. Nothing will use them all, so consider what can be done with F-4C or what can be done with F-7D. The weakest pair is 7D. I'd pass G 2D 7D.

6. No jokers, pung 4C and pair 1B. The 1's and 4's point to Consec. #2. That hand ought to be the easiest hand on the card, but it isn't. You'll need to get 2B's. Got a 3D anyway. I'd pass W 9B 9D, keep evens for now.

7. Two pairs: 2B and 9C. They don't go together, so it's necessary to pick one to focus on. There are lots of low numbers (for a hand in the Consec. family), so I'd pass S Wh 9C, and try to avoid passing the other 9C if I can.


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© 2006 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.