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By Tom Sloper (湯姆)

July 9, The Year Of The Dog
Column #274

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. Hot tile exercises. An opponent is showing the following exposures and his body language indicates that he's ready for mahjong. What should you not discard?

1. Mixed Shifted Chows is showing. The rest of the hand could be anything; the hand could be All Types, or All Chows. The bad news - that means everything is dangerous. Need to watch the player's discards, but even that is no guarantee of a safe throw (it's possible for someone to go out on same discard, to get 4 points for Last Tile).

2. All Pungs - probably All Types. The greatest danger comes from winds and dragons. Could be Mixed Shifted Pungs - don't throw 2C or 5C.

3. Big/Little Three Dragons? Guess what - the player (I peeked) is working on a Half Flush. Don't throw dots, white dragons, or winds. Safest discards: craks, bams. Remember, though, that "safety" is relative - player could just be doing All Pungs, Two Dragons.

4. Three exposures are more definitive than two, but this could be Half Flush - or All Types - and/or All Pungs. The most dangerous discards are dots, craks, bams, winds. Cross your fingers if you throw dragons. And of course watch what he doesn't call, and what he throws, for more clues.

5. Looks like All Types. The most dangerous discards would be dots, dragons.

6. A player with no exposures may be working on one of the unique-structure hands: Seven Pairs, a Knitted hand, or even the dreaded Thirteen Orphans. Or not. If you need to just go on the defense, watch what's safe and follow suit (so to speak).

7. Looks like All Types, or possibly Reversible Tiles. Non-reversible dots and bams could be safe, as well as other dragons.

8. Upper Tiles, Tile Hog. If you give it, it also earns Melded Hand. Safest discards are numbers between 4 and 6 (to guard against Outside Hand).

Now write me and tell me what I've missed! ^_^


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