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By Tom Sloper

April 1, 2007
Column #312

American Mah-Jongg (2007 NMJL card). The 2007 card (the 70th anniversary card) has arrived. And it contains some noteworthy new features.

Of course, there's a 2007 section, containing tiles with twos, sevens, and zeros (white dragons). But the grouping we've come to know as NEWS has been replaced by one called SEWN.

The card doesn't mention why, but since I am familiar with Western and Chinese Official mah-jongg, I'm guessing that it's related to the use in those games of a thing called "knitting." Sewing... knitting...

You may have knoticed that one of those knitted sets (not "sewn" -- as we have seen, that's an entirely different thing) is comprised of the numbers 3-6-9. Well, the NMJL has long had a 369 family on the card, but this is the first card that also incorporates a 147 family and a 258 family.

Then there's the revival of the "septette" (a grouping of seven of a kind). As if the sextette wasn't hard enough to make.

Even though the septette is used with flowers, it's likely you'll be wanting to use jokers with it.

All in all, the 2007 card is going to be a most memorable 70th anniversary card. League members certainly have a challenging year ahead of them. Makes you wonder what the League has planned for their 80th anniversary!

Okay. In case you hadn't guessed, this has been a special April Fool's Day joke column. It was a joint collaboration with the columnists who write about Bridge, Chess, Go, Poker, and Uno. We all thought you'd enjoy... oh, wait. This week's Chess column doesn't have any prank in it... neither does Bridge... or Poker...?! Doh! Guess the prank is on me!


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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 2007 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).

© 2007 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.