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By Tom Sloper (湯姆·斯洛珀)

May 13, The Year Of The Pig
Column #318

Basic Asian strategy. As promised on the Q&A bulletin board on April 27, a study of "calling patterns." The strategy is to build the hand in such a way that you leave yourself with multiple ways of going out. FAQ 8 listed some classic calling patterns:

"Go out" means "make mahjong." "Calling" means "ready for mahjong, needing just one tile to win." So the phrase "calling patterns" in this context means "patterns of tiles that can make mahjong in more ways than one." Let's examine a few examples from the list in FAQ 8.

In this one, the winner can win on 4C, 6C, or 7C. This is the same thing as the "2223" calling pattern above, just with different numbers. Another:

The player is waiting for 7D (for a chow) or 8D (for the pair). It's the same thing as the "2224" calling pattern in the list. A two-way call is clearly better than a one-way call such as:

Calling 9D only. Third one on the list:

The calling pattern here is 1112233 (same thing as 2223344, shifted up one). The player can declare mahjong if he gets 1B, 2B, 3B, or 4B. Think it through. The next one on the list (2223334):

With this, you can win on 4B, 5B, 6B, or 7B.

It's a five-way call: 3D, 6D, 9D - 5D, 8D.


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© 2007 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.