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By Tom Sloper

Column #326

American Mah-Jongg (2007 NMJL card). This week's column is posted a day early, so it could appear on the rare date "07/07/07." And today's column features Sevens. For the following exposures, what hot tiles should you not discard? Answers below. No peeking ahead!

1. Quints #2. The hot tiles are N, E, W, S. Don't throw any wind. Of course throwing F or 7C is perfectly safe, if you're more interested in safety than redeeming jokers.

2. Quints #3. There's only one hot tile: 7C.

3. Tricky. Could be Quints #2, 3, or 4. There are lots of hot tiles, but is the hand young (is the wall still long)? N, E, W, S, F, 7C, 7D are the potential hot tiles for Quints #2 and 3. Quints #4 is a bigger problem. The possible hot tiles for that one are 5D, 5C, 6D, 6C, 8D, 8C, 9D, 9C. You need to scan the discard floor (and others' exposures) to get clues. If any one of those numbers is all used up, you should be able to remove some tiles from that list. But do your thinking while others are playing, not while everyone's waiting for you to discard.

4. 2007 #2. The hot tiles are 2B 7B Wh F.

5. 13579 #5. The hot tiles are 5, 7, and 9 in the other two suits. Check the discard floor and exposures. If there are three of any other seven out, you know that the other suit is hot.

6. 13579 #2. Unambiguous. The hot tiles are 5C 9B.

7. Could be Consec. Run #1, 2, or 3, 13579 #1, 2, 5, or 6, or 2007 #3. Unless it's very near the end of the wall, and/or the player is showing her tell sign that she's waiting, I wouldn't worry about what's hot with this one. Winds and fours are the only really safe tiles.

8. Could be Lucky 13, Quints, Consecutive Run, or 13579. Again, unless it's late in the game or another player is exhibiting her tell-tale waiting giveaway, it's not only too hard to tell what's hot, it's silly to worry.


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

Thanks to Gail Smith for spotting an oopsie in this column!

Question or comment about this column? 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? Tom Sloper's book, The Red Dragon & The West Wind, is published by HarperCollins, and can be ordered through 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.