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By Tom Sloper

September 30, 2007
Column #337

American Mah-Jongg (2007 NMJL card). Charleston exercises. For each of the following, what three tiles would you pass? My thinking in italics below.

1. There's nothing worse than a 9-4 hand... except when there's a "Lucky 13" family on the card. Unfortunately, this deal contains no 1 or 3. So I want to keep three options open in my initial pass or two - (1) hands utilizing the pair of fours, (2) hands utilizing the pair of nines, (3) the Lucky 13 hand. So my first move is 7B N 5D.

2. Two pairs: F and Wh. If I want to use both pairs, I have to look in numerous families: 2007, 2468 #6, Consec. #4, 13579 #3 or #7, Winds #4, 369 #1, and maybe something in S&P. I discount S&P right off because I have a joker (with good chances to get more). Forget 369 #1. Forget Winds #4. 2007 might be possible since there's a 7 in the hand. That 7 also works for the 13579 family. 2468 #6 is no good either. Having eliminated several things now, we're left with Consec. #4 and 13579. I'll keep dots and odds. I'd pass S 6C 3C.

3. Three pairs: 6B, 2D, and N. But there's a large number of winds and dragons. Luckily, I can just pass 5C 9C 9D and put off any decision for now.

4. Two pairs: F and 4B. Oh, and there's a 13 in dots. Lucky 13 #1 is a possibility. Getting two G's is a long shot, so I'm not thinking Consec. #4. Hmm, what about 2468 #3? So I'd throw 5D 5B 6C.

5. Twos, nines, and threes. The threes and nines go together - as do the twos and threes. The sore thumbs are 8D 8C S.

6. Fours and fives. Most likely a Consec. hand. I'd pass a wind and a dragon and 9B.

7. The dots are all lovely, and the 8C pair goes along. I'd pass G, either wind, and 3C.

8. Fives and sevens. Definitely says 13579. I'd pass a wind and 2B and 4D. How about you?


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