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By Tom Sloper
June 29, 2008

Column #370

American Mah-Jongg (2008 NMJL card). Defense by the numbers, part 6. An opponent had previously exposed a kong of sixes. Now she exposes a second kong. It's a kong of number tiles, and it's not in the same suit as the first kong. In each of the ten possible cases (illustrated below), what should you do? Would you notice right away, or be too busy studying your own?

1. This is exactly the same as case 6 in part 1 of this series (column 361). No such hand. Call her dead.

2. Same as case 6 in part 2 (column 362). She's dead; 2468 #4 requires same-suit kongs.

3. Kongs of different-suited threes and sixes were discussed in part 3 (column 365). Her only possible legal hand is 369 #1. The hot tiles: F, 9B.

4. As in part 4, this isn't a 2468 hand. It's that faithful standby, Consecutive Run #2. 3B and 5D are hot.

5. Seen previously in part 5 (last week's column). Consec. #5. Throw not the evil triumvirate: 2C 3C 4C.

6. Ain't no such beast. Your best move is to say "you're dead" in an ever so nice way.

7. The most popular section of the card: Consecutive Runs. Hand #5 this time. This time the evil triumvirate is 3B 4B 5B. Don't mess with'em if you know what's good for you. (Oh, all right, if one of those is already dead, it's okay to discard, and if you're waiting and feel like risking it, that's your decision to make.)

8. Are you looking in 2468? Well fuhgedaboudit. This one's in Consec. Runs, Mister Perennial Favorite himself: hand #2. The hot tiles are 5B 7D.

9. Two possibilities, both of'em in 369. If she's working hand #1, the hot tiles are F 3C. If she's doing #2, 3D and 6B are hot.

10. Call her dead. If she thinks she's working on 369 #3, she's wrong.


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Haven't ordered the 2008 NMJL card yet? Read FAQ 7i.

Need rules for American mah-jongg? Tom Sloper's book, The Red Dragon & The West Wind, is the most comprehensive book in existence about the American game. AND see FAQ 19 for fine points of the American rules (and commonly misunderstood rules). AND get the official rulebook from the NMJL (see FAQ 3).

Watch the video by Jay Firestone of the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, about a young man (himself) learning to play American mah-jongg. You can see it at

© 2008 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.