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By Tom Sloper
March 8, The Year Of The Ox

Column #396

British/Western Mah-Jong. My apologies that this column has appeared spottily of late. I've had a lot on my plate: staying employed (two jobs, one of them having gone into "crunch time" and the other into midterms), preparing a speech for the upcoming Game Developers Conference, the approach of tax time, and then there's an upcoming visit I'll be having with players of British ("Western") mah-jong. I'll tell you about the experience later. These players, I'm informed, use an interesting play format. The game is always four rounds.

  1. A modified Classical-style "four sets and a pair."
  2. Special Hands (British/Western): Gate Hands, Snake Hands, Jewel Hands, Unique Wonders (13 Orphans), Crochet (Knitting), Gertie's Garter, Greta's Garden, Dragon & Pairs (not sure what that last one is yet).
  3. Clean hands (Half Flush), pungs only (no chows).
  4. Dealer's Choice.

In the interest of not appearing too much a fool when I play with this group, I thought I'd try to picture the special hands for round 2.

This isn't the complete list, since I don't know what "Dragon & Pairs" is, but hey, it's a place to start!

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Links to sites where Western rules are described (every author's description varies somewhat):

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Copyright 2009 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.