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By Tom Sloper
June 14, 2009

Column #410

American Mah Jongg (2009 NMJL card). How do you defend against these dual exposures?

1. Just two hands on the card use same-number kongs: 2009 #2 and 369 #3. The hot tiles are 2B 3B 6B 9B F and soap.

2. No, it's not 13579. Can only be Consec. #2. You can't be sure which way. Hot tiles: 4C 6C 6B 8B.

3. Despite what a lady at last week's tournament had a hard time believing, this is indeed two exposures (I guess she figured "two exposures" would have to be in two suits). This is Consec. #4, and the hot tiles are sevens, eights, and dragons in the other two suits. You can look for clues among the exposures and discards.

4. Easy: Consec. #2. Don't discard 6B or 9D.

5. Quints #1. But which craks are hot besides sevens? Could be 5, 6, 8, or 9. Look for clues. You know that the pair is 7C, but the pair could be at any position in the three-number run.

6. W-D #6. Don't throw F or soap.

7. 2009 #1 or W-D #3. E and W are hot, of course, and twos, nines, and soap.

8. Consec. #2 yet again, the old standby. Don't discard 1D, 3D, 3B, 5B unless you see her discarding or bypassing those.

9. She's making 2468 #4. Don't throw G or F.

10. She's making a mistake. This hand (2468 #7) is supposed to be concealed. Call her dead.

11. 2468 #6 is no good because she can't make the 48. She's not dead, though, since she could be doing Consec. #3. Are any of the sevens dead?

12. 2009 #4. Twos, nines, and F are hot.

13. 2468 #7 and Consec. #6 are both concealed, but let's remember Consec. #1b. Don't throw 5D 7D 9D.

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Question or comment about this column? Email and the discussion will be posted on the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board.

Where to order the yearly NMJL card: 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

© 2009 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.