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By Tom Sloper
April 17, 2011

Column #484

American Mah Jongg (2011 NMJL card). What would you discard?

1. 6B is the odd tile out when you consider Evens #2, #3, #6, and #7.

2. Honors (W-D) #4 is far weaker than #5, so get rid of 4D. But there's a danger of not being able to make the N and S pairs.

3. 6D is no good for Consec. #4 or #5, so it can go.

4. Evens #2, #3, #5, and #6 are all possibilities, and non requires more than two flowers. Throw F.

5. Odds #5 and #7 are both unlikely, so throw F.

6. Throw 9C. If no dragons come in, 7C can go out later as joker bait (see FAQ 8 or column 423).

7. Leaning towards Consec. #5 with 6 or 7 as the middle number; 4D can go.

8. Easy--throw R. 2011 #4 is much stronger than #3, or Honors #1.

9. Consec. #3 is equal to Odds #1 numerically and scorewise both. But Odds #1 needs a 1B which might never come in. Might as well go for the much easier Consec.; throw 1B or any high odd number.

10. Shoot for Consec. #5 with 2s as the middle number. Get rid of fours.

11. Honors #4 is equal to Like #s as regards to tile count, but not scorewise. Lose G and go for the gusto.

12. G is wrong for 369 #4, so trash it now.

13. Your target is Evens #6, with #5 as backup. 2D and 4D can go.

14. Go for Odds #4, two ways. Throw F.

15. Throw G, then you're just waiting for 9C for mah jongg.

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Question or comment about this column? I often miss something; maybe you'll be the first one to spot it! Please be gentle. Email and the discussion will be posted on the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board.

October 2010 article on American mah jongg's rise in popularity, from the WALL STREET JOURNAL: ?mod=WSJ_hpp_RIGHTTopCarousel_2.
There's a movie of the WSJ story too -- just click the Video tab on the above page, or go to ?mod=WSJ_hpp_RIGHTTopCarousel_2#articleTabs%3Dvideo.

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). Linda Fisher's website is the only website that describes American rules:

© 2011 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.