Please click here if you do not see a Nav Frame at left and Header Frame above - you'll need them!


By Tom Sloper
April 24, 2011

Column #485

American Mah Jongg (2011 NMJL card). Herewith, some defense problems with the new card. Most times, one exposure isn't enough to pinpoint the hand (but sometimes it is), and two exposures is usually enough (but sometimes it isn't). Here's what an opponent is showing--what's the deal?

1. A reader challenged me this past week with this one. She said R is hot (Like Numbers). I disagreed. With one 9B pung exposure, the player could be doing Like Numbers or Consec. #2. Need to see a second exposure (a kong at that) to know for certain what's what.

2. Could be Odds #7 or Consec. #5. Hot tiles are 5C (unlikely she's that careless though), 1C, F, and all fours. Look to the discards for clues.

3. Could be Consec. #1 or Evens #5. Hot: 1D, 3D, 5D, and 6 and 8 in bams and craks.

4. Call her dead. Honors #5 is a concealed hand.

5. She's making Like Numbers, but isn't dangerous yet. As with #1 above, you'd need to see a kong as well.

6. Obviously, Sevens #2. Hot: F, 5D.

7. Consec. #3 or Consec. #4. Hot tiles are G, F, and 6 and 7 in dots and craks.

8. Consec. #2. Hot tiles are 8, 9, and D in bams, craks.

9. Could be Odds #2 or Consec. #5. Hot: 5 and 7 in bams and dots, 8 in all suits.

10. Only one possible hand: Consec. #4. Hot: 3D, 5D, soap.

11. Consec. #4 or Odds #5. Can't be Odds #7, unless she goofed and is dead. Hot: 1B, 3B, 4B, G.

12. This could be Like Numbers, Consec. #1, Consec. #2, or W-D #4. Too early to call the hand "hot."

13. Call her dead; Odds #8 is a concealed hand.

14. Honors #3; N and S are hot.

A tip o' the hat to Alice Shelton!

Click the entries in the header frame, above, to read other columns.

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.