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By Tom Sloper
May 22, 2011

Column #488

American Mah Jongg (2011 NMJL card). Defense by the numbers (ones). An opponent is showing the following exposures. What do you do?

1. She's making Honors #3; N and S are hot. When a tile is hot, you probably shouldn't throw it. But risk is dependent on circumstances. Sometimes you can tell from discards or other exposures, or from the opponent's body language, that you can take a risk. And sometimes your own hand is ready and you might deem the risk worth taking.

2. The only hand she could be making is Odds #8, a Concealed hand. Call her dead. But be nice about it.

3. Like Numbers. You know Soap, R, and 1C are hot. But check the discard floor to be sure she's dangerous.

4. Could be Consec. #2 or Consec. #3. Hot tiles are 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, and dragons in the other suits. The 1s and 2s are your best clues; check to see if any are dead; if so, then you'll know which way she's going.

5. Odds #2. The hot tiles are 3s and 5s in the other two suits. You might find clues on the table.

6. Consec. #3 or Odds #2. 2B, 3B, 4C and 5C are hot.

7. This is also Consec. #3. 2C and 3D are hot.

8. This can only be Odds #8, a Concealed hand. Call her dead.

9. Odds #2. The hot tiles are 3D and 3B.

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A tip o' the hat to sharp-eyed reader Linda M.

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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.