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By Tom Sloper
May 29, 2011

Column #489

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

1. Two pairs: F, white. The only hands that use both are: 2011 #2, 2468 #4, Consec. #4, Honors #6, 369 #1, S&P #2, and S&P #7. From those choices, what you can pass are 3C 4C 5B 7B. Pick any four.

2. Go for high consecutives. Pass E, 2C, and either of the ones. Just a matter of elimination.

3. The winds and ones are expendable (they have no close relations among these); pick three.

4. A fair number of winds and a lot of evens. Pass N, G, 3B.

5. Fives and E's don't go together. A lot of high numbers here, so pass 3B 1D E.

6. The pair of fives is key. Pass a two and a wind, then either another two or another wind.

7. Fours, twos, and fives. Definitely Consec. or Evens. Pass 9C, a wind, and a dragon.

8.Almost all even numbers. 3C and 9D can go. Target Evens #2, pass 8C or 6D.

9. Go for Winds. Keep 1's and G for now. Pass anything else.

10. Garbage! Highs and lows are equal, but odds outnumber evens. Pass W, 8C, and a six.

11. This is good for Evens. Because 2 and 6 are so far apart, this is no good for Quints. From that realization, it's a no-brainer. Keep R for now. Pass E, 1B, 1D.

12. A lot of highs; suggests Consec. Pass W, 3C, and any dragon.

13. A one-nine split. Nine has more friends, so go highs. Pass W, 2B, 1C.

14. Pairs of 8s and 9s. Go Consec., pass lows. 1C, 2B, 3B.

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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.