|By Tom Sloper
February 19, 2012
American Mah Jongg (2011 NMJL card). Defense by the numbers. An opponent is showing the following exposures. What do you do?
1. The quint is a clue that this has to be Quints #4. The hot tile is 1B.
2. Consec. #5 - the hot tiles are threes in all suits. Check the table to see if any threes are dead (three or more of any three would mean her hand is dead). If her hand is dead because you have the tiles she needs, though, you don't call her dead. You keep the info to yourself, and you don't have to worry about that player winning. Try not to let her know you have her tiles, because she can still act to thwart your hand.
3. Sevens #2. Flowers and 5C are hot. Look to see if 5C might be dead on the table.
4. Sevens #2. Flowers and 5B are hot.
5. Could be 2468 #2 or #4. Hot tiles are fours and sixes in the other two suits, flowers, and G. If G is dead, then you know she won't make 2468 #4.
6. Like Numbers. Twos and G are hot. Check to see if 2B or G is dead on the table.
7. Could be 2011 #2, 2468 #4, Sevens #2, or Consec. #4. Need more clues than this.
8. Quints #2. Hot tiles are 1C, 2C, 3C, 4C (hard to tell what her singles are - she could be doing 1223 or 2234).
9. Quints #4. 3D is hot.
10. Quints #3. Flowers are hot.
11. Quints #3. Winds are hot. Check the table to see which winds are already out, and which one is scarcest (that's probably the one she's collected).
12. Consec. #2 or Consec. #3. More clues are needed; look for them!
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Question or comment about this column? I often, um... intentionally... "miss" something; maybe you'll be the first one to spot it! Email and the discussion will be posted on the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board.
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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: http://sites.google.com/site/mahjrules/.
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