|By Tom Sloper
Column #520 - 5/20, 2012
American Mah Jongg (2012 NMJL card). Coincidentally, column #520 falls on 5/20. Are the mah-jongg gods sending a message? Today: it's the first left pass. Blind passing is permitted. And: go for the second dance, or not?
1. Consec. #1 (seven tiles), Consec. #6 (seven tiles). Like Numbers (five tiles)? No. Pass 8B 8C 9C.
2. Elevens is three suits or one, not two. Not good Odds; think Consec. #5; Fs will be needed but can be easy. Pass from among 4C 1D 2D 9B.
3. Could make 369 #5 (six tiles) or Consec. #6 (seven tiles). Pass W and 7B, and blind pass one tile. But don't stop the Charleston; neither hand is very strong.
4. It's definitely in the Evens family; very strong for #3 (eight tiles), but at this stage I wouldn't want to leave it at only that; 2D could be used for #7, and 8C could be used for #4. Pass 9D E 4C.
5. Fours and eights, but no twos; not a happy combo for Evens #7. Consec. #2 is also a distant possibility but needs 9C. Pass 3D W 9B.
6. Could go Like Numbers (seven tiles) or Odds #2 (also seven). Pass 6C 3D 8D.
7. W-D #2 (seven tiles) or #4 (eight tiles). Blind pass three, and stop the Charleston. Unless you really think you'll get dragons or E passed to you (I think you probably won't).
8. The fours are a red herring. See Consec. #2 (eight tiles) or #3 (six tiles). It will be an odd-looking pass (4D 5D 6D), but let the comments roll off your back.
9. This is solid for 2012 #1. Pass 2B F soap. If the second Charleston proceeds and you get another tile, the second across could become difficult.
10. Possible Odds #1 (six tiles), #5 (six tiles), #8 (eight tiles). #8 is strongest, but risky since it's a concealed hand. Odds #1 is worse, though, since you have no 3Ds. So go for #8, pass 1D soap N.
11. Looks good for Consec. #3 or Odds #2. That leaves you 9C 2D G to pass; keep the dance going.
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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/.
© 2012 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.