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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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© 2012 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.