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By Tom Sloper
July 1, 2012

Column #526

American Mah Jongg (2012 NMJL card). An opponent is showing two exposures. What's your defense?

1. She's dead; Consec. #6 is a concealed hand. It's good strategy to call her dead (you get more picks from the wall). Just be aware that she might get upset when you do.

2. She's making 369 #5. The hot tiles are 6D 9D 6C. See that joker? Usually, one could discard the redeemable tile (in this case, 6C) - but she needs another 6C pung, so it would be very dangerous to discard 6C in this case.

3. That pung of sixes tells the tale. This has to be 369 #2. Sixes and nines in the other two suits are hot.

4. This might be either 369 #1 or #5. There are lots of hot tiles: F R 6C, and 3B 3D 6B 6D 9B 9D. Unless 6C is dead on the table, in which case you can call her dead.

5. She's making 369 #5. This is a confusing one, because you can't tell which way the hand is being made. Look for the only possible clue: if 6B is dead, then she needs another 3B pung (and 3D 6D). If 6D is dead, then she needs another 9D pung (and 6B 9B). If both 6B and 6D are dead, then her hand is dead, and you should say so.

6. Odds #2. The hot tiles are 1C 5D.

7. There are two possible Consec. hands here, and a way you might be able to figure out which. She might be making Consec. #2, in which case she needs 2D 2C 3C. But if either one of those twos is dead on the table, then she has to be making Consec. #3, in which case the hot tiles are 2D 5B.

8. This is the very sort of classic conundrum the skilled player wants to present to her opponents, and that the League enables through the card's design; it's impossible to tell whether she's making Consec. #3 or Odds #2. Six hot tiles: 1D 2D 4D 3C 4C 6C.

9. Consec. #1. 1B 2B are the dead* giveaways here; 4B is also hot. (*I.e., check lifesigns of 1B and 2B.)

10. Straightforward: 369 #2. Hot tiles are 6B and 9D.

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

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© 2012 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.