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By Tom Sloper
July 15, 2012

Column #528

American Mah Jongg (2012 NMJL card). What would you discard?

1. Seven tiles towards Like Nos., and only six towards Consec. #6. Even worse, Consec. #6 is a concealed hand. That green pung is very nice, but it's gonna have to go; not even good joker bait. Throw one; maybe you'll get 2B or 4B and can try for Consec. #4.

2. This one was asked by Donna on the Q&A bulletin board yesterday. Two ways this could go: with all those quints, you could go for Q1b, or if you throw a joker now, you're waiting for mah-jongg; just need F for Odds #4. Throw a joker.

3. Again Odds. And again #4 is an option (nine tiles, not counting J). If you want to go that way, you should throw F or 7C. And since the other options aren't so great, that's the way to go here. But you will need luck to get that second 7D.

4. This time it's looking very strong for Consec. #6. Throw F, and with luck you'll get that second 6D. I know I moaned that luck would be needed for the problem just above this one, but when it's for mah-jongg, the chances are better.

5. Evens for sure, but which way? There are eight tiles for #4, eight tiles for #5. Only seven for #1, so forget that. Going for #4 and #5, you don't need 6 or 8 in craks. Chuck'em.

6. Like Nos. in sevens: seven tiles. Like Nos. in eights: only six. Consec. #2: seven (two ways). So we want to keep sevens and the nine, which leaves 8B out in the cold.

7. Consec. #2 leaves 7C and F expendable.

8. Ten tiles for S&P #4, seven for 2468 #3, and six for #s 1, 5, and 7, and Like Nos. With the stakes this high, forget the six-tile options, and discard 2C.

9. Eight tiles for W-D #2, but no 5D. Eight also for W-D #5. One 5B can go.

10. Six tiles for Like Nos., 2468 #4 (two ways), #1, #5. Too bad there are no dragons. Keep 8s, 2C 4C 4D 4B. That leaves 2B out in the cold.

A tip o' the hat to sharp-eyed reader Dean H.!

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© 2012 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.