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By Tom Sloper
September 2, 2012

Column #535

American Mah Jongg (2012 NMJL card). What's your defense to an opponent who's showing the following?

1. Consec. #2 or #3 - hot tiles are 4C 4D 5D 7B. Look for clues; if 4C or 4D exist on the table in such numbers that either of them cannot be paired, then the player cannot be making Consec. #2, so you need only defend against Consec. #3.

2. Well played by your opponent; a very difficult read. Could be Consec. #3 or Odds #2. The Consec. hand could be 4567 or 5678. The hot tiles are 4D 6D 7D 6C 8C 9C.

3. Odds #2 - hot tiles are easy to read; 7B 7D.

4. Elevens #3 or Consec. #3 or #4 - many hot tiles: F 1C R 3B 4B 3D 4D. If R or 1C is dead, you can eliminate a hand from your defensive thinking.

5. Elevens or Consec. #5 - hot tiles are 1C 4C 7C F.

6. Quints #1 - hot tile is 9D.

7. Consec. #5 - hot tiles are 6D F.

8. Quints #4 - hot tile is 4B.

9. Odds #4 - hot tiles are F 7D. If either cannot be paired, she's dead.

10. Like Numbers - hot tiles are 5D F. If 5D is dead, so is she.

11. Like Numbers or Elevens or Consec. #4 - hot tiles are sixes and ones (all suits), 4C R, and fives in the other two suits. Look for unpairable ones and fives to reduce the confusing possibilities.

12. Quints #3 - dragons are hot. Watch her discards to determine which ones she doesn't care about.

13. Quints #3 - flowers are hot.

14. Quints #2 - hot tiles are 3C 4C 5C 6C 7C; watch what she discards to determine your best defense.

A tip o' the hat to sharp-eyed reader Shelly M.!

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© 2012 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.