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By Tom Sloper
September 30, 2012

No. #539

American Mah Jongg (2012 NMJL card). Defense.

1. Like Numbers. Hot tiles are 9B F. 9B is key. That is to say, if more than two 9Bs are dead on the table, she's stuck, since jokers cannot be used in a pair. You should call her dead if you can plainly see (based on tiles visible to everyone) that she cannot make her pair.

2. Quints #3. Flowers are hot.

3. Quints #2. The hot tiles are 7C 8C 9C. She needs one 7C, one 8C, and two 9Cs. And of course she can't use jokers for those.

4. Quints #3. Her last set could be any dragon.

5. 2012 #3 or W-D #6. If the former, she needs twos and a matching one. If the latter, she needs dragons in the other two suits (and one of those must be a pair).

6. W-D #1. Hot tiles are W and S; S is key.

7. 2012 #1 or W-D #2. Hot tiles are E, W, all odd numbers, and she also might need a 2012 (two twos and a one in the same suit, plus a soap). If E or W or soap goes dead, you know her only hope is the 2nd W-D hand.

8. Call her dead. W-D #5 is a concealed hand.

9. W-D #4 or #6. Hot tiles are F and R, and she may need a NEWS. R is key; if it cannot be paired, you know she has to be doing the NEWS hand. If R is dead and any wind is dead, her hand is dead, and you should say so.

10. Quints #3; her third set could be any number, in any suit. Difficult to determine.

11. Illegal exposure. The only exposable groupings are pungs, kongs, and quints. 2012 is not a kong; it's two singles and a pair. Call her dead.

12. Illegal exposure (four singles). Call her dead.

13. Call her dead. This year's card has no legally exposable dragon pungs.

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© 2012 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.