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SLOPER ON MAH-JONGG

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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Need rules for American mah-jongg? Tom Sloper's book, The Red Dragon & The West Wind, is the most comprehensive book in existence about the American game. AND see FAQ 19 for fine points of the American rules (and commonly misunderstood rules). AND get the official rulebook from the NMJL (see FAQ 3). Linda Fisher's website is the only website that describes American rules: http://sites.google.com/site/mahjrules/.



© 2012 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.