Updated: Aug 5
2022 Singles & Pairs Hands
Do you gravitate toward certain sections on the playing card?
Do you find some categories on the card more comfortable and familiar?
Do you tend to play certain Hands over and over again?
Do you limit yourself by playing Hands within only a few groups on the card?
Do you want to branch out and challenge your Maj mind?
Do you want to earn some coin?
Do you feel brave enough to go for a Singles & Pairs (S&P) Hand?
When life gives you lemons...you can choose to make lemonade!! And when your 13 Maj tiles are delivered sans Jokers...but with some related pairs...peruse the selection of Hands in that bottom right corner of the playing card! You CAN choose to begin to direct your tiles toward the S&P section to attempt a closed S&P Hand. The payoff when playingyour Maj game for money is .50 cents and the thrill of declaring Mah Jongg on one of these valuable S&P Hands is priceless!
You can always switch to another category if and when:
- you pick up a Jokers
- you pick up extra Flowers and tiles that lead you away from your intended S&P Hand
- you watch and drool as your required tiles are discarded on the playing field..which may force you to head toward the most compatible category if your Pairs are no longer obtainable.
THREE EXAMPLES OF S&P HAND CONVERSIONS:
1. The following photo shows S&P Hand #1. This is the only version of this Hand and Pairs of each Wind and each Dragon are used.
One option for converting to another Hand is depicted in the photograph below.
Hand #7 in Winds & Dragons (W&D) is a natural fit for transforming your S&P Hand #1 as it allows you to both add and omit Wind tiles, omit one Dragon type and..... use Jokers in any of the Pungs of North, South, and your two opposite Dragons.
Reminder: W&D Hand #7 is also a CLOSED Hand so you may NOT CALL or expose any tiles until your Hand is complete and you are ready to CALL for your FINAL tile for Mah Jongg!
2. In the photo below is S&P Hand #2 using pairs of 7s as the "Like Odd Nos. in Opp. Suits".
This Hand easily transforms to some of the Hands in the 1-3-5-7-9 (odd) category on the card
(see full list in chart below).
To convert to Hand #4 in the odd section requires a bit of planning. It would help if you choose threes, fives, or sevens as your "Any pairs of Like Odd Nos. in Opp Suits" as they will become your Single tiles in the center of Odd Hand #4.
Changing to Hand #4 in the odd category will require that you pick some Flowers and hopefully a Joker or two! The ones and Nines remain in the same suit and will need to be increased from Pairs to Kongs for the transition. I like to think of this Hand as a sandwich with the outside Kongs as the bread, and the Single 3 - 5 - 7 as the fillings!
3. A final example is with S&P Hand #3. The easiest conversions are toward hands in the Consecutive Run category. It may be helpful to remember that the 2022 card is teeming with TWOs and, if possible, you may want to try to choose a run of numbers that begin with a THREE or greater (ie. 3,4,5 or 5,6,7 or 7,8,9 as your repeated Pairs runs).
S&P Hand # 3 can fairly effortlessly convert to Consecutive Run Hand #3 (second Hand). Two of your Pairs can be used in your run and increase to Kongs. The consecutive run can begin or end with a Kong of an opposite suit. No additional Flowers are needed!
Transforming a Hand from Singles & Pairs to a somewhat similar Hand on the card also depends upon whether the game is at Beginning, Middle, or End game. Implementation of good strategy will be necessary as End game draws near including the important choice to dismantle your own Hand if opponents are close to declaring Mah Jongg.
The following chart shows each S&P Hand and options of Hands in other categories of the playing card to which you may be able to convert. Use your own creativity and flexibility to devise other conversions that can be applied that are not listed below.
S&P Hand: Can convert to:
#1 W&D # 1 omit Dragons
W&D # 2 add Flowers/ omit Winds
W&D # 3 add Flowers & Winds/
W&D # 7 (also a Closed Hand)
2022 # 4 add TWOs/omit Dragons/
keep Soap for Zero
#2 Odd # 1
Odd # 3
Odd # 4 add peonies (Flowers)/ use "Like odd pairs"
of 3s, 5s, 7s
to become Single 3,5,7
Like Nos. # 1 add lots of orchids
3-6-9 # 6 add 6s/ use "Like
odd pairs" of 9s
to become Pungs of 9s
#3 Consec. Run # 2 add bunch of lilacs
Consec Run # 3 both
Consec Run #5 both - add another
consec no. to run
Consec. Run # 6 add suits for middle
pairs in run
Consec. Run # 7 add marigolds
Consec. Run # 8 ditch Flowers
(also a Closed Hand)
#4 Consec. Run # 1 both Hands
Consec. Run # 3 add roses
Consec. Run # 5 first Hand
#5 Even # 1
Even # 2 use sly "46"
add like even nos for
"Like even Kongs"
Even # 6 grow a Flower garden
Even # 8 use sly "46" twice
(also a Closed Hand)
#6 3-6-9 #1
3-6-9 #2 add Flowers
3-6-9 # 3 add Dragons
3-6-9 # 6 add daisies
3-6-9 # 7 add tulips
(also a Closed Hand)
AND FINALLY, We MUST NOT forget the BIG 2022 Hand on the playing card! This Hand is a Singles and Pairs Hand even though there are three TWOs (NOT considered a PUNG) in 2022.
2022 can be viewed as four Single tiles, or two Single tiles and a Pair.
THE highest value HAND is located in fifth position of 2022 Category!!
2022 Hand # 5 can be converted to Hands #1 and #3 also in the 2022 section. If you pick Jokers and/or gain Flowers, you can readily reconfigure your tiles toward these two Hands.
However, converting from the BIG Hand to Hand #1 of the 2022 section would require some fire-breathing (Dragons) and transforming to Hand # 4 would demand a tropical cyclone (Winds)!
Please PLAY the S&P!!!
The Hands in the Singles and Pairs category may not be your "go to" Hands...but they can definitely add spice and variety! Go ahead and add a pinch of S&P to your game!
is available on my SHOP page here on the website! The worksheets are a great way to familiarize yourself with the whole playing card and to become aware of the predominant patterns and rhythms of the Hands on the 2022 card.
A card overview, worksheets with questions and an answer key are provided.
The packet can be downloaded and printed.
Click on the link below:
Feel free to listen to episode 97 entitled, "2022 Card Analysis" on the Mah Jongg Mondays podcast for my interview with Fern! We discussed the nuances of the 2022 playing card, and the prevalent patterns and rhythms of the Hands.
Fern is the author of a great summer read entitled, Mah Jongg Mondays. This is a wonderful book about the "bonds of friendship" that form around the table with the games of Mah Jongg!!