Jewish Journal


by Elaine Sandberg

January 17, 2011 | 12:41 am

                          THE CHARLESTON –PART B

In my last post I discussed particular Charleston Dos and Don’ts that serve as defensive moves designed to keep you from providing your opponents with useful tiles. This post will discuss some suggestions about what to keep and what not to keep.

Obviously you want to keep tiles that strengthen your hand or, in many cases, provide you with decisive tiles for one hand over the other, particularly if you get a tile(s) that gives you the Pair(s) your hand requires.  Once you have six, seven or more tiles toward a hand, stay with that hand. Usually, don’t look for other options.

Until you have a definite hand, keep tiles that are potentially useful for alternative hands that are connected to the hand(s) you are pursuing. For example, it’s reasonable to keep even numbers for the 2468 Section or 3s, 6s, and/or 9s for the 369 Section. 

Don’t keep “maybe” tiles…a mistake many novice players make.  What are “maybe” tiles?  Tiles that you get in the Charleston that you might use for a different hand that has no connection to the tiles you already have for a hand(s).  The thinking is “Well, maybe I should keep these tiles for later if I change my mind”.  Or “Maybe I can use these –just in case”.  Keeping unrelated tiles that do not help your hand, leads to chaos and confusion.

This idea goes for tiles you might get in the Charleston   that gives you an extraneous Pair. As you know, Pairs are an essential part of many hands, but if the Pair you get has no relation to your hand, it is useless.  Just because it’s a Pair, if it doesn’t improve your hand, get rid of it.

Here’s a suggestion for the odd-numbered hands.  If you’ll notice, there are 4 hands that require low numbers—1s,3s,5s and 4 hands that require high numbers—5s,7s,9s. So if you are trying for a 1,3,5 hand don’t keep 7s or 9s. And visa-versa, even if the Suits are correct. It can lead to indecision about a hand to pursue.

And notice again, the odd Section has no hands that require Dragons. If you’re going for an odd hand, Dragons are useless.

Don’t keep tiles that match your Suit but not your hand. Example, if you are pursuing an odd-numbered hand, even numbers are useless, no matter what Suit they are. 2s,4s,5s, etc. are not useful for a 369 hand.

Many times the Charleston puts you on the horns of a dilemma and you have to make a critical decision to choose between two potential options.  In the next post, I’ll discuss some of the crucial criteria for choosing one hand over the other.

In the meantime, I would love to hear any tips you would like to share.  So—-

Til next time….





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A kid from Brooklyn, a graduate of Syracuse University and an immigrant to California via Palo Alto, San Juan Capistrano, finally, Los Angeles, I have been here for the past 15...

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