The Schnapsen Log
The Schnapsen Log is a series about the card game Schnapsen, and how to play it like a master. Schnapsen is the national card game of Austria and Hungary. It is very similar to the German game Sechsundsechzig (Sixty-six). These games are popular throughout Europe, where they go by various regional names, including Snapszer, Snapszli, Hatvanhat, Mariagen-Spiel, Mariáš, Santase, Tute, and Exinta-exi. Schnapsen is easy to learn, requires only one other willing player (or a computer program, always willing), is quick and fun to play, and is full of interesting strategy.
My goal in this series is to teach you everything you need to know about the strategy for winning Schnapsen. I will present thought-provoking situations that arise commonly in Schnapsen, in a manner very similar to the daily newspaper’s bridge or chess columns. Here are a few of the most recent columns. Check out the archives for older columns.
Homework on Expected Values
April 26, 2013
For regular readers of this column, I apologize for the fact that I have been producing columns at a slower rate recently. The slow rate is probably going to continue for the next few months. I haven’t been idle on the Schnapsen front, however. I am busy teaching a course on Probability and Statistics, and am using Schnapsen as a running example of applications of Probability. It’s been fun teaching Schnapsen to a large group of students who had never encountered it before.
In the course, we are just up to the topic of expected value now, so it seems appropriate to give them a homework exercise that involves expected game points. Today’s column is that homework exercise. This means that I won’t be posting my analysis until one week from now, when the homework will be due.
Rags and Riches
April 13, 2013
You are playing your favorite game against your favorite buddy Peter in your favorite hangout, the Café Abeles. You’ve recouped some of your losses, coming from a depressing game point score of 1:6 a few deals earlier to your present score of 1:2. Can you possibly continue making the right decisions and go on to win this close game?…
How Much Do You Trust to Chance?
March 27, 2013
The battle with your buddy Peter continues. It would be arduous if it weren’t for the Café Abeles’s good supply of coffee and cake….