Psellos
Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

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.

Carpe Diem

Martin Tompa
February 10, 2017

The game against your dangerous Uncle Tibor continues, with your clever Uncle Hans looking on. After the earlier disastrous deal that left you behind with the game point scores 1:4, you scored 2 game points on the next one, bringing both of you within striking distance of winning the whole game. One deal later, you find yourself in the following position…

The Glass is 9/10 Full

Martin Tompa
February 2, 2017

All your aunts and uncles and cousins are at your home again today for a cheerful, boisterous gathering. As usual, there is a card game involved. You are once again pitted against your Uncle Tibor, with clever Uncle Hans looking over your shoulder. Midway through the game you shuffle, deal out the cards, and look down at this starting hand…

The Battle and the War

Martin Tompa
January 17, 2017

You are near the end of a very tight game against a lucky opponent. Each of you is within 1 or 2 game points of winning when you find yourself on lead in the following position…

About the Author

Martin Tompa

Martin Tompa (tompa@psellos.com)

I am a Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, where I teach discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, design and analysis of algorithms, and other related courses. I have always loved playing games. Games are great tools for learning to think logically and are a wonderful component of happy family or social life.

Read about Winning Schnapsen, the very first and definitive book on the winning strategy for this fascinating game.

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Getting Started

Links for Schnapsen and Sixty-Six

Links in German

Links in Hungarian

Recent Columns

February
Carpe Diem, Feb 10
The Glass is 9/10 Full, Feb 2
January
The Battle and the War, Jan 17
December
If Worse Comes to Worst, Dec 14
April
Keep Calm, Apr 9
January
Homework on Expected Values, Jan 26

Archives

2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012