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.
April 9, 2016
In this third round of the regional tournament you have been pitted against Rudi, whom you have found to be an exceptionally challenging opponent. In the previous deal you finally took over the game point lead, and both of you are now within striking distance of winning the game. And then this disaster occurs…
Homework on Expected Values
January 26, 2016
I am once again teaching a course on Probability and Statistics, 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 about ten days from now, when the homework will be due. A similar homework exercise appeared as a column last October.
You have just started a new game against the Maestro. On the very first deal, you reach the following interesting position…
An Endplay with Holes
November 21, 2015
The game point scores against Rudi are getting closer in this third round of the regional tournament. In the next deal, you find yourself in the following position…