Psellos
Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

April 9, 2012

The Mother of Invention

Martin Tompa

At the Café Abeles, your favorite hangout for cards, you are playing a friendly game with your good buddy Peter. Things aren’t going so well today.

Unseen cards:
AJ

♣ KQ
AJ

Your cards:
TK

♣ AJ
Q

Trump: T
Stock: 1 face-down card
Game points: Peter 1, You 2
Trick points: Peter 13, You 34
On lead: You

I find it more difficult to be on lead at this last open-stock trick. I’d rather my opponent were on lead, so I can decide whether ducking or winning the trick will work out best for me. When I am on lead, my opponent often doesn’t cooperate with my intention to win or lose this trick.

Unfortunately, today you are in the position of being on lead at this critical trick. To add to the tension, Peter needs only one more game point to win the game. Plan the play. When you think you have a good plan, you are welcome to read my analysis.

© 2012 Martin Tompa. All rights reserved.


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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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Homework on Expected Values, Apr 26
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Thoughtful Actions, Mar 25
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