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Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

July 22, 2012

Avoid the Ducking Ruff

Martin Tompa

“All right, Hans, all right,” says Uncle Claudius. “We get it now. The way I played that last hand, I should have lost to your ‘ducking ruff’ play. Well, then, how should I have played the hand?”

“I’m glad you asked,” replies your clever Uncle Hans. “Let’s set up the hands again, but this time from your point of view, Claudius.” Hans rearranges the cards on the table to recreate the situation at the beginning of trick 5.

Unseen cards:
KJ
AKQ
♣ —
A

Claudius’s cards:
AQ
T
♣ —
TQ

Trump: T
Stock: 1 face-down card
Game points: Claudius 4, You 6
Trick points: Claudius 38, You 0
On lead: Claudius

Uncle Hans goes on. “Claudius, you led Q here, and we saw that that ends badly for you if it gets trumped. Does either of you see a better play for Claudius?”

Do you? When you have come up with a good plan for Claudius, 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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