Psellos
Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

December 30, 2012

The Last Trick

Martin Tompa

“I’m curious,” your Uncle Hans says to you. “In the previous deal, you led A from this position.” Hans recreates the position on the table in front of you.

Unseen cards:
TQ
AQ
♣ KQ

Your cards:
AK
J
♣ —
AT

Trump: J
Stock: 1 face-down card
Game points: Polona 2, You 2
Trick points: Polona 34, You 12
On lead: You

“When we were discussing your play after the deal, you mentioned that you saw a way to win if the last remaining face-down card in the stock was ♣K. Let’s suppose that was the case, and that your Aunt Polona discarded her ♣Q on your lead of A. This would be the new position after drawing the last cards from the stock.” Hans deftly moves a few cards around on the table.

Polona: (34 points)
TQ
AQ
♣ —
J

You: (26 points)
K
J
♣ K
AT

“It doesn’t seem obvious how you would win from this position,” Hans goes on. “Let’s see, you would be on lead. What was your plan?”

Can you see how to win? Once 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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