Psellos
Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

January 3, 2013

Who’s in Control?

Martin Tompa

Your Sunday family game against Polite Polona has been extremely close, with your Uncle Hans looking on. It’s coming down to the wire. Aunt Polona needs only one more game point to win and you find yourself in this position.

Unseen cards:
Q
TK
♣ A
TQ

Your cards:

AQ
♣ K
AK

Trump: J
Stock: 1 face-down card
Game points: Polona 1, You 2
Trick points: Polona 46, You 18
On lead: Polona

Not only is your Aunt Polona close to her goal in game points, but she’s also far ahead in trick points on this deal. She fingers each of her cards in turn and finally chooses to lead T. Can you still save this game? Once you have a good plan, you are welcome to read my analysis.

© 2013 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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