Psellos
Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

January 21, 2013

Protection

Martin Tompa

It’s a cold winter day with ice on the ground. But you have made your way safely enough to the comforting warmth of the Café Abeles, where Peter waves to you from his usual table near the fire. He already has a generous piece of Haselnusstorte and a steaming cup of coffee with whipped cream in front of him, so you order for yourself while he deals out the cards. The first few deals are uneventful but, before your coffee has cooled enough to drink, you find yourself in the following situation:

Unseen cards:

Q
♣ TKJ
AK

Your cards:
K
K
♣ A
TQ

Trump: J
Stock: 1 face-down card
Game points: Peter 5, You 7
Trick points: Peter 31, You 21
On lead: Peter

Peter pauses to consider what to do next, and finally leads ♣T. Plan your play while you sip coffee. 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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