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Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

February 11, 2013

A Bird in Hand

Martin Tompa

Warmed by the blazing fire in the Café Abeles, you shuffle and deal out the next hand. The first few tricks go uneventfully, with no marriages and no trump exchange. At the beginning of trick 5 you reach this position:

Unseen cards:
Q
T
♣ K
ATK

Your cards:
T
J
♣ QJ
J

Trump: A
Stock: 1 face-down card
Game points: Peter 5, You 3
Trick points: Peter 27, You 21
On lead: Peter

Peter gets a knowing look in his eyes and plunks A down on the table. You inspect the meager collection of small cards in your hand and face an unhappy choice: do you want Peter’s ace in your tricks or do you want to pick up the ace of trumps for your hand? Make your choice. 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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