Psellos
Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

October 15, 2015

When to Strike

Martin Tompa

You have progressed, admittedly struggling, to the third round of this regional tournament by beating Katharina and others in the second. You are now pitted against Rudi, a musician that you don’t know very well. After the first few deals, you find yourself in this position:

Concealed cards:
ATKQ

♣ TQ

Your cards:
J
AQ
♣ AK

Trump: J
Stock: 1 face-down card
Game points: Rudi 3, You 7
Trick points: Rudi 25, You 21
On lead: Rudi

Rudi has gotten an early game point lead, but in the current deal the trick point scores are still low. Rudi considers his options and finally leads K. Your mind races with possibilities for an endplay in clubs, inferences about the last card in the stock, and wondering if it will come down to who will win the last trick. What are you going to do? When you have devised a good plan, you are welcome to read my analysis.

© 2015 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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