Psellos
Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

March 25, 2017

Thoughtful Actions (solution)

Martin Tompa

Concealed cards:
AQ
Q
♣ TQ
T

Your cards:
K
AJ
♣ K
K

Trump: J
Stock: 1 face-down card
Game points: Tibor 7, You 7
Trick points: Tibor 33, You 20
Lead: Q

What is the first thing you should consider when following to the last trick before the stock is exhausted? Right, you should first consider ducking, because you can deduce both hands completely after ducking the trick. The obvious discard on this trick is one of those black kings, preferably K in order to deny Tibor the chance to cash his ace once the stock is exhausted. This will be the position, with Tibor on lead, after discarding K and drawing the last cards from the stock:

Tibor: (40 points)
AQ

♣ TQ
T

You: (20 points)

AJ
♣ K
KJ

From this position, Tibor can simply cash his two tens to reach 40+10+10+4+2 = 66 trick points exactly. That’s 2 game points for Tibor. The result is the same if you discard your other black king or J on Tibor’s Q.

All right, then, we’ve exhausted the possible discards. There is no sense in ducking this trick, because if you win the trick you won’t do any worse than losing 1 game point. It’s so nice that you can decide the best play is to win the trick, without having to consider each of the 6 cards you might draw from the stock. There is no reason not to win the trick with A (as opposed to trumping it), since this is likely to be your last chance to score your ace.

On to the second puzzle. After winning A, you draw the very lucky T from the stock, leaving you on lead from this position:

Tibor: (33 points)
AQ

♣ TQ
J

You: (34 points)
K
J
♣ K
TK

Plan the rest of the play. When you have come up with a good plan, you are welcome to read my analysis.

© 2017 Martin Tompa. All rights reserved.


Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

Subscribe

Getting Started

Links for Schnapsen and Sixty-Six

Links in German

Links in Hungarian

Recent Columns

April
Homework on Expected Values, Apr 26
March
Thoughtful Actions, Mar 25
Noble Sacrifice, Mar 4
February
Carpe Diem, Feb 10
The Glass is 9/10 Full, Feb 2
January
The Battle and the War, Jan 17

Archives

2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012