Life So Short, the Craft So Long to Learn

Schnapsen Log Archives

Columns for 2012

The Card Game Called Schnapsen, Mar 5
Safety First, Mar 7
To Duck or Not to Duck, Mar 14
Who Laughs Last, Mar 21
"You First." "No, You First.", Mar 27
Elimination Play, Apr 2
The Mother of Invention, Apr 9
What Authorities Say About the Rules, Apr 14
Early in the Deal, Apr 20
At Trick One, Apr 22
Expected Game Points, Apr 27
It All Depends, May 3
From a Position of Strength, May 10
Forcing the Issue, May 16
Counterforce Play, May 24
On the Brink of Defeat, May 31
Close Call, Jun 7
Get Out of the Way, Jun 19
Desperate Straits, Jun 25
The Finish Line, Jun 30
Group Theory and Random Sampling, Jul 3
How Much Help Can You Expect?, Jul 8
All the Aces, Jul 13
To Duck and Not to Duck, Jul 17
Avoid the Ducking Ruff, Jul 22
As Luck Would Have It, Jul 27
Trump Entries, Jul 29
Make a Virtue of Necessity, Aug 2
Exit Cards, Stoppers, and Optimal Endplay, Aug 8
A Theory Concerning the Last Trick, Aug 13
Tempo, Aug 17
Losing Tempo, Aug 20
Order from Chaos, Aug 24
Tenuous Control, Sep 1
Taking the Initiative, Sep 14
Only Minds Infer, Sep 21
X-ray Vision, Sep 26
What Else Can Be Inferred?, Sep 29
Anything Else?, Oct 9
Intuition, Oct 14
Where’s the Endplay?, Oct 21
On the Brink of Success, Oct 23
Odds and Expectation, Oct 27
Race to the End, Nov 2
Entries from Thin Air, Nov 9
Vienna Tournament, Nov 16
More on Race to the End, Nov 23
Putting On Pressure, Nov 25
Make It Progressive, Nov 30
Setting Up the Endplay, Dec 6
Postponing Defeat, Dec 15
Too Clever By Half, Dec 23
The Homewrecker, Dec 28
The Last Trick, Dec 30

Columns for 2013

Who’s in Control?, Jan 3
The Lowly Jack, Jan 10
Protection, Jan 21
Schemes for Remembering Cards, Jan 28
Danger at Every Turn, Jan 29
Imperfect Information, Feb 5
A Bird in Hand, Feb 11
On a Wing and a Prayer, Feb 16
An Unusual Capture, Feb 20
Where’s the Endplay?, Feb 26
To the Brave Go the Spoils, Mar 7
A Multitude of Options, Mar 12
How Much Do You Trust to Chance?, Mar 27
Rags and Riches, Apr 13
Homework on Expected Values, Apr 26
On the Edge of a Knife, Jun 21
Trumpless, Jun 25
Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Jul 5
Measure Twice, Act Once, Jul 10
By the Process of Elimination, Jul 21
Who Is Endplayed?, Aug 4
The Last Place You Look, Aug 11
Resource Stewardship, Aug 15
Expected Game Points and Role Reversal, Aug 19
A Tale Begins, Aug 28
Fortitude, Aug 31
High Stakes, Sep 5
No Leeway, Sep 11
Looking Forward, Sep 28
Shifting Allegiances, Oct 7
Studies, Oct 19
Brains and Brawn, Oct 25
Almost Inseparable, Nov 12
Youthful Exuberance, Nov 15
Precarious Position, Nov 23
Show of Force, Nov 29
Pressured Out, Dec 7
Threats, Dec 11
Nowhere To Go, Dec 15
Waiting for Change, Dec 20
Exit Plans, Dec 29

Columns for 2014

Eye of the Storm, Jan 3
In the Nick of Time, Jan 5
Last To Go, Jan 11
Enemies, Jan 20
As the Door Closes, Jan 26
Homework on Expected Values, Jan 31
Change of Hands, Feb 2
Rules of Engagement, Feb 13
Close Quarters, Feb 17
Closing In, Feb 25
Peace Blooms, Mar 4
Reunion, Mar 16
A Ragged Endplay, Mar 24
Remembrance, Apr 6
New Arrival, Apr 20
The Tale Ends, May 3
No Clear Winner, May 26
Make a Wish, Jun 19
Necessary Precautions, Jun 20
The Big Trumps, Jul 5
A Tangled Web, Jul 31
Point of Order, Dec 1
A Vulnerable Hand, Dec 30

Columns for 2015

Homework on Expected Values, Jan 29
When Are Jacks in Hand Reassuring?, Apr 13
An Ounce of Prevention, Aug 11
A Second Ounce of Prevention, Aug 15
On Lead, Aug 19
Rote Behavior, Aug 23
The Best of All Worlds, Aug 28
A Handful of Losers, Sep 2
Collector’s Items, Sep 7
The Glass is Slightly Full, Sep 13
Nothing to Spare, Sep 19
Winning Schnapsen, Sep 22
Judging the Book by its Cover, Sep 27
To Close or Not To Close, Oct 6
When to Strike, Oct 15
Homework on Expected Values, Oct 24
Maintain Control, Nov 5
An Endplay with Holes, Nov 21

Columns for 2016

Homework on Expected Values, Jan 26
Keep Calm, Apr 9
If Worse Comes to Worst, Dec 14

Columns for 2017

The Battle and the War, Jan 17
The Glass is 9/10 Full, Feb 2
Carpe Diem, Feb 10
Noble Sacrifice, Mar 4
Thoughtful Actions, Mar 25
Homework on Expected Values, Apr 26
Gamble, Sep 30

Columns for 2018

Complete Information, Nov 28
Singleton Tens, Dec 1

Columns for 2019

Imperfect Information, Jun 24
Compelling Opponent, Aug 14
The Horns of a Dilemma, Sep 4
How To Open a Suit, Oct 8
Planning To Win the Last Trick, Dec 26

Columns for 2020

The Last Trump, Jun 11
Grab the Brass Ring, Jul 3
Know Your Opponent, Sep 19
Schnapsen in Abstract Games Magazine, Oct 24
What’s in the Stock?, Dec 5

Columns for 2021

As Luck Would Have It, Sep 9

Columns for 2022

A New Scheme for Remembering Cards, Mar 23
Grasping at Straws, Apr 4
More Extremes of Luck, May 21
Two Last-Trick Problems, Jun 27
Sidestep a Few Landmines, Sep 2

About the Author

Martin Tompa

Martin Tompa (

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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Recent Columns

Sidestep a Few Landmines, Sep 2
Two Last-Trick Problems, Jun 27
More Extremes of Luck, May 21
Grasping at Straws, Apr 4
A New Scheme for Remembering Cards, Mar 23
As Luck Would Have It, Sep 9