Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

Schnapsen Log Archives

Columns for October, 2015

To Close or Not To Close

Martin Tompa
October 6, 2015

My friend Jeff showed me a very interesting hand he’d been dealt recently, and we spent quite some time analyzing it. Here’s the hand….

When to Strike

Martin Tompa
October 15, 2015

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…

Homework on Expected Values

Martin Tompa
October 24, 2015

I am once again teaching a course on Probability and Statistics, using Schnapsen as a running example of applications of Probability. It’s been fun teaching Schnapsen to a large group of students who had never encountered it before.

In the course, we are just up to the topic of expected value now, so it seems appropriate to give them a homework exercise that involves expected game points. Today’s column is that homework exercise. This means that I won’t be posting my analysis until one week from now, when the homework will be due. A similar homework exercise appeared as a column last January.

You have just started a new game against the Maestro. On the very first deal, you reach the following interesting position…

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

What's in the Stock?, Dec 5
Schnapsen in Abstract Games Magazine, Oct 24
Know Your Opponent, Sep 19
Grab the Brass Ring, Jul 3
The Last Trump, Jun 11
Planning To Win the Last Trick, Dec 26