Game on (4 Mar 2020)

Continuing the game from last week, I have turned over cards in column 1 and 8 without obtaining an empty column (column 9) or removing the Spade suit, seeing that:

  • I can obtain the empty column whenever I choose
  • I am still able to remove a suit of Spades, if I choose.

The King of Spades is a good card because we now have a choice of removing either King of Spades when clearing the suit. We can either turn-over a new card in column 8 or expose a useless King of Clubs in column 10. No prizes for guessing which is the better option.

Note that if I had prematurely removed the Spade suit before turning over a card in column 8 then I would be stuck with an exposed King of Clubs in column 10. That would considerably hurt our winning chances. This is a good illustration of why we try to procrastinate whenever possible.

Unfortunately removing the Spade suit will cost the option of turning over the last face-down card in Column 1 (this situation occurs because neither Eight of Spades is on top of a Nine of any suit). In other words we have an “either-or” situation: turn over a card in column 1 or clear the Spades, but not both.

We should also keep an eye out for suits other than Spades. All cards in the Heart suit are visible, but we cannot obtain a complete suit. However, if we expose a good card in Column 1 and get a second column then our chances will improve considerably.

There are only 17 cards unseen. Perhaps determining their ranks can shed some more insight on what the best move is:

35567779900000JQQ

Almost all of these are good cards. If we turn over the last face-down card in Column 1 then we are heavy odds-on to get two empty columns. The only bad cards are Nines and Jacks. A nine is tolerable since it solves the either-or problem described above. But a Jack would totally 83,85,67,75.

At this stage we have two basic options:

  • Expose the last unseen card in Column 1
  • Remove the Spade suit. This would cost a lot of flexibility since we make a lot of non-reversible moves, but removing Spades and turning over a new card in Column 8 is hard to turn down.

What would you play?

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