Game on (25 March)

I cleared the Spade suit in order to tidy the suits up (e.g. K-Q of hearts and K-Q of Spades).

I then turned over the last card in Column 1, and it is the Ten of spades.

Good Luck at Last

At last we get a good card. We can start turning over cards in columns 4 5, or 6. We also have a most unusual situation: all cards of the second Spade suit are visible, but we are still waiting on the first set of Clubs and Diamonds. So a useful question to ask is “can we clear Hearts or Spades by force?” and if so, is that even desirable?

Assuming we claim the empty column in Column 1 (the move is reversible) we see columns 4 and 6 require us to burn only 1 empty column, but Column 5 requires both empty columns. Our choice is therefore between Column 4 or Column 6. The 6 of Hearts in column 4 seems useful since it will help with Column 5. The two aces in Column 6 are not so great (but would be useful in Texas Holdem).  Column 4 it is.

Our luck is in. We are able to clear all face-down cards in Column 4. The face-down cards are (in order): 10 of diamonds, 7 of Clubs, 9 of Diamonds, Jack of Hearts. Not surprisingly we are able to remove two more complete suits.

Now is a good time to take stock. We have the following position:

We can continue with 9-8 of Clubs into the empty column, then remove the Heart suit, turning over a new card in Column 5 and winning back the empty column. This means we are guaranteed to turn over at least two cards (phew, no Kadoban). Careful consideration reveals another possibility. We can use the Nine of Hearts in Column 6 instead of Column 5, then shift the Qh-Jd onto the Kh in Column 1. Oh yes, the second spade suit is also up for grabs.

Do we have a lock?

At this stage, we should be calculating if the game is mathematically won regardless of the distribution of the face down cards. A good start would be to identify the face down cards:

Clubs: 7,0,Q

Diamonds: 9,0,Q

Hearts: 5,6,0

Spades: None

Question: do you think the game is mathematically won with best play?

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