In the previous article I asked the following question:
What is the probability of clearing column 5 in four moves, if that was the only thing we cared about? Essentially we need three good cards in a row
I won’t answer this question, since computing an exact answer is not likely to improve your skill at Spider. Instead I will give a few general pointers:
- The “good cards” are A48TJ so if you draw e.g. A44 then you’re quids in – assuming there is nothing stupid like AJJ and we only have one queen.
- One good card can lead to others, e.g. if we draw a Ten then a Nine becomes a good card.
- There are other good cards if we look beyond column 5, e.g. a King would still yield a turnover, even though it stops us clearing column 5.
- In practice not all thirteen ranks are equally likely e.g. King is much more likely than Two since three Twos are already exposed.
At this stage, you probably noticed we have some duplicate cards such as Nines, Fives and Twos. Unless you get the holy grail of turning over every card before dealing from the stock, the laws of math dictate duplication will almost certainly occur at some point. This should warn you we might have to deal another row of cards soon.
We draw an Eight, Ten, … drum roll dlrdlrdlrldrdlrldrldr …
It’s a King! Rot13(bu sbe shpx’f fnxr!!!!!)
Still this isn’t a total disaster. We can start building a “junk pile” with K-Q-J-T-9-8 of various suits (incidentally this is why I put the Ten of Hearts in column 1, not column 9, so I would save a move when building the junk pile. Remember we asked for a number between 1 and 2000 and our random number generator returned 1731) 😊. Also, because our columns are relatively clean we can expect to turn over many cards, even without an empty column.
We shift the Queen of Clubs and draw the 3h. Nice, another in-suit build. This means we avoid playing on auto-pilot (Jack of Spades onto the junk pile). Who knows, we might draw the Jack of Clubs 😊 … or we might draw another King.
We now reach another interesting decision: what would you do here? (HINT: remember that our random number generator returned 1731)