Game On (30 December 2020)

In the previous post I asked for the best play.

Bart Wright has correctly spotted the in-suit build with K-Q-J of Diamonds, and therefore we should shift the Queen of Clubs onto the newly turned King to make room for the Queen of Diamonds.

Here is where it gets interesting. Technically best is to expose the card in column 1 before column 9, but assuming we also shift the Jack of Spades to the Queen of Clubs that would cost a move because the T-9 of Hearts will be shifted twice. This is an simple illustration of how playing for a score of 1000+ changes our strategy. In this case, one extra move is a cheap price to pay but it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where we have to spend several moves to make the optimal play instead of near-optimal. This is where things get interesting.

Using some earlier notation for identifying columns with letters, I recommend <eg,ai,ae>.

We expose a K of Diamonds. I now shift the Q-J of Diamonds onto the other King of Diamonds, anticipating in future we can expose another card in Column 1 when expedient to do so. Obviously not now, since our first priority is getting an empty column, but it might come in useful later. We also take care to dump as many cards as possible onto Column 5, so the other columns become easier to deal with. Unfortunately the newly-turned Five of Hearts kinda sucked and we are forced to deal our first row of ten cards.

We turned over no less than 15 cards in round 0 (I like to start counting from zero here), but there is no empty column. The nearest to an empty column is in column 2 (a bit unusual given that column started with five face-down cards instead of four). But at least most of our builds are in-suit. I think we are in pretty good shape …

We’ve just dealt another row of cards. How would you continue here?

5 thoughts on “Game On (30 December 2020)

  1. I’m finding this really fun — applying all those competing considerations that only arise in a real game.

    This is where the game often starts getting tricky… sometimes the moves before the first “deal” feel like following a chess opening, and here I go off the opening and have to think harder. I know sometimes I get to a position where I say, “Darn, if I could think far enough ahead I bet I could do better, but I can’t pull off the mental effort required”. But I don’t think this is one of them.

    The three columns with 9s in them are, for the time being, “dead”. No receiving 10s around. We can’t get at what’s under them whatever else we do.

    We’ve got two cards we can uncover. Something under a 5 (but only one of our 5s), and something under the two 3s in column 3.

    We want to move the royalty around no matter what 5 we use. We need to move one of the queens to the king, and we much prefer the one from column 2, as there are only 2 unturned cards there instead of 4. We’re going to end up with a jack on the queen in column 8, and I want it to be the heart jack, to keep that column in as few “pieces” as possible (if you tell me it’s not worth the extra move, I’ll believe you — I guess). So the plan is to move jack of diamonds to the column 8 queen of hearts, the queen of hearts to the king, the jack of diamonds to the queen on our forming “garbage pile” in column 7, and finally the jack in column 9 onto column 8.

    The heart 5 also gives us the stepping stone we need to access the 5 we really want to move, from column 6, uncovering our second card.

    But do we want to do all that first, or move the 3s first? If we move the 5 of spades to column 1 first, we get information quickly, which is good. But we’re turning a pile with 4 cards instead of 3, and having one less suit break in column 1 is good. Since we don’t want to move the 5 in column 10, I would move the 3s first (3 diamonds to column 10, 3 hearts to column 6 of course). The new card might affect how/whether we do the bunch of irreversible moves I think we’re slated for otherwise.

    Assuming the new card doesn’t call for a change of plans, it’s time to simplify the face cards, as above and then do the heart 432 move and the diamond 5 move.

    It’s a lot of moves, but I’d be very surprised if you tell me it’s not worth simplifying the royalty and getting closer to a space in column 2.


    Regarding your last move, “We expose a K of Diamonds. I now shift the Q-J of Diamonds onto the other King of Diamonds, anticipating in future we can expose another card in Column 1 when expedient to do so.”

    I think it’s better to leave the QJ of diamonds on the king in column 5 and proceed to build there. You save a move, but more important is that if down the road we can remove a diamond suit, we’d rather it expose a space (column 5) rather than an unknown card (column 1). Preserving spaces in the late game is vital.

    That’s the way it seems to me, anyway.


    1. Hi Bart, very good analysis as usual. I have nothing to add, except our first priority is getting an empty column asap. We can worry about the 1000+ target later.

      BTW If you are serious about measuring your win rate I strongly recommend you avoid playing at free hyphen spider hyphen solitaire dot com. I use Microsoft Windows.


  2. Here again I see no reason to lose the game in as few a moves as possible so I will proceed in what to me seems like the best course.

    I would first weaken the defenses in col 2: gh, bg, hg.

    Then join some family members and get a card in col 6: ih, fi, fa

    I assume this card to be a wonderful 10 of diamonds and happy days are here again.

    But perhaps not, therefore to continue we do a center right frontal attack by moving the two threes in col 3, (Three Threes? This of course brings us back to Australia) cleverly grouping lots of hearts in col 9.

    I need to see the two new cards to plan further, but I have in mind getting the heart 10 onto the heart jack at some point in time.

    I will post this and then read the other two comments and perhaps visualize a broader horizon.


    1. Hi George, welcome to the party! Of course the game has already progressed since then so you have to put up with whatever life choices Bart and I have already chosen. I will also need some time to digest some of your other comments, especially for more recent posts. Happy days ahead 🙂


  3. Bart, your way of attacking col 3 first is definitely correct, thanx

    I’ll try to do the next phase tomorrow and catch up with you two soon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s