Game on (8 Jan, 2021)

This is the position from last time.

The obvious move is to build in-suit with 2h-Ah, turning over the last card in column 6. A closer look reveals a hidden option: we can shift the Ten of Hearts in column 5 to column 8 – despite the fact the cards from Ten to Ace are off-suit we have the “correct stepping stones” to achieve this. But this must be done before shifting the Ace of Hearts, otherwise the Two of Hearts is no longer a stepping stone. So, what to do?

The disadvantage of the “non-obvious option” is that Column 8 may become harder to deal with and we already have an “ideal junk pile” in column 5 (not to mention that we burn several moves and our aim is to score 1000+). In any case we desperately need an empty column. Once we achieve that, in-suit builds will take care of themselves.

The obvious move it is.

We get the Two of Clubs – and our empty column. The bad news is we can’t keep it, but at least we get to do some tidying up.

We can actually swap the Five of Hearts in column 3 with the 5-4-3-2 of Clubs in column 5, so that enables us to turn over column 3 if we draw any Seven.

You may have noticed the Two of Clubs has counterfeited column 10, meaning we can no longer access the Five of Spades, even with an empty column. Still it’s not a disaster and we still have the Five of Hearts in column 9. In other words, we won’t regret it unless we draw two Sixes, which is long odds-against.

Our next move is to swap the Fives in columns 3/5 then bring down the 9-8 of Spades into the empty column. With only one Ten exposed there is a good chance of being able to recover the empty column (either now or the next deal), or we may get a new empty column in column 2. We draw an Ace of Hearts.

We then sacrifice an in-suit build, by shifting the 4-3-2 of Clubs onto the Five of Hearts to keep column 3 clean. Sacrificing is a typical motif in these situations – if we get an empty column we are virtually certain to regain the in-suit build. We turn over the Nine of Clubs. Not a great card, but at least we have exposed every face down card in column 2, making it much easier to plan for getting an empty column. Time to deal a new row of cards.

What do you think of this deal? Fantastic, extremely lousy or somewhere in between?

If given a choice would you take these 10 cards or shuffle and hope for a better deal? (Microsoft Solitaire doesn’t allow the latter option of course)

8 thoughts on “Game on (8 Jan, 2021)

  1. Hey, you got me on that last deal! I didn’t SEE that column move (I turn a bit red). I agree with you that it produces a position that is barely better if at all and not worth the extra moves.

    My initial impressions on this one: This is a pretty lousy deal. Two new kings plaster columns 8 and 9, and we don’t really have good cards to let us dig in columns 3 or 4 (or 10) which are only hopes for uncovering more cards until we can start moving kings around. I’ll send a separate reply with my analysis of what to do next in that position.

    Two other notes:

    1. I read on the web that you could in theory win Spider with 46 moves. 44 are required just to uncover the 44 cards, but only 2 more moves are required, they said. But I actually figured out how to do it (and not everything you read on the web is true), so I was proud of that.

    2. I was playing a game last night, and got to the end where I figured I’d lost. I even cheated with a couple undos after I chalked it up as a loss. Then just “for fun” I asked the program to suggest a move, and — it suggested I deal! I had one more deal to go but had somehow forgotten that. Duh!


  2. What to do next, though it’s a spoiler if you want to devise your strategy unsullied by my ideas:

    I could do better I suppose if I laid out the position with real cards to think ahead better, but I’m not going to. As in a game, I’ll have to do it with memory.

    So my play here starts with the 10 from column 6 onto column 10, and the 98 from column 6 onto the 10 just moved. It’s the only natural way to get a space, to let us do anything at all.

    The problem now is we have 2 9s we’d like to move but only 1 10 to receive it. The two reasonable lines of play I see depend on which one we choose.

    The relatively conservative line leaves “atomic” things in spaces 2 and 6 to maximize chances of retrieving one of them for a space next round. The other leaves only one of them atomic but lets us uncover a card. This game position is quite poor, so I think it’s “hail mary” time. We need to uncover a good card or two or three right now to get back in this game.

    Conservative #1 is Jack of clubs from column 2 into the space, ten of clubs from column 4 onto the Jack, and 9 of clubs from column 2 onto that 10. Bring the 8 of clubs from the long pile 5 onto that 9 of clubs. Now we’ve got a nice pure Jt98 of clubs in column 6, and we’ve done all we really can and we want to fill column 2 with something that will give us the greatest chance of coming up with a space next time. I would choose the 8 of clubs. That gives us two 9s we might be able to put it on at the start of next round if we can uncover one of them (and since we’re going to do that, we can do the 8 directly into the space earlier to save a move).

    Conservative #2 is jack of clubs from column 2 into the space, then 8 of hearts from column 7 onto the 9 in column 2, then 10 of clubs from column 4 onto the jack in column 7, then 9 of diamonds from column 4 onto that 10, and then 8 of hearts back onto that 9. 8 of clubs from the end of the long pile onto the 9 in column 2 (we’ll have to get into that long pile soon to have any hope). We move the A of spades from column 3 to 4, and we’re done. We have atomic things in columns 2 and 6.

    More aggressive is to give up on column 2 for a space for a while. We move 10 of clubs from pile 4 onto the jack on pile 2, and then the 9 of diamonds under it onto the 10. Then we move Ace of spades from 3 onto the 2 in column 4, and put the 65 of clubs into the space at column 6, and hope we get a very good card (a queen would be nice, for instance).

    I think conservative #2 is better than conservative #1. #2 does “increase order” enough that it’s tempting over the aggressive one.

    But as I say I think we need several good cards to have much chance at all of winning this, so I’d do the aggressive one.


  3. Hello Hello and where have I been?

    As I last corresponded way back on 5 Sept:
    So anyhow, I decided I was far enough advanced into this insanity that I should do a 100 game run and see if I am OK or just fooling myself.
    I will break this up into 20 game blocks.
    First 20 game block resulted in 7 wins and 13 losses.
    I am working on the second block and expect the sophomore slump to bite me.
    The sophomore slump would have been welcome. The next 40 games rewarded me with a breathtaking 3 wins. Five games ended with less than 50 moves. I smelt a Rattus Programas and decided that this was not fun and not for me.

    But I am not smart enough to know when I am whooped. So I returned to the battle.

    But then I was invited to a month long dance with a dark robed fella’ who for some reason was carrying a scythe. But he got tired of my stupid stubbornness and went away…for now, he’ll be back. But I digress.

    I finally figured out what version of SS I was playing, it is the “Win7 games for Win10” (Something has bothered me for about double-nickel years, is it ”. or .” ??, both seem awkward.) available from many bundling websites. Has anyone else played this version?

    Professor, it seems to me that you are playing the Microsoft Solitaire Collection, are you? I cannot download it (Mexican ISP?) and trying to play online was like inviting 10,000 salesmen over to enjoy your family Sunday afternoon bar-bi-Q, and none of them are anywhere near their quota for this month. I just could not enjoy the experience.

    Then I got sick, but we’ve gone over that ground already so I won’t mention that also and in the same time frame my left index finger got so infected that I was shopping for a Dr who would lop it off in his (can I say his on this forum or do I have to list all 376 genders that this Dr might be? But now I digress from my current digression.) office and not have to go into a Covid infested hospital. I found a Dr who said, “We can save it”. Long and funny story given on request, he saved the finger but if the AMA ever finds out about him they will lock him up.

    But I……….. well, you know.

    Youse guys are so far above my cerebral level in your analyses of the positions ‘n computations ‘n probabilities ‘n stuff that I feel like Jethro Clampett. But it is always mindlessly happy fun in the Peanut Gallery. I mostly look for the move that seems to improve the situation best.

    But anyhoo, that quickly brings me to what I wish to say today. Has anyone taken two decks of cards, shuffled the pee-wocky out of them and proceeded to play this madness on a table? If not, I will appoint myself as explorer of the non-electronic world.


  4. Master T wrote, “We get the Two of Clubs – and our empty column.” That loud beeping noise you next heard was me backing up. I knew that piling on C8 was at best marginally bad, but that was when it was 4-off (4 moves to gain a blank or turnover). Now that we are going to have a club convention in C3, C8 has an opportunity to go from bad to bad-est. So allow me to rearrange things to mirror the superior play of others. I will throw a flag and penalize myself 10 points for frivolous play resulting in delay of game. So I only join in the celebration if above 1010. I suspect this number will increase as my amateur standing becomes more obvious.

    Today I catch up with the current posting.

    I don’t care for this draw at all. I want to do something brilliant but after clearing C6 all I see is stuff that I don’t really want to do or stuff that I can’t do if I want a new card.. So I opt for a turnover in C8 (my almost was junk pile a few minutes ago) and all I really see is before covering with the spade 9. So , turnover.

    We really need a run of good turnovers here.

    I will read the other comments after posting this and then post again if shown my lack of inspiration with this draw.

    And I see there are three comments at this point in time so if someone else has joined in the hunt it will be good to read another perspective ……. and there goes my formally by default bronze medal.


  5. Wow, it turns out it was I am here twice!! I unwittingly joined the conversation much earlier. My post showing here from Jan 9 was suppose to go way down the page from here, back when this hand started….tricky aint I ?? I need a nap. My bad if it confused anyone.

    Brad, I totally missed the turnover in C3. The damage you put on C2 was way way less than the damage I did to C6. Plus one less hidden card in C3. Plus you improved C4. Nicely done, thank you.


      1. How can I do that ???

        Master T, thank you for correcting me as this faux pas is far too common an occurrence in my life.

        Bart, my humblest of apologies, I have a DNA deficiency for remembering names and so unfortunately cannot promise you a non-repeat.

        Picture yourself as a construction superintendent chairing a meeting of 20+ people; architects, engineers, developers, owners, your own project manager, subcontractor managers, city managers……you are dressed in t-shirt and work jeans, everyone else in $500 suits……and as you sit down to call to order you realize that you can remember the names of only half of those present. Panic meter pegged to the right. You can’t just go, “Hay, you, …..third from the end, yeah you”

        I mean even now I had to go back to check to see if it is Bart or Brad.


      2. Hi George, in one of my earlier posts I discussed this hand but also had a simultaneous short story in italics. Near the end of the story there is a rather lame Simpsons reference. That should help you remember if it is Bart or Brad 😉


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