This is the position from last time
The bad news is pretty clear: we got two much-needed Tens but it’s only enough to temporarily recover the empty column before needing to use it immediately. On the plus side, I now have a new reader (George) following my blog. George readily admits to not being the best player on this planet, but he writes in an engaging style and seems like one of the Awesome People.
Bart identified several options. To save space I will use the letters a-j to denote columns
- <fj,fj,bf,df,bf,eb> to maximise the chances of getting an empty column next time. The problem is exposing an Ace, which is not what we need. Also, we need to think about turning over cards, not recovering the empty column and ending up where we started
- <fj,fj,db,db,cd,cf> turning over a card.
It is interesting to note that despite having only one guaranteed turnover, there are still a large number of reasonable options to consider.
My preference was <fj,fj,db,gd,gh, bh, dg, df>. Note the use of two supermoves and breaking off-suit hoping to clear up stuff in column 2.
The Two of Diamonds in column 4 is especially useful since it enables us to shift the Ace of Spades in column 3 if need be. If the next card is a Three or Seven then we might have a real chance.
We turn the Four of Clubs. Not the best card, but at least the Two of Diamonds allows us to shift the Ace in column 3, uncovering the Five of Clubs, and hence an in-suit build. Of course, a Three would no longer allow us to get back an empty column.
We get a Ten and Queen in column 4, but unfortunately in the wrong order. Here I avoid shifting the J-T-9-8 of Spades onto the Queen. We need to get back an empty column and exposing an Ace won’t help our cause here. It would be different if there was the prospect of eliminating the Spade suit, but we’re not even close. Time to deal another round.
Clearly this is a good deal. We have two easy empty columns available. But we also should start thinking about clearing suits. Just because no suit has all 13 cards visible doesn’t imply we shouldn’t worry about completing a suit. Also note that the tableau has 19 face-down cards, but only three of them are not buried by at least one King.
At this stage of the game, being able to visualise many moves ahead is a must for the serious player. Here are some useful practice questions:
- What is the longest “straight-flush” we can obtain if we weren’t allowed to turn over any more face-down cards? (for instance 7-6-5-4-3-2 of Hearts would be of length six).
- Can we guarantee three empty columns if we weren’t allowed to turn over any more face-down cards? Obviously these would be columns 2,4,6.
- What is the minimum number of guaranteed turnovers?
- What is the minimum number of guaranteed in-suit builds? Of course, if we get enough in-suit builds then completed suits might suddenly materialise by weight of sheer numbers 😉 More often than not, players have to earn them especially at the Four-suit level.