Game on (28 Feb 2021)

As promised, here is the new game. Recall that I have decided on the following cheevos

  • Cocky: if the game is going well, deal the last 20 cards as a single unit and still manage to win.
  • Auto-complete*: Deal an in-suit ace onto an existing run of King through Deuce, thus completing a suit.
  • Trevor’s Quickie*: Get an empty column in 6(5) moves for columns 1-4 (5-10)
  • Bart’s Quickie*: remove a suit before third deal
  • Nigiri: remove suits in pairs (as suggested by Bart)

There is to be no Mulligan, even if the hand rot13(fhpxf). Here is what the Card Gods have given us:

By this stage, the question of counting guaranteed turnovers and finding the best move is too easy so I will instead ask the following questions:

  • Suppose you were legally required to turn over all three possible cards simultaneously. What would be your play?
  • Suppose after making your first move you were able to call the next card (both rank and suit). What would be your top three choices?

3 thoughts on “Game on (28 Feb 2021)

  1. Good to be playing again! I’m confused about a few things.
    (1) Aren’t there four guaranteed moves in this initial setup, not three?

    I don’t want to earn the nickname “Bart the annoyingly picky” but here are a couple more:
    (2) When you say “simultaneously” I assume you mean “moves not to be influenced by whatever card might come up after the first move(s)” since surely the software doesn’t actually allow us to move anything simultaneously (and anyway, I don’t have 4 (or 3) hands to pick them all up at once.
    (3) And when you say “after making your first move” are you referring to what you want after you have moved all 4 (or 3) such cards? If you literally mean “your first move” the answer would be unlikely to differ depending on which of the 4 (or 3) possible moves you made first, but I suppose it could in principle at least, so I could answer it as is, but I’d rather be clear on what you had in mind.


    1. (1) Yes you are of course correct. Even the noble Spider GM suffers from the occasional bout of cannotcountitis,
      (2) Yes that is correct. You make four turnovers and ignore whatever the new cards are
      (3) Making your first move means reveal only one card (as per normal). You make the best possible move, then make a wish i.e. I wish the next card was a Six of Diamonds. You get three wishes because you have to nominate the three top choices 🙂



  2. Thanks for the clarifications.

    Say, does your Microsoft version allow for different card styles? My program has some “large print” cards which I now use, and they might make distinguishing the suits easier — I have trouble with same-color face cards. I had said before this was no problem, but in fact it still is a problem, even when I make the image larger with the “control-scrollwheel”. I don’t see an option for different card styles in my Microsoft version but it is from and running on (don’t laugh too loud) Windows XP. A few OS’s ago, to say the least. And by the way, if you have step-by-step instructions for getting the Windows 10 version of Spider, that might be good to have it, as that is what my OTHER (main) computer is running. Preferably free but I might pay if needed.

    As for the homework assignment:

    There are three kinds of people in this world: Those who can count, and those who can’t. :-).

    1. The problem statement tells us we can’t be trying for Trevor’s quickie. So, in hearts, jack on queen and ten on jack are no-brainers. I’d then put the queen of hearts on a king. If we’re not counting moves it makes no difference because we can move it back and forth at will. If we are counting, no great reason between the two kings, but in terms of getting another suit going, we’ve got the king and jack of spades going, and the jack is a hair closer to the king than the ten for forming a unit in case the queen comes up to get a start on the spade suit.

    As for which of the leftmost 10s to put on the jack of spades, I find it VERY hard to find a reason to prefer one over the other.

    In general, we’d rather have more cards of one suit on the table because it works more easily towards removing a suit. If you could have 3 spades and 1 club, that’s a tiny bit better than 2 spades and 2 clubs. Let’s call it the “suit bunching” principle. Not that I see that applying this directly in this situation directly, but it comes up more below.

    We have only 1 diamond on the board but 2 clubs, so clubs is better for suit bunching. But this doesn’t tell me which ten we’d rather put on the jack of spades. The diamond has the advantage that it’s a different color, so you can see the suit break more easily. 🙂

    2. The card we want next is a queen, because it guarantees two more turnovers, and no other rank does.

    a. Queen of spades would be ideal, as it is in-suit with the open king, and can hopefully soon absorb the in-suit jack as well.

    b. Queen of hearts next, according to suit bunching. We’re on a roll with hearts (a tiny roll) and having two queens increases the chances we’ll be able to remove a suit sooner.

    c. Queen of clubs, based on suit bunching, slightly better than queen of diamonds.

    Going beyond the problem as stated:

    If we had to go to other ranks, highest priority is a rank that allows another turnover. Of those, I would say top is a 9, because there are three different places it can go, and whichever ten we put it on, we still have 2 receiving tens if another 9 comes up.

    7, 5, 4 and 2 each allow one more turnover, with little reason to distinguish them. Jack is also in that category but there are already two jacks on the board, so that’s not as good. All those that don’t allow a turnover (thus all worse than above): king, 10, 8, 6, 3, and ace. King and ace are worse for the usual reasons applying to those ranks pretty much all the time. Ten is not good because we’re already drowning in 10s and we’d like more even coverage of ranks. For the same reason 8 is a tiny bit better than 6 or 3.

    If I was going to try to put in criteria to apply in order when petitioning the genie in this early-game, they would be:
    1. More immediate turnovers
    2. No kings as they make cards under less accessible
    3. Ones allowing in-suit moves, keeping piles “atomic”
    4. No aces as they can only match ranks in one direction rather than two
    5. More even distribution of ranks
    6. Suit bunching

    There are a few other criteria, notably “junk pile strategizing”, but they don’t apply in this particular board.


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