Game on (21 Sep, 2021)

Continuing from last time …

Bart suggested the (modified) Orange plan fg,ij,ig,jg. Furthermore he gives continuations “bh,bh,bg” and “ch,dh,ch”. But it seems most unlikely that the next turnovers will not change anything (unless it’s something idiotic like two Kings). Remember that cards can be “semi-useful” even if they don’t increase our minimum guaranteed turnovers. SA likes Brown’s suggestion of “ij,if” to expose that nice Club Eight residing in Column 9. I assume this is tongue-in-cheek but I agree that would be one of the better cards we can hope for.

With the vote tied 1-1, I will use my Spider Solitaire app as a tie-breaker. If the first card in column 1 is red (black) then I go with Bart (SA), since red (black) is close enough to orange (brown). Bart’s plan it is.

(move fg,ij,ig,jg), Ten of clubs.

Text version:

(five) 3c-2s-As-2s

(four) 7c-6c-5d-6d

(five) 2h-4c

(four) 9c-3d

(four) 9s-2c

(three) Kc

(three) Jd-Js-Td-9s-8h

(three) 7d-6s-5s-7s

(two) Tc

(four) Kh-9c

Cards in stock = 40, Cool Mates = 9, Stooges = 3

Brown: A decent card, giving us an extra turnover and in-suit build.

Red: Yes, the second Ten allows a turnover in Columns 4 or 5. Clearly Column 4 is better, saving the precious Three of Diamonds as well as building in-suit.

White: I’m not sure why the captain played “jg”. At least that move is reversible and there is no penalty for playing unnecessary moves.

Green: BTW, Dark Green tried to rot13(shpx) things up last time. I just realised his suggestion of turning over column 1 is actually illegal.

Black: That’s right but for some reason we let it go. Perhaps someone was hoping Dark Green would continue to make mistakes – then we would call him out with stronger evidence that he really is one of the Stooges.

Purple: Going back to the cards in front of us, I see three turnovers in Columns 2,3,4. Therefore something like “bh,bh,bg,cg,dg,cg,di” unless we get more good cards and change our mind.

Disclaimer: I only got ‘C’ in Year 10 Art.

Orange: We should also consider the possibility of not taking our minimum guaranteed turnovers for some other long-term gain. However, I’m not seeing anything special in this position. Therefore “bh,bh,bg”, look at the next card and then decide.

Dark Blue: It is unfortunate our turnovers occur in the left-most columns which contain many face-down cards. But I don’t see any other way to achieve three turnovers. I’m with Orange. At least our game state remains flexible with good chances of getting at least one extra turnover.

Pink: There may be other move orders such as “bh,bh,ch,dh,di” that give three turnovers. I’m sure Bart Wright or SA could come up with other possibilities.

Dark green: It’s a pity we didn’t go with Brown’s suggestion, keeping the Ten of Diamonds in Column 6 instead of Column 7. The Ten of Clubs would have given us two extra turnovers instead of …


Yellow: Yes, I agree Dark Green is venting but at least he didn’t recommend to build in-suit with “ji” 😊

On the bright side, nobody dropped the S-bomb but the team camaraderie still needs a bit of work. This is certainly not something I would tolerate in an actual workplace. And someone should remind the team that not all jokes are funny. I won’t mention any colours – they know who they are.

Digressions aside, how would you continue here? Choose one of the following options (in order of increasing effort):

  • Give a sequence of moves, finishing as soon as you turn over a single card.
  • Assume that after the above sequence you turn over in column X. Choose any straight flush (e.g.  8-7-6-5-4 of Hearts) and call it Y. Assume the next card in column X belongs to Y. Give five different continuations, one for each card in Y.
  • Ditto, but with any straight flush of length 9 (instead of 5)
  • Ditto, but with any straight flush of length 13, i.e., a complete suit.

7 thoughts on “Game on (21 Sep, 2021)

  1. Master Chi-Yuen, Esteemed Scholar Bart chose a modified Orange Plan while I went with a Brown Plan. Each of us gave thought and respect to the other’s decision. From our brief time spent together on this blog I feel we each chose a path true to our different styles; Esteemed Scholar Bart leaning more to the analytical side while I tend to allow optimism to play a strong hand.

    Please, Kindly Master, which way would you have hopped?


  2. So my literal answer is:

    “Option 1: bh,bh,bg”.

    GM is sure giving peculiar instructions. Straight flushes to guide what to do? Very open-ended. Sounds weird. Huh?

    Thinking more broadly, outside of GM’s constraints:

    Best: PURPLE’s plan: bh,bh,bg,cg,dg,cg,di

    ORANGE says look for other long-term benefits but doesn’t list any.

    Here’s one that’s not totally unreasonable. Start with hg,hg to reveal a receiving 5 for the 4 in column c and leave column b untouched for now. Then proceed to uncover d and c as we had planned. If we get a 6 we’ll have a place to put it that we wouldn’t have otherwise. If instead nothing unusual happens, move the 5,6 of diamonds to Create 567 in diamonds to join our 567 in spades in happy in-suit builds and make column h “atomic”, which it otherwise would not be. While those advantages are real, an extra turnover is more important — I think. If/when we get a space later sorting out columns g and h is likely to be pretty easy.

    For the meta-game there is an interesting factoid on 9/14. White’s inner thoughts tell us there are 3 stooges. Can white be having inner thoughts that are incorrect and misleading? Presenting a player’s inner monolog and then saying “maybe he was a stooge” was raised earlier but then discounted in that case — but not in this. However, white made a bad suggestion on 9/18.

    However, I have so far located more than 3 players as having made or agreed to clearly suboptimal decisions:

    red, pink, dark green, dark blue, green, white, and black. I think I can document those if challenged. All from 9/12 and 9/18.

    It’s a big mess.

    I’ve made a spreadsheet but it’s not exactly clean.

    GM: I’m having trouble keeping track of all the posts in date order. Could you somehow point us to some complete list of the ones for this game so far? And maybe update it too?

    SA wrote: “Please, Kindly Master, which way would you have hopped?” I find myself genuinely interested in this answer too. I felt the two choices were so close I would not be embarrassed or discouraged to find I am in the minority.


    1. Esteemed Scholar Bart, as always, I posted before reading your comments.

      Thank you for giving my solution some press, I totally understand that it might not be a popular route to take.

      Master Chi-Yuen, you broke the first tie between myself and Esteemed Scholar Bart with a Red/Black coin toss. We both agree that those solutions are all but equal. But here I can envision that here you might strongly agree with Esteemed Scholar Bart or consider my thought process to be faulty. If so will you steer us along a more proper journey or do another coin toss knowing that the fates might send us off base?

      What we really need is one more person commenting, rendering a tie impossible. Do we have a lurker ready to step up into this madness? I would be just as happy hopping along in fourth place as I am now in third place, learning from my mentors.


    2. Hi Bart and SA, some very interesting comments! Here are my responses:

      (In response to Bart)

      Firstly, the meta-game is *supposed* to be a big mess. I haven’t played Among Us, but I won’t be surprised if the S-bomb gets dropped after every third task is complete. False accusations are part of the game and it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if the good guys always win!

      I should also mention that “decision-making” skills are important. Admittedly this is somewhat nebulous and hard to define but it’s something like “how do I go about finding the best move?” rather than “what is the best move?”. An (extreme) example of poor decision making is assuming you must maximise guaranteed turnovers at all costs – it’s okay at the beginning but you very quickly run into trouble once a zillion cards are in play.

      Finally, don’t forget that sub-optimal plays can be from novices with good intentions or experts with bad intentions 😊 And that’s assuming the position is clear-cut with only one “correct” line of play. I may as well point out it was my brother Terry who introduced me to Spider Solitaire. He plays a decent game of 4SSS sans rot13(haqb), but I would expect him to struggle on difficult hands.
      As for answering SA’s question “which way would you have hopped”, I would rather answer this question in a post-mortem review after all is said than done. In competitive chess it is a time-honoured tradition to analyse possible improvements for either side after the game, but never during the game!

      (In response to SA)

      First, if you and Bart suggest different paths, then I always intend to coin-toss. My intention is to always let my readers choose the moves, and I will only offer guidance. If I think your plays are clearly sub-optimal, I will still follow these plays. Yes, this will increase losing our chances, but as compensation you learn more that way 😊 In an ideal world, I also wanna have (at least) one more person commenting, but that’s not something I can control.

      Bart raised a very valid point about keeping track of all posts in date order – because I am mashing up Among Us with 4SSS for the first time (with no guarantee if this idea is actually any good) it is clearly important to reference past history to work out who is sus. I’ve only just realised the problem: it’s easy enough for the blog creator to keep an index of posts, but AFAIK my readers don’t have the same luxury. Obviously I don’t wanna force my readers to create a WordPress account just to find out if readers really do have this problem. Ergo, before continuing the game I should probably try to consolidate our progress on the game – including any claims of coloured tokens being suspicious – so my readers can refer to it easily.


  3. Master Chi-Yuen, I am going to disagree with Orange and say that perhaps I see a way to improve the position at the cost of a turnover. Would it be worth it? You tell me.

    Consider if you will, move the spades in Col 8 onto the Heart 8 in Col 7. Then cover the Spade 5 with the Club 4 from Col 3 and the Dia. 3 from Col 4. First turnover will occur by placing the Club 9 on the Club 10

    (hg, hg, cg, dg, di)

    We get a second turnover by placing the Heart 2 from Col 3 onto the Dia. 3 now living in Col 7 (cg)

    Reserve move is the Dia’s in Col 3 being united with the Dia 7 in Col 8 (bh, bh)

    What did we gain for the loss of a guaranteed turnover? Col 8 gains “Atomic Turnover” Status, and it has only three face down cards. Also we do some in suit building, albeit the spade run get hopelessly buried immediately. Plus we get rid of one (new term) discontinuance. This should describe as when a descending run of cards, suit not considered, is stopped. In Col 2 we have two such discontinuances; 6-5 and 5-6; both of which go away with either my idea or the Three Turnover Trail. In Col 8 we have 5-7, which gets corrected with my sequence and buried by the Three Turnover Troops. This last item is the factor that swayed my vote for this line of play. It just looks more organized for future play and future turnovers.

    Second part of Homework: What’s Next?

    At the bottom of each column we are suited
    So I will go with Clubs.

    A… move to Col 4, gain in suit build and Turnover
    2… move to Col 7, gain Turnover here, lose Turnover in Col 3
    3… no help, take Turnover in Col 3 (cg)
    4… uncover Dia 5 and cover with this (bh, bh, dh) lose Atomic Turnover
    5… uncover Club 6 and cover with his (bh, bh, db), lose Atomic Turnover
    6… move to Col 8, lose Atomic Turnover
    7… no help, take Turnover in Col 3 (cg)
    8… move to Col 9, gain Two Turnovers with (bh, bh, bi)
    9… no help, take Turnover in Col 3 (cg)
    10.. take Turnover in Col 3 (cg), gain in suit build (jd)
    J… cover with 10 from Col 9 gain in suit build and Turnover
    Q… move to Col 6 gain in suit build and Turnover
    K… insert dirty word, take Turnover in Col 2 (cg)

    I suppose that now I should do the same 13 card future peek with the Three Turnover Sequence but I will Trust that Esteemed Scholar Bart has gone that route and we can just compare notes.

    I can do all this in my head, but I can not organize the 13 options into meaningful data without writing it down.

    Should we do this for all four suits, and somehow correlate each card’s results with a probability of occurrence given that we now can see 27 cards? This would be some excellent mind expanding ciphering, but we need to also play for enjoyment and realize the time constraint associated with being alive, I simply feel OK with giving up a Turnover in exchange for an Atomic Turnover column, some in suit work and a seemingly more organized position.


  4. GM wrote: “As for answering SA’s question “which way would you have hopped”, I would rather answer this question in a post-mortem review after all is said than done. In competitive chess it is a time-honoured tradition to analyse possible improvements for either side after the game, but never during the game!”

    That’s one way of looking at it, but — brilliant insight — this is not competitive chess! But you knew that. You plan might assume an attention span that is longer than — what was I saying? When the game’s over, I’ll have to reload each old position to get your opinion of what to do there.

    Did I miss something specific about this game relating to “Among Us”? It seems like it can be looked up on BoardGameGeek.

    So we have not just some evil players, but also weak players with good intentions who are good guys? And there’s something special about “SUS”?


    1. Hi Bart,

      Assuming you have read every post (not just the ones with at least one move played), you shouldn’t be missing anything important about Among Us. If you are, then either BoardGameGeek or Google should solve your problem. Since I haven’t played this myself, I can’t judge how good or bad this game is. SUS is obviously shorthand for suspicious, and basically means gut feeling without evidence. Many players like to drop the S-bomb in other contexts (such as the workplace). For this reason, the word SUS can be considered a meme.

      Admittedly something had to give when twelve coloured blobs are playing cards instead of performing essential tasks on the Skeld. For instance, I can’t have 12 random number generators for 12 blobs when voting to eject somebody. You and SA might correctly identify X is a Stooge but the RNG’s vote Y instead – which would be most unfair. Therefore I have tweaked the rules to some extent.

      To make sure everyone is singing the same anti-smoking song, players can be evil or weak … or both 😊

      I am also trying to consolidate the game’s progress into a single post for ease of future reference. This will be the subject of my next post, and I am hoping you will be thankful for this when we have a zillion cards in play 😊



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