Happy New Game – Round 2

Summary of round 1 can be found here

Initial Position:


Checksum: (10 + 4 + 7 + 7 + 5 + 6 + 9 + 13 + 5 + 8) + 3*10 + 0*13 = 104

Monkey Recommends: “ha,dh,bc,ef,bh”

Actual play (date = 10/Jan, score = 479): ha,dh,bc,bh

Spider GM comments: Even the monkey isn’t tempted by the in-suit build of “id” 😊 Let’s accept our two turnovers and be grateful that every rank now appears at least once 😉

Monkey Recommends: “gb,bf,eg,ab,ec”

Actual play (date = 12/Jan, score = 475): ef,ec → Jd (trivial)

Spider GM comments: This illustrates an interesting phenomenon: there are many “idle moves” involving Jacks and Tens but only one constructive course of action. With no penalty for irrelevant moves it is no surprise that Monkey’s RNG dawdles around for a bit before eventually finding the turnover.

Monkey Recommends: gb,ed

Actual play (date = 12/Jan, score = 473): ed → 5d (trivial)

Spider GM comments: looks like we guessed right with dh,bh instead of bd. Go Team! 😊

Monkey Recommends: ec

Actual play (date = 12/Jan, score = 472): ec → 4s (trivial)

Spider GM comments: Finally Monkey has mastered the art of Not Wasting Time!

Monkey Recommends: eg,be

Actual play (date = 12/Jan, score = 471): ef,be → 3s

Spider GM comments (in his best Adelaide Metro voice): Please Mind The Gap: note that it is illegal to spend the empty column to turnover column 8, since the Seven of Spades is missing.

Monkey Recommends: bd,hc,dh,ib,hd,cd,ch,ge,eg,bh,jb,hc,ge,ch,fe,eg,jg,hc,jf

Actual play (date = 14/Jan, score = 469): bd,jb,jf,ja → 3d

Spider GM comments: I must admit that monkey’s suggestion is extremely useful if you’re an experienced programmer trying to sanity check for illegal moves. Go Monkey! 😊

Monkey Recommends: “ge,hj,id,dh,eg,ae,ga,ag,hc,ea  + ch,ge,eg,ae,hc,dh,hd,ga,ag,ea + ge,ch,eg,ge,hc,dh,eg,ae,ga,ag + deal”

Actual play (date = 16/Jan, score = 465): hj,ih,hc,dh,ae, deal

Spider GM comments: Okay I stand corrected. The Three of Spades was not a good card after all ☹ How much tidying up are you willing to perform before the next deal?

Final Position

Here is the final position. IM Bartacus has a list-minute opportunity to sanity-check I haven’t goofed anything up and it’s okay to deal a new row of cards.

Final Position of Round 2

9 thoughts on “Happy New Game – Round 2

  1. Well, our bad luck went from being in the bottom 5% to the bottom 3%.

    ha, dh, bc, bh (turnover of the pile with 2 cards). If nothing exciting: ef, ec (turnover of pile with 3 cards).

    Monkey looks good! Except that I’d delay ef until after we see what the card we turn over is.


  2. 1/11/2022

    Score 472

    We’re still in the bottom 7% of distributions in terms of bumpiness. “It’s not fffAAAIIIIrrrr,” he whined. (Bitching is an inalienable right).

    None of the kings or jacks or the single 6 are going anywhere, except maybe into the space.

    We’re going to do “ef, be”. Monkey’s doing well this time. Uncover the card from our shortest pile. If we get a queen then we would have two spaces at least and a little reason for hope.

    We could uncover d instead of b but that would be terrible because it (shudder) exposes and ace, and if we get a 7, we don’t have an exposed 8 to put it on.

    The rest is speculating ahead for little benefit, though if I was an old-time lawyer and being paid by the word it would be lucrative.

    I think that trying to get a second space is the highest priority right now. But thinking ahead, we are in danger of that “hole but no turnovers” problem GM keeps mentioning. At the moment the number of things needing homes in each column that we do not now have are… 2, 1, 2, 1, 0, 3, 1, 2, 2, 1. Eliminating the columns with kings, and adding “potential cards to expose under, we have…

    2, 1, x, 1, 0, x, 1, x, x, x
    5, 1, 4, 1, 0, 3, 4, 3, 3, 4

    To get out of this swamp, we need to assume lots of good cards soon. Column g is the one to keep an eye on, as we need just one new queen to get access to 4 cards.

    Little cleanups we have in mind to do after the moves we will do (but aren’t required right now) are (1) “ae” (ten of diamonds onto the other jack of diamonds). Reason being that if we find a 9 to place, there are other 10s so we avoid an off-suit break in column e, but if we find an 8 there will be only be the one 9, and we don’t want it to be in column e. (2) The other is ga, putting that ten/jack suit break in column a rather than g, preparing the way to go digging in that column g.

    In fact, if we do get a queen and thus two spaces, I would put that jack in the space and use the other as a steppingstone to move the 3 onto our 4. A 7 turned over in column b will make us do “dc, db, dc” as we desperately look in column d. Anything else immediately puts us in the position of being unable to turn over another card.

    Even less useful is to even think about removing suits, but if we were missing only a couple cards in some suit that might direct the play a bit. But…

    Clubs: 6, 7, 8, Q
    Diamonds: A, 3, 4, 7, Q
    Hearts: 4, 5, 9, 10,
    Spades: A, 2, 3, 7, Q

    Every suit missing at least 4 cards, if I’m right. So no need to include that in calculations.


  3. 1/13/2022, score 469

    Did you say “a few more good cards”, implying that the 3 we turned up was a good card? It seems like an awful card to me, in that future progress in columns d or g required having that 4 in column d to put some 3 on. Whine index stays at 7%.

    I kind of take it monkey’s idea is not so good? “ia” isn’t even a legal move, is it? I stopped reading at that point.

    Here I have 2 possible ideas. The conservative one is bd, and fb (move just the 9), then deal. We haven’t discussed this sort of move before, but my thinking is that there are 3 10s that can absorb that 9 after the deal. If we were in very good shape, I could see it as a sort of safety play where the main danger is being unable to reclaim spaces. I don’t recall your every suggesting a move like that, and I’m open for it being argued it’s always bad.

    But we are not in very good shape at all. I say it’s Hail Mary time. We need good cards, and we need a bunch of them quick. I vote: bd, jb, jf, ja, uncovering a card in column j. Yup, put a king in a space. My hunch is that the deal is more likely to bury stuff than help us out enough. We could also do this in column i, but I think exposing the two 8s in column j is a good idea since we have a reasonable expectation of one or more 7s to come up. It’s true we also expect queens, but we have one king showing already. I don’t think we can make a turnover in any other column.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if there were some tweaks to make things slightly better. “ae” might be good. But my motivation to look for tiny improvements has gone down a great deal since a few moves back when I wanted hearts and spades to be together.

    The international date line makes things more complicated here to keep the dates straight.


  4. 1/15/2022, score 465

    Dow-Jones Whine Index down to 4%. Mary did not respond to her Hail. Time to fiddle around some cleaning up and then deal.

    hj, ih, hc, dh, ae, deal.

    Notes: hj, ih seem clear, the others are very minor considerations. For ih, we give up a receiving 3 and gain a receiving king. Justification: there are 4 2s left to be seen and 7 Qs.

    Monkey is not impressive.


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