Steve Brown’s Game: Round 2(3)

After a brief period of joy, it is now time to bid farewell to our only hole and we must choose between a number of depressing options. Still, our game state isn’t exactly in Limbo – at least our prospects are much better than the start of Round 1.

There are several alternatives to choose from:

  • Turning over column 6 will probably get the vote of Captain Obvious.
  • We can obtain a turnover plus an in-suit build in column 3. This motif comes up extremely often in practice – and will no doubt be familiar to experienced players.
  • Maybe it is better to turnover column 3, but forego the in-suit build. This is because we probably wish to shift the As in column 2 – but having an off-suit 2c-As in column 7 would be very undesirable since we would then need two good cards to recover an empty column.
  • We can obtain a turnover plus in-suit build in column 2, but that would commit us to shifting the Ace of Spades – costing a turnover if we reveal an Ace.

The observant reader may have noticed we have forfeited the option of building in-suit with the Qs-Js. An interesting question to ponder is: if we were allowed to perform the supermove “hd”, would it be beneficial? We get an extra in-suit build at the expense of putting more junk on column 4. Since column 4 doesn’t contain a King maybe it is worth hoping for turnovers in that column if things go well.

However, a hidden danger is that if column 4 turns into a junk pile then there is a long-term danger of a Queen shortage. If we played “hd” (assuming it was legal) then it would be less of a problem since we would be burying a Jack along with two Queens. It’s a minor defect in our overall position, but you never know when the word “minor” turns out to be a typo and the correct spelling was F-U-N-D-A-M-E-N-T-A-L all along. Therefore, I would play “hd”, if it were legal.

Steve elects to turnover column 6. In hindsight, Steve thinks column 3 was better because there are more Threes unseen than Kings. Also, threats of one-hole-no-card are starting to percolate so turning over all cards in column 6 isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be.

  • Move: fg → 9c
  • Move: be → deal

And while we’re here, we may as well milk maximum value from any possible Limbo references. Spider Solitaire is a game full of traps, where the player is often tricked into believing everything is going smoothly – until it isn’t. With that out of the way, here’s looking forward to Round 3!

One thought on “Steve Brown’s Game: Round 2(3)

  1. I think I understand all of that, and don’t disagree with the pros and cons as stated.

    Along with “one hole no turnover” is of course “if only I had one more space I could clean up this mess”. Maybe 1h0t is of greater concern when things are very much in doubt and we need a string of good luck to win, whereas “not enough spaces” is the higher concern when things are going well and we’re headed for victory unless something goes wrong (like not being able to get a space when we need one). Maybe we’ve been over that topic before. Here we are most definitely in the position of needing a string of good luck.

    For what it’s worth here are the rank frequency counts:
    Remaining: A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 T J Q K
    52 left. 4 5 6 4 6 4 5 4 2 4 3 1 4


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