# Steve Brown’s Game: Round 4(1)

Steve mentions he now has a full set of Spades – and I won’t expect a player of his calibre to muck up a simple exercise in card counting. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to extract Spades. One reason (possibly not the only reason) is because of the duplicate Queens and Fives in the same column which I alluded to earlier.

Hearts are missing only the Nine. Clubs and Diamonds are only missing the Five. Unfortunately it’s not even possible to “almost-complete” (let alone complete) a suit. So it looks like more short-term planning for now and hope for the best. True, our chances of turning over more than two cards are not great (or four cards if we’re willing to split the Aces in column 2 – generally very desirable in Blackjack but not so much in Spider Solitaire).

The only bright spot for Steve is this game has no “antagonist” and no Backgammon doubling cube.

• Move: cf, ch → 5d
• Move: ea, ge, fi, gi, f1=h1, if, cg → 6d

What a difference a card makes! From experience, I find that if I “hang in tough for long enough” (this really should be the lyrics of some song but my general knowledge of pop music is atrocious), then drawing just a single “joker” (i.e. the best possible card) will provide the good guys with a real fighting chance. And Steve has done exactly that.

This is the first time Steve had two empty columns. Technically, Steve also had two empty columns at an earlier stage – if he was willing to perform some reversible moves (but he chose not to). In any case the empty columns were worth little more than “one turnover one option” where option basically means you get to answer a multiple choice question but there are no correct answers because all of them equally rot13(fhpx).

This is also the first time we can realistically think about long term planning. Unlike last time, we can extract real value from two empty columns. We get several in-suit builds for free and every chance of pulling things around after a difficult start.

How would you continue here? This is a critical point of the hand so I recommend you take your time on this one.

## One thought on “Steve Brown’s Game: Round 4(1)”

1. Bart Wright says:

Handy reference on card counts remaining:
Ranks: A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 T J Q K
Counts:0 4 2 1 4 3 1 3 2 1 2 0 3

Moves:
cd, gd get space
f3=h1 on the way to assembling high diamonds in column a
d2=f4
a4=f6
ac lose one space but expose column a below the king
a1=d2 start cleaning up column a
a3=d2
a3=c8
d4=h3 (could have done this particular step way earlier)
ag, ag
hg remove diamonds, yay!

cleanup:
ie put 3H in right place
df gives us a way to handle the 8 of spades
fi hunch i is best column to hold junk
hg lose space