Continuing our game, here is the current position:

- Move: gi → 5s
- Move: hd → 8h

The next move sequence is a good illustration of Steve’s skill. The obvious option is “hf” since we are one good card away from claiming our first empty column. However, the downside of that move is polluting column 6. We would no longer able to perform the move “fa”. Assuming we connect the 8-7 of Hearts, this would also create a long-term problem of two Sevens in column 6 but no Sixes. This means if column 6 later becomes a junk pile, then we might have to start worrying about a shortage of Sevens. Therefore we might consider “fa,ha” instead. But this would be rather embarrassing if we turned a Nine.

Steve finds a good solution: noting that both Spade Nines are visible, he simply breaks the 9-8 of Spades in column 4 to form the “other” 9-8 of Spades in column 6. Now we get to have our anti-smoking song and sing it too since we will turn the last card in column 8 *before* committing ourselves to the move “fa”. Hence our best-so-far move is now “dh, df, hd”.

But Steve still isn’t done yet. He observes that he can shift some junk from column 4 to column 1. Since column 1 contains a King, we’re probably not turning over cards there any time soon. But there’s a chance we might get to shift the Q-Q-J-0 in column 4 if things go well. Admittedly this is a long shot, but no harm trying. In any case, Steve arrives at the following move sequence:

- Move: dh, df, da, ha → Kh

In my opinion, Steve has done everything right here – except the final card in column 8 nullified all his efforts to obtain an empty column ☹ Steve observes that the King is not completely useless. At least there is an option of splitting the Queens in column 3.

Again, now is a good time to take stock. How would you assess our chances? More specifically, let’s pretend we are playing a mash-up of Spider Solitaire, Backgammon and Among Us and consider the following questions:

- Would you rather be a crewmate or an impostor?
- Should you double?
- If you double then should your opponent(s) accept or refuse?

As usual, I have added a spoiler-blocker in case you wish to form your own conclusions before reading on.

Here is my analysis:

We have two turnovers, although one of them requires exposing an Ace and polluting column 10, our best chance of obtaining an empty column. We have fair chances of improving on our minimum guaranteed turnovers (I will leave computing the outs as an exercise for the reader).

It’s a pity we can’t quite perform the supermove “ah”. Despite Steve’s skilful play, there is a fundamental limit to how much awesomeness you can achieve when you don’t have an empty column! However, that is not a serious loss anyway. We are a long way from completing the Heart suit. We would almost certainly need an empty column before Hearts become a realistic possibility, but once we get an empty column there is a fair chance the K-Q-J-0 of Hearts will sort itself out anyway without us really trying or even noticing.

Although Steve has recovered somewhat after a poor start, I would rather be an Impostor than a Crewmate. But the difference is small and much will depend on the luck of the cards. I certainly wouldn’t be doubling the stakes any time soon (obviously I would expect an opponent to take a cube)