CSE 312: Schnapsen!

We will draw some of our probability examples from a wonderful card game called Schnapsen. The Schnapsen activities are intended for fun and are mostly optional, except for occasional assigned exercises related to probability in the game.

  • Rules of Schnapsen. You can ignore the rules of Sixty-Six that are on that same page.
  • The Schnapsen Log, a blog about winning Schnapsen strategy and how to play like a master.

April 29, 2013

There are some opportunities to earn a small number of extra credit points related to Schnapsen. These are optional, and not participating won't hurt your grade.
  • If you send me a Schnapsen endgame that requires a probability analysis (such as expected game points) that arose in a deal that you played, you will likely earn 1 extra credit point. This could arise in a game you play with another person, or a game you play against one of the apps that some of you told me you've been playing. Tell me everything I need to know about the position, exactly as I do in The Schnapsen Log, and tell me who (or what) you were playing against when it arose.
  • If you post an interesting comment on The Schnapsen Log about one of my analyses (say, pointing out a case that I missed, or pointing out an error in my analysis, no matter how small), I'll consider it for 1 extra credit point. Please post your comment on my analysis page rather than on the page that poses the problem. I have no doubt that I have errors and omissions in some of my analyses. I'd love to encourage you to post any relevant comments on The Schnapsen Log, in order to encourage other readers to start commenting. But if you're too shy to post a comment, you can just send me your comment in a message and I'll consider it for an extra credit point.

April 10, 2013

There is a Schnapsen Leaderboard, where you can register the results of Schnapsen games you've played with another registered user and see how you currently rank as a Schnapsen player. Participation in the Leaderboard is entirely optional, is intended to be fun, and will have no effect on your course grade. In fact, participants use invented Leaderboard names to avoid any public embarassment.

In real Schnapsen games, there is a lot of memory work required, because you are not allowed to write down trick point scores or cards played. (Game point scores are written down. In addition, you are allowed to look back at the tricks you have taken yourself at any time, but not your opponent's tricks.) Because acquiring these memory skills takes some time and effort, I'm going to propose an alternative you can use that still leaves the strategy very interesting: both players leave the tricks they have taken face-up and spread out, so that no memory is required.

Before starting a game, the two players should come to an agreement about whether they are playing with tricks concealed or exposed. Try the game both ways to see the differences. Either type of game can be recorded on the Leaderboard.