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Subject: Strategy! rss

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Alan Kwan
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You think this is a simple childern's game? Actually, there are some strategies which are not immediately obvious. If you think the game is silly and brainless, read on. If you think the game is interesting and you want to explore it yourself, please stop reading now.


1. The very small numbers are easiest to identify. Thus, if you see a 3- or 2-point card with small numbers (such as "2", "3", "4", "2-3", etc.), it may be worthwhile to quickly go through lots of igloos at the start of the round in an attempt to find the small igloos. Take an igloo, shake it for one second, and if it isn't a small number, put it down and take another. Try to take the igloos which your opponents haven't yet checked.

2. I find that small numbers are easier to identify by sound, while the larger numbers are better identified by the vibrations.

3. It is not easy to accurately identify a middle or large number just by shaking an igloo, but it is easier to compare several igloos and rank them relatively. Especially useful in a game with fewer players!

4. To disrupt your opponents' utilization of strategy #3, it may be worthwhile to place some igloos on the easier 1-point cards early in the round. Though the reward is small, your opponents cannot shake those igloos you have placed. That missing information may lead them astray!

5. Make sure that you are playing by the correct scoring rules, and understand the scoring system. Though it seems risky to 'challenge' your opponents (for example, to place a 3rd igloo on a 3-point card when your opponents have already placed 2 igloos on it!), the reward is correspondingly larger if you turn out to be right! (And psychologically and morally it is immensely satisfying!) If you have placed an igloo and then later feel that you have been wrong, do not be reluctant to correct yourself by placing the right igloo (even though it seems like that you're contradicting yourself) - do the best you can do for the situation, don't cry over spilt milk. By points #3 and #4 your suspicion is likely to be right, so do it. Take your opponents' placements - and your own - with a grain of salt!

6. This is an extension of point #3, developed by my brother, who always seems to accomplish amazing feats. When you place an igloo on a 3-point card, try to memorize the "feel" of the igloo you placed. If your placement is incorrect, the card (probably) stays, so next round you have a better chance of finding the correct igloo for that card by comparing the igloos with what you memorized!
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