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Subject: Mobile App Strategy rss

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Mike Dommett
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I am unlikely to have played Red7 very much if I only had the physical game because it feels quite random. However, I bought the app and it intrigues me because, even on the medium difficulty (using the the pick up cards on discard and play to 40 points) it wins a good 2/3 to 3/4 of games. Clearly it is not random, and I have not figured out how to play as well as the algorithm!

Does anyone know how the app decides what to play?
 
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Alex Brown
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I am also interested in this.

I can actually beat the medium difficulty most of the time (in matches) and win around 3/4 of 'hands'.

However, I've never beaten the hard AI, despite once getting to 39 .
It probably beats me around 4/5 hands.

I figure if the AI can do this, then it must be a skill-testing game (i.e. there is essential knowledge leading to sound strategy), however, I hope it isn't merely being able to crunch numbers quickly.

As I get better, I'm starting to feel the human might always have scope for gameplay with the ability to fold to 6pt or 7pt loss rather than 15+ point straights or multicolour wins.
 
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Alex Brown
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Update: I'm now beating the best AI more than it beats me.

I'm going to try and piece together some of the heuristics I'm using, but adjustments I made were to play for the high card aggressively in the first few turns, carefully manage 3-5s for extra draws, and to fold a lot more to a loss of 7 or less if we reached the last few cards and I didn't have much left.
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Mike Dommett
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Alex Brown wrote:
Update: I'm now beating the best AI more than it beats me.

Good work! I'm still getting caned .

Alex Brown wrote:
I'm going to try and piece together some of the heuristics I'm using, but adjustments I made were to play for the high card aggressively in the first few turns, carefully manage 3-5s for extra draws, and to fold a lot more to a loss of 7 or less if we reached the last few cards and I didn't have much left.

Thanks for the tips. Folding early does seem to be a route to gaining an advantage since the AI seems not to be programmed to do this. However, I have never seen the AI resign with more than two cards, and it is rare to see it with as many as two cards, so it clearly manages its hand pretty well!

It has occurred to me that the app might "cheat", i.e. make decisions taking into account the opponents hand. I wouldn't object to it doing this on the highest difficulty level, but if it does then it would be nice to know. I have no reason to believe that it does do this, mind you.
 
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