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Subject: Schnapsen strategy (both general and in the endgame) rss

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Martin Tompa
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I see that there has been a lot of activity the past few years in various BGG Schnapsen forums. Yet it has mostly been about the rules of the game and, so far, no one has ventured into a discussion of the strategy. I have rediscovered Schnapsen over the past year and discovered how very rich it is in strategy, despite the fact that it's played with so few players (2), with such a small deck (20 cards), and each deal is so quick (1 minute, unless you're playing with me, known to my game-playing family as "Dr. Slow"). What I have found is that Schnapsen has strategic elements quite similar to those found in bridge, though bridge of course is more complicated.

The strategy is complex enough that I can't possibly do it justice in just one post. What I will do instead is point you to the few sites I know of where you can read more about Schnapsen's strategy.

1. "Winning Strategy for Schnapsen or Sixty-Six" (http://psellos.com/schnapsen/strategy.html): This is a very general article that I wrote a few months ago. It has a section for beginners on the most basic strategy, and a section for more advanced players. The more advanced topics include tips on how to remember the cards that have been played, trump control, tracking points, closing the stock, and the last trick.

2. "Schnapsen Strategy Guide" (http://schnapsenstrategy.blogspot.com/): This is a nice blog on general strategy that was written by ammeleg.in.edain, an Austrian, in 2010. It has about 10 posts in it, most of them quite general and focused on the early part of each deal.

3. "The Schnapsen Log" (http://psellos.com/schnapsen/blog/): This is a blog I just launched a month ago, and is the project I am most excited about. It is devoted to the strategy in the endgame, the last 5 or 6 tricks of each deal. I've searched the web, and haven't found anyone else who has written anything about Schnapsen's fascinating endgame strategy. The Schnapsen Log is written like the bridge column in the daily newspaper: each post presents one particular situation that might come up in the endgame, asks the reader to plan the play starting from that position, and provides a link to my own analysis. I have already posted Schnapsen columns in which you can learn about safety plays, throw-ins, elimination plays, and unblocking. (If you are a serious bridge player, you will recognize these terms. But if not, they are clearly explained in The Schnapsen Log.) And I've got thick folders full of more endgames that I will post over the coming months and years.

I'd love to hear your comments, either here or you can also leave comments in The Schnapsen Log. And I'd love to hear your own views on Schnapsen strategy.

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Martin Tompa
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I would love to figure out how to reach more of the serious Schnapsen players with news of my strategy blog. I'm particularly keen to reach the many Austrian and Hungarian players, most of whom won't be BGG users. If you have ideas of how I could go about this, I'd love to hear.
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