## Thursday, July 07, 2011

### A stern chase is long

kw: games

About three hundred games ago, my standing in Spider Solitaire was 29%. I found that the calculation is truncated, but dividing the wins by the total games, it was still below 29.5% I entertained hopes of raising it to 30% or higher. Two friends have both said that whenever their cumulative percentage drops below 30%, they delete the stats and start over. I thought I'd find out if I can win at a rate sufficiently higher than 30%, to raise the average "the hard way".

As this screen shot shows, I've won 349 out of 1121 games since getting this computer, for an average of 31.13%. Calculating the marginal win rate, I've won about 35% of the past 300 games to get here.

If I continue to win at a 35% rate, I will need to play another 324 games to reach 32%, 1,047 games to reach 33%, and 3,214 games to reach 34%. I'll never reach a long-term average of 35% unless I learn to play better. I suspect that no more than 40% to 50% of Spider Solitaire games are winnable by any strategy. Some contend that all could be won with the right strategy, but this is not so: The drop of the cards in a deal can shut you out from all possible moves, and if that occurs on the last deal, the game is guaranteed a no-win. I'm pretty pleased with 31%.