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Identifying Negative Boards


So why are we discussing negative boards?
Because it's helpful to recognize what your chances are of winning a game.
If you're the kind of person that likes to win, you may decide this board isn't worth playing.
I'm not judging.
On the other hand, you may accept the challenge of playing a difficult board and revel in the outstanding achievement of winning the game.

This should be the poster board of a negative Solitaire board:

Negative Board Example 1
Negative Board Example 1

You've got two 5's of the same color. That's a killer.
You've got two queens of the same color. Another killer.
No aces.
More low cards than high.
The cards don't mesh, which means two things:
They're not consecutive cards of different colors like a red 7 on a black 8.
Also, they've not gapped cards of the same color as a red 8 and red 6 in which a black 7 will give you a 3-card sequence and give you a turnover (in which you expose a face-down card).
Also, there are no cards that you can turn from the stock that will give you a gapped sequence.
For example, a black J you can put on the queen, but since you don't have a black 9 on the board, you're not setting up the possibility of a red 10 helping you.
I'd give this board less than a 5% chance of winning the game.

Here's another example of a negative board:

Negative Board Example 2
Negative Board Example 2

The 2 red jacks are a killer.
Even if you get a black queen, you won't be able to put it on the board to place a red jack on it.
The 2 is isolated, and there are no 3's, 4's, or 5's to build on to place the 2.
The 7, 8, 9 look good, but they're all the same color.
If you don't turn over a black 8 or 10 soon, you're in big trouble.
You're looking at about a 10% chance of winning this game.

Here is Another negative board:

Negative Board Example 3
Negative Board Example 3

Two black J's are a huge negative.
No aces.
You have an isolated 2 with no 3's or 4's to connect.
The 7 and 9 are also isolated, given they are different colors.
The two redeeming factors are you have a black KJ and a red J9 that will give you a 3 cards sequence with a red queen or black 10.

Larry Leskiw
Larry Leskiw has enjoyed playing cards his whole life. He enjoyed Spades and Hearts as a kid and started playing Bridge at Berkeley where he received a degree. He soon became a Life Master in Bridge during his 20's. He taught Math for 32 years and thoroughly enjoyed his AP Statistics classes where his students could earn college credit. He now enjoys spending time with his wife Phyllis and his grandkids Riley, Rudy, and Ty. Oh, and playing on SolitaireBliss :-)


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