Beating Patterns

Here we present some beating patterns. Contrary to normal captures these patterns should allow you to beat some balls regardless of the opponent’s formation. We name the patterns by how many balls there are in the rightmost pits, starting with 9, so the 2-4-pattern means 2 balls on 9 and 4 balls on 8. The most common patterns are 2-3, 2-4 and 2-3-5. If the circumstances don’t let you play them exactly as described here, some minor modifications often lead to a similar outcome. More about adaptations of patterns at the bottom.


This formation will give you 2 balls (play the group of 3 on 8 next = move 81). It will always work, except when the opponent has no balls on 1, one ball on 2 and you already have a tuzdyk or the opponent has a tuzdyk on 2, because then he can play 12 after you played 81 and he’s safe. In all other situations you can play 92 next, either capturing if the opponent moved 12 or making a pile of 2 on 1. In the latter case the opponent can’t move 12, because you could capture. So you pile up 2 balls on 9 with 89 in order to play 91 next which guarantees a capture of 2 balls on the following move (91 again).


This pattern gives you always at least 2 balls. You start by playing 91, if the opponent moves 12 you capture with 82 and if he doesn’t move then you can beat with 91. Depending on the situation the resulting formation can be more desirable and it can be easier to apply the next pattern to it. After the capture you have only invested 2 to 3 balls to get 2 in return (although you will lose some more balls when applying the next pattern). The 2-3-pattern on the other hand often uses all 5 balls to get 2 balls in return.


This is a strong formation with a very good ratio (balls captured divided by balls invested), the disadvantage is it needs ten balls. It’s like an extension of the 2-4-pattern, because if you start with 91 and the opponent plays 12, then after you capture with 72 you’ve transformed the situation to a 2-4-pattern (with an extra ball on 7). You should be able to capture at least 4 balls, often 6.


Sometimes you can capture more balls by making some small adaptations. For example if the opponent has three balls on 2 and no ball on 1, if you can get three balls on 9 immediately then you are guaranteed to capture at least 2 balls next move. This also works with only two balls on 2 if you don’t have a tuzdyk and the opponent hasn’t a tuzdyk on 2. Another example: let’s say the opponent has a tuzdyk on 7, so you can’t play the 2-3-5 pattern, but you could adapt it and play a 2-3-x-6-pattern, which is almost the same.

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