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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lexulous Life Lessons :Save the blanks, Sometimes

When you first start playing Lexulous, you really don't know much about what is going on. There are so many variables and you only learn as you make mistakes and realize what really matters, what works and what doesn't. When I first began playing I got rid of my blank tiles because they had zero point value and I thought they were worthless. As I began to play more, I realized that they were the most valuable tiles because of what you could do with them to make much bigger scores.
I have had the same experience when I first went to the horse races. I knew nothing, and I did fairly well in spite of that. As I learned more, I thought I knew things and bet according to that, only to find years later than I really didn't know much and the things I thought I knew were actually incorrect. I had made decisions based on what I thought was fact, what was sound reasoning, but in fact was very misguided logic. I at one time thought that overall race time and last quarter speed meant a lot. It does mean something, but in reality it is only one small piece of the actual puzzle.  There are many more variables that determine an overall race and who will win. I probably lost a lot of bets simply ignoring that reality, even though the results suggested I should have noticed that the horse that appeared to be the fastest didn't always win the race.
With Lexulous, I began to think that holding your blanks until just the right time was the proper move to make. For sure,  holding the blank is a good strategy and you can use them wisely to make a very big score. But at times it is better to use them right away, go for a big lead and then try to maintain it. There is no value in holding a blank, getting down by too many points, and then making a fairly large score but still losing the game because you let the other player get a big enough lead that it doesn't matter.
In that same way,  it doesn't matter if you have the fastest horse if the other horse has too big of a lead and there isn't enough race left to catch up,  no matter how fast you go.
So, the lesson I have learned from this is that you have to learn and develop a strategy, but, what you think you know might not be what is actually going on. The results, over a period of time will usually confirm or shoot down your theory. If the point of the game is to score the most points, then how you do that is not relevant. If that means playing your blank early, then you do that. If that means holding it for a larger score, then you do that. You have to be flexible and use your assets properly, or they aren't really assets.
If you have the fastest horse and you save that speed and don't get to use it all in that race, you might have the fastest horse but you wont win the race.

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