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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lexulous Life Lessons: Cut your losses before you end up holding the bag

Most people are fairly positive and hope for the best.  We are taught that as children. Of course, not everything always works out. People get sick, they die. People lose their jobs, they don't always find a better one. People fall in love,  sometimes they fall out of love. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't.
When you play Lexulous, you are aware there are certain letters that can make or break you. They can go either way. The Q is just such a letter. 
We learn in school that almost every word that starts with a Q has a U after it. As well, there aren't many words that have a Q in the middle of it, or end with Q, and of those that do, they are very rare in Lexulous. Being that you have to connect a letter to any word to make a new one, it makes it that much tougher to use the Q.
However, the Q is a high value letter for that reason, and if you can use it wisely, you can make a very big score, and in some way, it can win you a game. It can, conversely, lose you the game if you get stuck with it at the end.
There are only 3 U's in Lexulous and one Q. The U is also a very bad letter most of the time, and if you get stuck with it at the end of the game you can lose because you can't place it. So,  for the most part,  you get rid of it when you can and aren't holding it when the Q comes along.
Now, skilled players know that there are more words than just the Q followed by the U. There is QI, QAT, QAID and a few others that allow you to score. You can also go the other way, and make SUQ and there are others of that kind as well. For the most part though, holding the Q for any amount of time will lose you more games than you will win. Hoping for an opportunity to use it is just that, hope. It is not a valid overall strategy.

I can safely say that I have lost more games holding the Q than won games because I held it and then played it at the right time. Mostly, as in life,  when the chance is there, even if it isn't the best move, you should use it and get rid of it, and take a smaller score instead of no score. If you hold it too long, the asset can become a liability. 
In this way, it is much like stocks. If you hold a stock forever, hoping for the absolute highest selling price,  that price might not ever come,  and you hold it long enough that that small profit you might have made has turned into a big loss.

So, the lesson for the day: Dump the Q, cut your losses before you end up holding the bag, a bag which could end up with a bomb in it.

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