PCal wrote:Since its a game with luck it should be impossible for the computer to get a 100% win rate over. A over 50% win is still surprising to me.
Tournament Scrabble has no probabilistic features* - everyone has exactly the same tiles and makes moves on exactly the same board; only the person who wins each round gets to place 'their' word on the board everyone plays on for the next round.
Domino14: Can you provide a reference? It would be interesting to see whether they played Tournament or not.
* Other than "what tiles come up next turn", of course.
This is only true of Tournament Scrabble in France (afaik). The rules of Tournament Scrabble in the USA (and the rest of, or vast majority of the rest of the world, anyway) are 2-player scrabble against one another. To that end, Quackle also plays the way the World plays, and assumedly this comic refers to that form- otherwise, Tournament Scrabble would be "solved" by Quackle.
The consensus of most Tournament Scrabble plays is that Nigel Richards is a stronger player than Quackle. Quackle has two main flaws. The first is that it routinely rules out superior plays as inferior because what it does is analyze a single spot and rules out players that a worse based on its "superleave" file- that is, it has a rating for every "leave" possible based on how many points you are likely to recoup in the ensuing turns with those tiles on the rack.
Here is a great position to see the concept of "leave"s at work: http://cross-tables.com/annotated.php?u=9979#15
This is based on early and middle-game play. As the game progresses, the computer "sees" more tiles - but doesn't adjust its "leave" valuations to adjust which plays it rules out. At the end of the game, it is often considerably harder to bingo, but there are more scoring hot spots on the board- so higher-point tiles, except the Q sans U/I- very hard to spot on tight boards- become worth much more.
It also fails to change its leave valuations for ruling out plays when the bag is vowel-heavy or consonant-heavy. For example, see here: http://cross-tables.com/annotated.php?u=9979#19
It also has a few pre-endgame flaws which I won't profess to know the specifics of- I've heard many-a-rumor. The point, more or less, is that top players know the whole dictionary and can play with few flaws- and Quackle is not yet at that level, though very close. I'd put it closer to where poker is now.