# How to quantify first player advantage?

In playing a two player variant of sheepshead, the group I play with decided that it wasn't that much fun. So I simplified it, and taught it to my niece (5 years old) as a start to learning about trick taking games.

The game goes like this:

• Deck of 4 suits, 2-9 (32 cards)
• Deal out a 4x4 grid face down
• Deal out a 4x4 grid on top of the face down cards face up.
• Each player plays the face up cards from the 8 stacks closest to them at the start of the game.
• Follow suit lead if possible, diamonds are trump
• When a face down card is uncovered, at the end of the trick, flip it over.
• Player who takes the most tricks wins.

It's a rather straight forward game. Its about learning how to follow suit and what to throw off when you can't.

And while we believe that there is a first player advantage to this, how does one quantify that amount to determine if a handicap for the second player (beyond winning a tie) is necessary?

• Why don't you build a computer simulation and run it a few million times? Maybe use GA?
– user12046
Apr 22 '15 at 2:31
• @Snowman - an interesting idea, but probably beyond the realm of plausible for a simple example :) Apr 22 '15 at 18:10
• I don't think we can call this "sheepshead" anymore. Consider removing the tag? Mar 24 '17 at 20:55