I’m working a 12-hour night shift for a major software go-live at work and I’ve got 4 hours left to go. I’ve passed through the initial sleepiness (largely aided by Diet Cokes) and am just passing the time. Fortunately (not to jinx it) it’s relatively quiet right now and there’s not a whole lot to be doing in this immediate moment.

To keep my mind busy at times like these, I’ll play Yahtzee Optimizer over and over again, trying not to get a high score, but to make the optimal choices on each roll and scoring. I’ll check myself as I go and if I get too far off of optimal (usually more than 3 suboptimal choices) I’ll just start over. Probably one game in twenty I’ll match the computer’s ideal.

I’m probably ruined from playing the game in real life. I sometimes play a game into my mental muscle memory and become less fun to play with as I’ve got different goals from everyone else. I’m just looking for little hits of dopamine and games like Yahtzee or Cribbage are just the right amount. The good news is that these games are mostly luck and the difference between optimized play and unoptimized play is only a few points. It’s still anyone’s game.