I’ve been playing Skat, quite a bit of it, actually, thanks to the very swift Xskat implementation running on my phone.
The difficulty of Skat is overrated. It’s not that hard. I thought the auction was complicated, but it isn’t. At least against the computer opponents, most of the time you don’t really have to worry about what you bid, as most of the time you’ll get the skat with a bid of 18. I don’t think I’ve really had to consider my game selection based on what I’ve bid, and I’ve overbid maybe once. The danger of overbidding because there’s a matador in the skat is almost nonexistential.
That’s part of the AI players, I think, as based on some BoardGameGeek discussions it seems the auction can be a bit more lively. In Xskat, there’s usually just one player who wants to declare. If there’s a proper auction, it’s when I’m trying to play null, and that’s easy — just stop at 23.
I’m generally winning most of the hands I play and if I lose, it’s mostly because I wanted to see if a hand was playable or not. I’m bad with non-obvious Grand hands. Those would be good to figure out as the points are in the Grands, but I’m not really sure what makes a good Grand hand unless I have most of the trumps and lots of aces.
Skat is definitely one of the best games I’ve ever had in a phone, it’s perfect for playing a quick hand or two every now and then.