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This is largely an action game with some strategy elements, rather than the other way around. Although it is true that you must be a quick thinker, the opponent's moves often disrupt your strategy, which makes it hard to plan ahead. The game also stops a lot when there are things going on in the middle of the zone.

Try to aim at one area where one or more red solid blocks have advanced further to the opponent's end zone. Because you must watch out for all rows, pushing one ahead may hasten the opponent's failure by quite a bit.

Always aim to get the stars – they not only clear away lots of cards you have on your side and make it easier to overview the situation at hand, but pushing the red blocks two tiles is invaluable at any point in the game. As soon as you have used them up, see if you finish off the opponent with some follow-up throws, else get going on another four-symbol collection for the next two stars.

Counting down to 000 is nice secondary way to win, but the opponent (even the easiest one) tend to be faster at throwing the cards. This is more of a gameplay issue, rather than speed of reflexes. Take that number as a bonus condition to win the game, but you might find yourself in trouble of defeat when the game drags on too long in the zone.

If the adventure mode seems too much to handle, get practicing with different options in the custom mode.