I proved a long time ago that one can play Columns and never lose unless they CHOOSE to. How do you accomplish this feat? Well, youngsters, gather 'round.
It's really not that hard. In fact, it's easier to never lose than it is to actually try to play the game. One day, irritated by how the game speeds up as it progresses, I just started literally building columns up each side of the screen. Then another vertical row inside of that. Upon adding the third inside columns, I noticed that combos were taking out gems automatically. In the event that I got down to the last available column to fill, putting ANYTHING in it would often trigger chain reactions larger than the the mind is capable of achieving through intention. Go ahead, try it. Prove me right.
Strangely enough, it's still fun to play that way. It boggles the mind that playing so carelessly in a game designed around cognitive deliberation can be so easily outsmarted.