• In order to ensure a good experience on your first LL games, play the way you usually play, with the following differences:


    First 3-4 games

    1) Give good clues ASAP even if leftmost isn’t playable.

    2) Therefore assume any clue not given ASAP is not a play clue.

    3) Suppose every clue hitting chop is a save clue.

    4) Never play left.


    Rule #4 may sound scary, but it’ll help you notice those situations where it’s indefensible to not play left – those situations where there’s no way leftmost isn’t playable because it’s too obvious, i.e. where it’s logical to play left. And it’s just for your first few games.

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  • 1) Concrete LL examples
    of when not to play on a multicard clue (and why)

    With visual setups and history logs.
    So if you encounter such situations in your games, please bookmark them and send them to me. I might then screenshoot them and use them in the guide.

    2) A quizz
    to test unknown players’ skills. From very basic to quite advanced LL.

    With visual setups and history logs.
    Same request: any interesting situations, send them to me.

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  • Click to enlarge.

    Look at the red boxes: in conventional BGA style, usually you would play in these cases. In LL, you would not.

    LL think chart 

    The end result is a less systematic, more analytic, more situational playstyle than what you may know, where you don’t always play leftmost.


    Other LL links:

    When NOT to play left
    LL in a nutshell
    Impacts of LL on strategy
    Is LL inferior to CL?

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  • Leftism (playing leftmost when several cards are clued) logically results from the following efficient principle:

    one should clue playables as soon as possible (ASAP)
    (otherwise the clue might be made worse by future draws)


    OK. Now, if you extend this logically:

    1) A clue that is not given asap = not a play clue

    2) IF the following conditions are met, [given asap] means [play left]
    a- the clue is not on chop
    b- the clued cards are not the same age (starting cards)
    c- it is 100% true to say: “if the playable card were not the newest among them, they would have clued me earlier” (the “wait factor”)
    Consequence: you can still "play left", but only if the situation logically allows.

    3) In any other context, [given asap] does NOT mean [play left]

    Because in many situations, it was not possible for your teammates to give the clue earlier, for a number of reasons (click me). In these cases, you cannot logically deduce where the playable card is and the clue should therefore not be considered an immediate play clue and you should NOT play leftmost.
    Consequence: not all off-chop clues mean "play left", so you may sometimes safely clue cards that are in reverse order.


    The end result is a less systematic, more analytic, more situational playstyle than what you may know, where you don’t always play leftmost.



    Other LL links:

    When NOT to play left
    LL think chart
    Impacts of LL on strategy
    Is LL inferior to CL?

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  • The first impression a CL player might have after playing LL is – it’s slower and therefore less efficient. Let’s look into the strengths and weaknesses of both styles.

     Note that not all these points have the same "weight".

      LL CL

    You can save unique cards safely

    True, with either value or colour if context allows

    True. Value is more appreciated.
    You can save non-unique cards safely True, with either value or colour if context allows It depends. Therefore more sensitive to buried second copies.

    Handles situations that the other style can’t handle



    Play per clue efficiency

    (excluding finesses)

    Less immediate plays.

    Since you can save more easily, and saves will become plays in the longer term, play per clue ratio is not as obvious.

    More immediate plays. Play per clue ratio seems more obvious, more easily observable.


    Safer playstyle. Allows many clues – on chop or off-chop – that would cause bombs in CL.

    This way you can save cards that are neither critical saves, nor immediately playable.

    More importantly, cluing a group of cards in reverse order is situationally allowed.

    More aggressive playstyle. Since saving tolerance is lower than in LL, more clues would be interpreted as plays, regardless of context. Therefore higher risk of bombing with “original” save clues.

    Lower % of clues that cause an immediate play.

    May cause pace issues.

    Higher % of clues that cause an immediate play.

    Solves some pace issues.


    Used very situationally – when the clue otherwise makes no sense and/or when the next player really is going to play because they have no way of knowing they shouldn’t.

    Arguably better for safety and worse for pace.

    Extensively used.


    Situation and history are far more important. Requires deeper analysis.

    Therefore harder to master.

    Much easier to teach to beginners. They can reach decent scores very quickly.

    More freedom in clue-giving.

    More mid-term / long-term planning.

    "Good engine, great brakes."

    More immediate speed.


    "Awesome engine, poor brakes."




    Other LL links:

    LL in a nutshell
    LL vs CL: the differences
    When NOT to play left
    LL think chart

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