Basics - level 1
Apart from discard order, all the advice in the following "basics" articles come with all due "in general", "most of the time", "unless..." disclaimers. They should not be followed blindly, since specific situations will sometimes encourage you to depart from them. The most important thing is that you understand the reasons behind them, in order to use them wisely.*
Remember: situation is everything and always comes first.
*"Science without conscience is but the ruin of the soul." F. Rabelais
#1 Discard order
During the game, you will find out (perhaps because of others doing it) it is not a good idea to discard a card you have just drawn and it is not a good idea either to hold a card for the whole game (this card may be useless and you trash other good cards instead). Therefore, it is best to discard your oldest unclued card first and your newest unclued card last. An easy way to do this is by placing any cards you draw on one end of your hand and discarding to the other end (called the chopping block, or chop), shifting all your cards one place towards the chop every time you draw a new one. If you decide your chop is on your right, your teammates will probably expect you to discard from the right all the time, even at the beginning of the next game, although there is no such thing as card age on starting hands. Don't confuse them.
#2 Don't waste clues
Because they are so rare, clues are very precious in Hanabi and you can't afford to waste them. If you waste them, you may be left with none when you really need them. Clues should be used for two purposes – saving cards for later or getting them played. For example, cluing 4s at the beginning of the game is useless, because 4s won't be played for a long time. However, cluing 5s in early game is fine, because there is only one 5 per suit.
Discard clues should be banned for now (later, we'll see when and how they may be useful).
#3 Don't discard clued cards
Because clues are so rare and precious in Hanabi, if a clue was given to you, it must be because the clued cards are important. Therefore, if you are unsure, hold on to your clued cards until further notice.
#4 Don't play blindly
If a clue targets several cards in your hand and you are not sure which one of these cards is playable, don't play at random. Your teammates may just need more time to give you more information about these cards. If they tell you nothing more, just hold these cards until further notice. Remember, with just 3 strikes you lose the game.
#5 No duplicates
As already said, don’t waste clues! If John has a card he knows something about and you want it played, don't clue someone else about the same card. Better clue John about it again so that he has full information and plays it.
#6 Single-card clue
Most of the time, if you are given a clue that targets a single card, it means you should play it. If not, your partner might not have spent a precious clue.
Similarly, if a clue to you hits cards you had partial information about + one other card, and the former are not identified as playable, then it is very likely the newly clued card is playable.
Example: R1 is in play. Your hand looks like x x x x 5
You receive a red clue —> x R x x R5
R5 is not playable, so R must be R2.
#7 Contents of the deck
Each suit contains the following cards: 1 1 1 / 2 2 / 3 3 / 4 4 / 5
Next: level 2
Tags : level 1
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