• Logical leftism – when NOT to play leftmost

    When you receive a clue that hits multiple cards, you can sometimes play newest among them.
    The reasoning is “if the playable card is not the newest, they would DEFINITELY have told me earlier” (following the “clue playables ASAP” principle). Makes sense.

    HOWEVER, if you play by logic, you may not play the newest card among those just clued unless the above green claim is absolutely true – that is, none of the following reasons interfere.

    REASONS not to play leftmost

    Imagine the following scenario:

    – G2 is in play (or has recently been play-clued on another player’s hand)
    – you have just been clued “green”
    – your hand looks like: G x G x (in some cases it may even be x G G x)

    They clue now, and not earlier, because… Logic Convention

    There was no "earlier". You have always had these cards together in your hand (starting hand).

    They are the same age. The rightmost one is probably a good card (otherwise they could have let you discard it), but that’s it.


    play left and don’t argue

    G2 was not in play or visible yet, so they had no reason to clue your G3.

    Maybe G3 is not leftmost and you had it in hand before G2 was played.

    Pay attention to when a card was played and to which cards were clued only recently.


    play left and don’t argue

    They were always busy doing something else more (or equally) important.

    Look through history to check this.

    Notice when other players could have clued you but deliberately did not.


    play left and don’t argue

    They had no tokens to clue your G3 when the clue was pure.

    Look through history to check this.

    Pay attention to how many tokens were left during the last turns.


    play left and don’t argue

    You were holding another worthless card (especially on chop and especially in multicolor hardest mode) that would get in the way and make the clue less efficient. So they chose to delay cluing.

    Pay attention to the cards you have discarded lately, they may be the key.


    play left and don’t argue

    One of the clued cards is your chop card.

    Apply all due precaution related to chop clues.


    None of the above reasons. They would DEFINITELY have clued you earlier if you had had the card. We have been waiting for the card.

    “Wait” factor = PLAY

    play left and don’t argue

    These advice are easier to follow on BGA, where the log and replay are really helpful. The above table often advises you to HOLD, but your experience and skills may sometimes tell you that you can safely play one of the clued cards.

    But basically, think of it as – leftism plays should be the exception, when you are absolutely sure.

    Other LL links:

    LL in a nutshell
    LL vs CL: the differences

    Is LL inferior to CL?
    LL think chart

    « One clue, nine situationsCL is simpler, I swear »

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  • Commentaires

    Vendredi 20 Janvier 2017 à 01:16

    Hi! I play Hanabi with a fixed group quite often, and I was wondering whether or not logical leftism is better than conventional leftism. We rely a lot on conventional leftism, since we simply agreed that one may use different hints if the play order is not the left-to-right one.

    Also, I'd like to discuss with you about your conventions! We play with the 6th suit and average 27-28 points, which is kinda good, I guess. A friend of mine also wrote an AI which averages 28.5 or even a bit more. Kinda fun to play against with the same deck distribution!

    Please email me, I don't know any other group of players and I think it may be interesting to share some strategies.



    Vendredi 20 Janvier 2017 à 02:03

    Sorry, I forgot. We average 27-28 playing in 5 players and with 55 cards.

    Vendredi 20 Janvier 2017 à 13:02

    Hi Sasha,

    I do not know whether LL is better than CL. I play LL because I find it more fun and rewarding to think rather than play like a robot (for which I can just play with an AI).

    LL is certainly harder to master than CL because it requires a lot more thinking and analysis of every situation. This is why very few players who tried LL with me on BoardGameArena really master it and this is also why some players get scared off before they even try, just when I send them the above article.


    However, I tend to think that with an experienced group of LL masters, LL can at least as good as CL because it allows a lot of things that CL prohibits (because the player is going to play blindly and cause a strike).


    If you would like to know about my tricks (which you call conventions, but I have no conventions, I try to follow only logic), you can check out the "Basics" articles that are on this blog. I need to complete them with level 4 and level 5 someday.


    If you would like to discuss live, you can create an account on BoardGameArena, which is where I play online and find me (my nickname is beri).

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