Over-assuming – do you have what it takes for finesse?
Finesse is an awesome thing. When I heard about finesse, I thought it was genious. The logical reasoning behind it is brilliant. However, I have never seen a trick cause so many strikes (wrongly played card).
This, in my opinion, is due to a vast majority of players having been taught finesse too soon, before they even mastered the game basics. Finesse is a very advanced move. I could never get tired of repeating it. My vision of finesse is that it should be assumed only if there is no other possible meaning for the clue and this requires to master all the possible meanings for clues, i.e. knowing all the less advanced types of clues (see "Tricky clue types you should know").
How many times have I seen a basic move being wrongly interpreted as finesse? This is what I call over-assuming.
Example: B3 and R4 are in play. Player C has two clued 5s in hand (B5 and R5). Since player B has a safe discard, player A clues Blue to player C on only B5, thus telling him to play his other, playable 5. In that game, player B assumed a finesse and played his newest card, thinking it was B4. Strike.
In many other games I have watched on BGA, finesses were used with basic moves the players may not have known were basics.
When I learnt about finesse, I was told why it is logical: A clues C so that C thinks he has to play the card. He will play it on his turn. Player B sees this and, with much sweat and stress, sees C can't play the card and eventually smartly figures out he has to play a card to fill the gap if he doesn't want a disaster to occur. And the most likely, logical slot for this gap filler is newest.
In most games I watch, this gap-filling disaster-preventing pressure is gone. Finesse is now just a move like any other, used in situations where the clued player knows the card can't be played (e.g. a 3 when no 2s are in play). The problem is that playing this way, you have to go without so many helpful moves and strategies. The saddest case is when reverse finesse takes priority over the most basic clue, the direct play clue.
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