• Tricky clue types you should know

    Here are a few types of clues you should know. They are often interpreted as a finesse, while they do have another more basic purpose.


    The best way to practice and get familiar with these basics is to play many games where finesses are forbidden. After this, you will be shielded for finesses.

    The indirect clue

    This is where you have 2 clued cards that share a feature (say 3) and receive a clue that targets only one of them which clearly is not playable. Why would your teammate waste a useless clue? Because he's telling you you should play the other card.

    Saving 2s
    Have you ever played a game where the (close-to-)bottom card of the deck was a 2 and this ruined your game and score? Of course you have. Maybe you have played dozens of them and didn't pay attention. Saving 2s early in the game is a good thing. Since these 2s will be saved on chop, you shouldn't assume they are playable and your teammates shouldn't assume they are being finessed.

    There are three 1s of each colour, so even if these 2s occupy slots in your hand, you probably won't be holding them for long. Plus, getting the 2 played early in a colour might get the 3 and 4 played quite easily as well and relief your team from having to painfully hold the last living 3 and 4 in this colour for 75% of the game.
    Personally, I've pushed this so far I now also tend to save 3s when the matching 1s are in play.

    However, since this trick is only a potential points- and time-saver, it must not take priority over saving 5s and other real danger cards, i.e. you shouldn't save 2s if a player is already holding on to too many vital cards and the situation is complicated.

    Saving with colour

    When you need to clue a card on chop to save it, it is best to give the most discriminating clue, which is often colour.

    Example: the discard contains R4 R3, Y4, B1 B2 B4.
    Only B1 and Y1 are in play.
    I have Y4 on chop. If this is my only 4 and my only yellow, you should rather clue it as yellow than as 4. If you clue 4, I can't know if it is red, yellow or blue. With yellow, things are clearer.

    Ghost save

    Giving a clue that is obviously a save clue, on a card that is not on chop, so that the clued player saves this card and the cards closer than it to chop.
    Why? Best practice is not to save cards until they are in danger, i.e. on chop.

    Example: no 5s are playable.
    Player A > has no clue tokens left. Discards.
    Player B > has 1 clue token. Gives a 5 clue to player C --> x x 5 x
    Player C > thinks "why would player B not let this 5 reach chop and save it later? If my #2 and #3 cards (in red) must be saved, he could have discarded, let me discard too, and next turn they would give me two clues in a row. Oh wait, no. They are all great players, so it must be something else. It must be that my two present chop cards are dangerous and they couldn't tell me otherwise.

    Negative clue

    A clue means that the clued cards are [that], but also that the other cards are [not that]. Sometimes, you can give a clue only to give negative information about the cards the clue doesn't target (especially cards he already has a clue on).

    Example: W1 R2 Y2 B2 G2 are in play. I have been holding a card clued as 3 for some time. You clue me about one white card. I know my 3 is not white, so I can play it.


    Now, when you see a one of these tricks in action, you'll know it doesn't have to mean finesse.

    « Over-assuming – do you have what it takes for finesse?Conventions pervert minds »

  • Commentaires

    Mercredi 13 Mai 2015 à 20:22

    useless clue is useful :D

    specially when playing multicolour variant, where you can't use the colour you want him to play if he have multi card in his hand.

    Mercredi 13 Mai 2015 à 20:26

    i get blamed all the time for saving with colour... specially from master player :D

    I'd like some deep toughts about saving 2s and anticipated save, if you have time to elaborate.

    Mardi 19 Mai 2015 à 00:22

    Of course useless clue is helpful. It is one of the first twisted moves I found.

    Masters blaming you for saving with colour: I was skeptical too at the beginning, then found out it was logical to use colour if that is the most discriminating clue. Most importantly, you can't always give a nice pure value save clue, so...

    Saving 2s and AS: what exactly would you like me to elaborate? I can't quite find much to add over what's in the article :).

    AS used this way guarantees that you give the save clue as late as possible, as I recommend. And it also helps handle emergency cases with 2 players.

    Mardi 19 Mai 2015 à 22:19

    sorry I was talking about saving 3s.

    Regarding anticipated saving I just wonder if you consider it as anticipated saving even if there are two other card after the save clue e.g. hand like this x x 5 X X.

    You consider the last two cards to be saved?

    Mardi 19 Mai 2015 à 22:40

    Yes I would consider the chopmost two cards must be saved, in most situations (situation always comes first).

    As to saving 3s, I've played quite a number of games where a late 3 ruined our game, so I thought we should save a 3 when the matching 1 is in play.

    However, just like saving 2s, this must be done wisely, i.e. not if these 3s are too much of a burden to hold in hand. For example if a player would only have 1 'free' card after these 3s have been saved, especially with 2-3 players.

    Remember that saving 2s or 3s only brings about a potential gain, so it shouldn't generate risky situations.

    Vendredi 22 Mai 2015 à 00:12

    This post comes with all the "this is the standard" "typical" "most commonly" "its game dependent" blah blah blah disclaimers.

    In your "Saving with Colour" example, i'd still clue 4 as a save clue. I think it's just a lot safer of a clue without much of a loss in terms of clue efficiency. You won't know exactly which 4 you have, but most of the time you'll figure out its a Y4 by card counting as the game continues without having to receive another clue. Also, it is so common that the Y3 will be finessed by recluing the Y4 anyways. (Granted, we miss out on a rare double finesse opportunity if someone holds the Y5 and Y3 is on someones leftmost).

    Another reason I like to clue number as a chop save is in the event that your chop card is Y2. How would we get the Y2 out of your hand? I like to reserve singled out color clues as play clues. We can't clue yellow because then you might think it's Y4. We can't clue 2 because you might think it's a chop save 2 from your 'Savings 2s' section. I think those two strategies are theoretically conflicting. If we reserved color as a play clue, then we don't have to get into this meta game. (I realize sometimes a 2 on chop is easily understood as a chop save based on flow).

    Vendredi 22 Mai 2015 à 00:53

    I see your point and it does happen that I want a chop 2 played and can't help it being taken for a danger card.

    However, sometimes you can only save a card with a colour clue because the value clue would be sucky, for instance if the player has three or four 4s, only one of which is good. Or chop to be saved, 2nd chop useless (and same value as chop) and 3rd chop useful.

    In these cases, the colour-clue receiver can't know what he is holding that forced you to save with colour, therefore he would play?

    My principle is -- be very careful about chop clues, unless there is no other reason for the clue than getting the card played (e.g. nothing discarded in this colour).

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