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Card Notes


When you play Hanabi, you will need to write card notes. This page explains why.

Explicit and Implicit Information

  • In Hanabi, players will know explicit information and implicit information about the cards in their hand:
    • Explicit information is from the clues "on" the card.
    • Implicit information is from the context of the game when the card was clued.
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • It is the first turn of the game.
    • Alice clues Bob red, touching a card on his slot 1. Alice intends for this to be a Play Clue, signaling to Bob that he has a red 1 and that he should play it on the stacks right now.
    • From Bob's perspective, he knows that explicitly, his red card can be red 1, red 2, red 3, red 4, or red 5.
    • But Bob also knows that implicitly, Alice intends for him to play this red card, so it must be exactly the red 1.

Players Need to Track Implicit Information

  • On Hanab Live, the interface automatically will keep track of clues that touch cards. And the interface will automatically narrow down the identities of the cards as they "get" more clues.
  • However, this automated tracking of explicit information is not sufficient - there is a lot more implicit information than explicit information.
  • In Hanabi games where players only give basic Play Clues to each other (like in the previous example), remembering all of the implicit information about the cards is easy. But as games get more and more complicated, remembering implicit information about every card in the game is impossible.
  • Thus, in order to play Hanabi properly, players must go above and beyond the automated explicit tracking and record all of the implicit information themselves.

Writing Notes

  • Handily, Hanab Live allows players to track implicit information on a card by right-clicking on it. This pops up a text box, allowing players to record any information that they want. This is called a card note.
  • After every single clue, players should record a note on the affected card.
  • In the previous example, Bob should right-click on his red card and write "red 1", so that he doesn't forget for later.
  • Furthermore, Alice and Cathy should also right-click on Bob's red card and write "red 1", so that they can keep track of what Bob thinks about the card. In this way, everybody writes notes on everybody's cards.

Avoiding Mistakes

  • Since the red clue above was so simple, you may think that writing a note of "red 1" is silly and a waste of time. However, realize that Bob might not play the red 1 for many, many turns, at which point the game state may have dramatically changed.
  • The most common beginner mistake that we see is failing to write a note on a card, and then forgetting some piece of information later on in the game.
  • Do not forget to do this! Write card notes after every single clue, no matter how simple or complicated it is!