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The Beginner's Guide


  • Are you looking to start playing Hanabi with the Hyphen-ated Group? Fantastic - we are always looking to welcome new players. Take 30 minutes and go through this guide so that you can get up to speed with the basics.
  • Alternatively, are you looking to learn some solid fundamental strategies to use to play Hanabi with your own group of friends? Feel free to adopt these strategies.
  • Is a 30 minute briefing really necessary? Well, yes and no. If you try to play with our group and don't understand what basic clues mean, it is going to be analogous to a group of people trying to find each other in a dark room by running around with their arms flailing.
  • We know that 30 minutes might be too long for some people to sit through. So, we've split up the guide into bite-sized chunks with fun challenge questions at the end of every section in order to keep you interested.


  • Note that the beginner's guide assumes that you are already familiar with the basic rules of Hanabi. If you need to brush up on them, either read them here or watch this video.
  • If you know the rules but you've never actually played Hanabi, then it might be best to play a practice game or two before reading the guide so that you are more familiar with the game mechanics.


In this guide, you'll learn the following strategies:

  1. The Chop - Discard the oldest unclued card.
  2. Two types of clues:
    • Play Clues - Promise that a card can be played.
    • Save Clues - Prevent a card from being discarded.
  3. Single Focus - Only one card is the Focus of every clue.
  4. Good Touch Principle - Only clue cards that will be played.
  5. Save Principle - Save all important cards.
  6. Minimum Clue Value Principle - Get at least one new card with every clue.
  7. Prompts & Finesses - If possible, get two cards played with one clue.


Ready to begin? Click on the "Next" button below.