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The Finesse

  • Normally, players play cards that have been clued by someone else on the team.
  • However, it is also possible to tell a player to blind-play a card without any clues on it at all.
  • In the example below:
    • Bob has no clued cards in his hand.
    • Alice clues red to Cathy, touching a red 4. This must be a Play Clue on the red 4.
    • Bob sees that the red 4 is currently unplayable. Assuming Alice is not making a mistake, this clue implies that someone has the red 3.
    • Bob does not see a red 3 clued in anyone else's hand. So, Alice must be promising him that he has a red 3.
    • Normally, this would indicate a Prompt. But Bob does not have any red cards and Bob does not have any 3's. So where is the red 3?
    • Bob knows that this must be a Finesse - he is promised that his left-most unclued card is the red 3.
    • Bob blind-plays his slot 1 card, and it is the red 3.
    • Cathy sees the blind-play happen immediately after this red clue, so she knows that she must have the connecting red card, the red 4.
    • Cathy plays the red 4.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobRed 3Cathy(4)

Prompts > Finesses#

  • Note that Prompts take precedence over Finesses. Players should never blind-play a card if the situation can apply to the clued cards in their hand.

Finesse Urgency#

  • When a Finesse occurs, it causes temporary information desynchronization.
  • For example, in the previous scenario, if Bob discarded instead of blind-played, Cathy would go on to think that she had the red 3. But she really doesn't have the red 3, which means that information is not synchronized throughout the team.
  • For this reason, blind-playing a card into a Finesse is very important - by doing so, it resynchronizes all of the information. So, if a player is Finessed, they should usually blind-play the card immediately, even if they have other important cards to play or some good clue to give.

Finesse Position#

  • We define the Finesse Position as the slot that a player's left-most unclued card is in. A player's Finesse Position can move around, and if it does, it is still possible to Finesse them.
  • In the example below:
    • Alice clues Cathy red, which touches two red cards on slot 1 and slot 2.
    • Cathy assumes that the slot 1 card is a red 1.
    • Next, Bob clues Donald blue, which touches a blue 2.
    • Now, it is Cathy's turn. Cathy knows that she must have the blue 1 and that Bob is trying to perform a Finesse.
    • Blind-playing the blue 1 is more important than playing the red 1.
    • Normally, Cathy's Finesse Position would be her left-most card. However, since Cathy's slot 1 and slot 2 card are already clued, her Finesse Position card has shifted down to her slot 3. Thus, Cathy must blind-play the blue 1 from slot 3.
AliceBobCathy(1)Blue 1Donald(2)