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Fix Clues

The Just-In-Time Fix Clue (JIT)

  • When performing a Layered Finesse with a Lie Component, if the plan is to give a Fix Clue to the Finesse Target card (the "final" card that is to be blind-played), then it is important to wait until the last moment to give the Fix Clue. This is because after receiving the Fix Clue, the player will not play any more blind cards.
  • Thus, you should first wait for all of the "good" blind cards to play, and then give the Fix Clue to the Finesse Target, so that it comes "just in time" before the misplay.
  • Alternatively, if the plan is to give a Fix Clue to some other card than the Finesse Target (e.g. a number 5 clue to a 5 in the middle of the hand), then the Fix Clue does not necessarily have to be just in time. It can be done early, and the player will know that they have to continue blind-playing cards until they find the Finesse Target.

The Speed-up Clue

  • The Layered Finesse convention (and its derivatives) are very efficient (in terms of "X-for-1"). However, sometimes it can be very slow (low-Tempo), as players will have to allow for all possible Reverse Finesses before playing anything. This is generally not a problem in 3-player games, but Tempo is important in 5-player games.
  • Normally, when the Finesse Target (the card that is to be blind-played) is clued directly, it is a mistake due to someone not paying close enough attention. We refer to this as Stomping on a Finesse.
  • However, if high-Tempo is needed, a player can consider intentionally stomping on a Layered Finesse in order to "speed up" the play of a specific card that leads into other players hands.
  • One complicating factor of the Speed-up Clue is how to differentiate it from a more-ordinary Fix Clue. In other words, after the clued card is played, on their next turn, should the player go back and blind-play the other cards? If it was a Speed-up Clue, they should. If it was a Fix Clue, they should not.
  • The key lies in the context of the clue:
    • Was it possible to take an equivalent line where a Fix Clue would not be needed? (In terms of the same number of clues, and no risk of discarding critical/playable cards.) If yes, then it is a Speed-up Clue.
    • Is the timing of the Fix Clue appropriate? If not, then it might be a Speed Up clue.