Special Bluffs

Self Color Bluffs (1-for-1 Form) (SCB)#

  • It is possible (and fairly common) to perform a Self-Bluff on a player with a rank clue.
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • Red 2 is played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues number 4 to Bob, which touches one brand new 4 as a Play Clue.
    • Bob does not see any playable cards in anyone else's hand.
    • The closest 4 to being playable is the red 4, so Bob knows that the 4 in his hand is probably a red 4.
    • Since Bob does not see any red 3's, Bob knows he must have the red 3, and he blind-plays his Finesse Position card. It is a blue 1 and successfully plays.
    • Bob now knows that he was Bluffed by Alice and that the 4 in his hand is exactly red 4.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobBlue 14r4Cathy
  • Doing a Self-Bluff on a player with a color clue is a bit more weird. On the face of it, a Self Color Bluff would be nonsensical, since the receiving player would have negative color on the card that they are blind-playing - they would explicitly know that the blind-card cannot possibly "connect".
  • Nonetheless, we agree that in this situation, players should blind-play a card anyway as a Known Bluff.
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • Red 2 is played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues red to Bob, which "fills in" a card with a number 4 clue on it. It is now a globally-known red 4.
    • This must be a Play Clue on the red 4, since Alice is not in a stalling situation. (If Alice was in a stalling situation, then she would be allowed to give a "fill-in" clue without anything special happening.)
    • Bob does not see any red cards in other player's hands, so it cannot be a Prompt or a Reverse Finesse.
    • Bob cannot possibly have the red 3 in his Finesse Position, because that card has negative red.
    • Thus, Bob knows that this must be a Self Color Bluff, so he blind-plays his Finesse Position card as a Known Bluff on any playable non-red card. It is a blue 1 and it successfully plays on the stacks.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobBlue 1Cathy
  • Note that Self Color Bluffs should not be confused with the more-ordinary "fill-in" clues that are used in stalling situations. (See the Allowable Stall Clues section.) In other words, if someone could be in a stalling situation, you should never blind-play a card from a fill-in clue.
  • Self Color Bluffs are not very good and should only be used sparingly, because:
    • they can be confusing
    • they almost always have an efficiency of a 1-for-1
  • Expert players can use Self Color Bluffs as a nice alternative to giving a 1-for-1 directly to the card in Finesse Position. Doing so has the advantage of "filling in" an ancillary card in the hand.
  • More examples of a Self Color Bluff can be found here.

Self Color Bluff (2-for-1 Form) (SCB)#

  • Rarely, it is also possible to perform a Self Color Bluff as a 2-for-1.
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • Red 2 is played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues red to Bob, which touches a brand new red card on his slot 2.
    • This must be a Play Clue on the red card.
    • Bob has a negative 3 clue on his red card, so he knows it cannot possibly be a red 3 (the next playable red card).
    • Bob does not see any red cards in other player's hands, so it cannot be a Prompt or a Reverse Finesse.
    • Bob cannot possibly have the red 3 in his Finesse Position, because that card now has negative red.
    • Thus, Bob knows that this must be a Self Color Bluff, so he blind-plays his Finesse Position card as a Known Bluff on any playable non-red card. It is a blue 1 and it successfully plays on the stacks.
    • Bob marks his red card as a red 4 (since that is the red card that is one-away-from-playable).
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobBlue 11245r4Cathy

Self Color Double Bluff (SCDB)#

  • Just like normal bluffs, Self Color Bluffs are done by "filling in" a card that is one-away-from-playable or a legal Bluff target.
  • However, players can also perform a Self Color Double Bluff by "filling in" a card that is two-or-more-away-from-playable and not a legal Bluff target.
  • For example, in a 3-player game (similar to the previous example):
    • Red 2 is played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues red to Bob, which touches a brand new red card on his slot 2.
    • This must be a Play Clue on the red card, since Alice is not in a stalling situation. (If Alice was in a stalling situation, then she would be allowed to give a "fill-in" clue without anything special happening.)
    • Bob has a negative 3 clue on his red card, so he knows it cannot possibly be a red 3 (the next playable red card).
    • Bob does not see any red cards in other player's hands, so it cannot be a Prompt or a Reverse Finesse.
    • Bob cannot possibly have the red 3 in his Finesse Position, because that card now has negative red.
    • Thus, Bob knows that this must be a Self Color Bluff, so he blind-plays his Finesse Position card as a Known Bluff on any playable non-red card. It is a blue 1 and it successfully plays on the stacks.
    • Bob marks his red card as a red 4 (since that is the red card that is one-away-from-playable).
    • Cathy sees that Alice did a Self Color Bluff on Bob. However, Cathy sees that the red card in Bob's hand is the red 5, which is two-away-from-playable. That means that Alice means to perform a Self Color Double Bluff (instead of a single Bluff).
    • Cathy blind-plays her Finesse Position card as a Known Bluff. It is a blue 2 and it successfully plays on the stacks.
    • Bob is surprised by Cathy's blind-play and realizes that it must be related to the clue that Alice gave. If Bob had a red 4 in his hand, then Cathy would not have gone on to blind-play anything. So, Bob erases his note of "red 4" and instead writes "red 5", because that is the only red card that is two-away-from-playable, and is the only card that would make Cathy blind-play.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobBlue 11245Red 5r4CathyRed 4Cathy blind plays Slot 1, since Bob has Red 5 on Slot 2Bob marks Slot 2 as Red 5
  • More examples of a Self Color Double Bluff can be found here.

Stacked Bluffs (Exception)#

  • First, see the section explaining that Stacked Bluffs are illegal.
  • Rarely, a player can know that a Layered Finesse is impossible. This could be because they know the identity of every card in their hand (minus their Finesse Position card). Or, alternatively, they could have relevant negative information on their entire hand.
  • If the player can rule out a Layered Finesse, then it is possible to perform a Stacked Bluff on them. It is important to note that such a player is "locked in" to the Bluff and should almost always immediately play their Finesse Position card.

The Elimination Bluff & The Elimination Layered Finesse#

  • Normally, if a player has Elimination Notes on their hand, you can clue the next card in the suit to perform an Elimination Finesse.
  • It is also possible to pretend like you are performing an Elimination Finesse on someone in order to get an unrelated card to blind-play from their oldest slot.
  • If the player who performed the clue was in Bluff Seat, then it is to be treated like a Bluff, and thus they will not know where the actual Elimination Card is. (However, in most cases, at this point there will only be one remaining card with an Elimination Note on it, so it won't matter.)
  • If the player who performed the clue was not in Bluff Seat, then the blind-playing player is expected to keep playing until they find the intended card. This is similar to how a Layered Finesse works, but it is inverted such that they play cards from oldest to newest.

The Known Priority Bluff#

  • Players generally perform Priority Bluffs by tricking players into thinking they have a specific card. However, it is also possible to perform a Known Priority Bluff.
  • For example:
    • Alice has a three known playable cards: red 1, blue 4, and blue 5.
    • Bob has a known red 2.
    • Alice is expected to play the red 1 into the red 2, so the red 1 has Priority.
    • Instead, Alice plays the blue 4.
    • Normally, Bob would think that this is a Priority Finesse on the blue 5. However, both he and Alice know that Alice has the blue 5.
    • This must be a Known Priority Bluff, so Bob plays his Finesse Position card as any playable card.
AliceAlice plays Blue 4BobGreen 3Cathy
  • Just like normal Bluffs, players are only allowed to perform a Known Priority Bluff on the very next player.

The Bad Touch Double Bluff (for 3's)#

  • In the same way as the Bad Touch Double Finesse, it is also possible to Bad Touch Double Bluff (or Bad Touch Double Half Bluff) in order to get unrelated cards played from Finesse Position.
  • For example, in a 4-player game:
    • It is the first turn and nothing is played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues number 3 to Donald, touching two red 3's.
    • Bob blind-plays his Finesse Position and it is blue 1.
    • Cathy knows that normally, this would be a 3 Bluff. However, since the red 3's are duplicated, this must be a Bad Touch Double Bluff, so Cathy blind-plays her Finesse Position and it is the green 1.
    • Donald knows that he must have a duplicated copy of a 3, or else Cathy would not have blind-played anything. Donald discards the non-focused 3.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobBlue 1CathyGreen 1DonaldRed 3ktRed 3first turn
  • Instead of cluing the same 3 in one hand, it is also possible to perform a Bad Touch Double Finesse/Bluff by intentionally duplicating a 3 in another player's hand.
  • For example, in a 5-player game:
    • All of the 1's are played except for red 1.
    • Emily has a clued red 3 in his hand.
    • Alice clues number 3 to Donald, touching a red 3 (and duplicating it, since Emily already has a copy with a clue on it).
    • Bob blind-plays his Finesse Position and it is red 1.
    • Cathy knows that normally, this would be a 3 Bluff. However, since the red 3 was duplicated, this must be a Bad Touch Double Finesse, so Cathy blind-plays her Finesse Position and it is the red 2.
    • Donald knows that this cannot be a 3 Bluff, or else Cathy would not have blind-played anything. Thus, this must be a Bad Touch Double Finesse, so Donald discards his red 3 as a Sarcastic Discard to pass it back to Emily.
    • Emily plays the red 3.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobRed 1CathyRed 2Donald3Red 3Donald discards his red 3 as a Sarcastic DiscardEmily
  • More examples of a Bad Touch Double Bluff can be found here.

The Pestilent Triple Bluff#

  • First, see the section on the Pestilent Double Bluff.
  • Rarely, it is possible that a Pestilent-style clues is performed with a two-away-from-playable card instead of a one-away-from-playable card. In this situation, it would transform into a Triple Bluff instead of a Double Bluff.
  • Note that normally, Triple Bluffs are explicitly illegal. But Pestilent Triple Bluffs are an exception to this rule.
  • For example, in a 5-player game:
    • All the 1's are played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues number 4 to Emily, touching a red 4 as a Play Clue.
    • Bob attempts to blind-play a red 2 from his Finesse Position. Instead, it is a blue 2, and it successfully plays.
    • Cathy knows that this is probably a 4's Double Bluff. Cathy blind-plays her Finesse Position as any playable card. It is a blue 3 and it successfully plays.
    • Donald knows that Emily will go on to incorrectly think that her red 4 is a blue 4 (because Alice's clue looks like a Double Finesse). Thus, Alice's clue is quite strange.
    • Alice must be intending for Donald to also blind-play his Finesse Position in order to "heal" the problem. Donald blind-plays his Finesse Position. It is a green 2 and it successfully plays.
    • At first, Emily thought that her 4 was the blue 4 (connecting to the blue 2 and the blue 3). However, if that was the case, then Donald would not have blind-played anything. Emily knows that this must be a Pestilent Triple Bluff, and her 4 is any other 4 than blue 4 (because Donald blind-played) and green 4 (because Bob would have waited for Donald).
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobBlue 2CathyBlue 3DonaldGreen 2Emily4Red 4not bg

The Pass Bluff#

  • First, see the section on the Hesitation Blind-Play.
  • It is possible for a Hesitation Blind-Play to occur without anyone intending it to happen. However, if a player intentionally tries to make a Hesitation Blind-Play occur, it is called a Pass Bluff.
  • In other words, after a Finesse occurs that is directed at you, you will know that your Finesse Position card is playable. If the next immediate player also has an unrelated playable card on their Finesse Position, you can pretend like the Finesse wasn't directed at you. This will cause them to think that the Finesse was directed at them, and you will get the unrelated card played for free.
  • After the unrelated card is played, the next player should not continue to blind-play cards (as a Layered Finesse) because:
    • The "passing" player fulfills the real Finesse on their next turn.
    • The "passing" player was in Bluff Seat.
  • Pass Bluffs rely on contextual information in order to work, so the circumstances in which you can do them are narrow.
  • It is illegal for a player to perform a Pass Bluff if they could be Bluffed. (This is because the first Bluff would not resolve immediately and would violate Lie Principle.)
    • Subsequently, it is also illegal for a player to pass an Ejection to the next player.

The Double/Triple Pass Bluff#

  • After a player performs a Pass Bluff, when it becomes their turn again, if they see an unrelated playable card on the Second Finesse Position of the next player, they can perform yet another Pass Bluff, implying that the first Pass Bluff was not a Pass Bluff at all and instead simply a Layered Finesse or Clandestine Finesse.
  • Then, after the unrelated card is played, the player who initiated the Double Pass Bluff can go ahead and play into the real Finesse.
  • Alternatively, if there continue to be playable cards, they can keep Pass Bluffing.

The Purge Bluff (Layered Bluff)#

  • This convention only applies to 3-player games.
  • Sometimes, a player will have a fully playable hand from left to right. In this situation, players will normally try to perform a Layered Finesse in order to get all of the cards in the most efficient manner. However, a Layered Finesse may not always be available.
  • In extremely rare situations, it is possible to orchestrate a Lie in which the player with the fully playable hand thinks that they are Layered Finessed when they really do not have the connecting card. After they play their final card and it is not the connecting card, they will know that they were Purge Bluffed and that nobody has the missing card.
  • Care has to be taken that the other player (e.g. the player who is not Purge Bluffed) will understand what is going on. For example, they might think that a Patch Finesse is happening. Thus, Purge Bluffs can only be done in expert games where there is no other possible interpretation for what is happening.
  • If the player blind-playing cards into a Purge Bluff realizes that a Lie has occurred before they finish blind-playing their entire hand, they are supposed to stop. In other words, they are not supposed to continue blind-playing cards as a Known Purge Bluff.
  • Examples of a Purge Bluff can be found here.