Level 19 - Advanced Moves

  • Level 19 strategies should only be learned if you have 340+ games of experience with the group.

Special Moves#


The Occupied Play Clue & The Occupied Finesse (OPC)#

  • If a clue could be given by multiple players, who should give the clue? If some players have known-playable cards and other players have nothing to do, then it makes the most sense to leave the clue for the players who have nothing to do.
  • If someone gives a clue with a globally-known playable card in their hand and forces the next player to have nothing to do, this is bad teamwork - unless there was a reason!
  • When this occurs, the clue should do one "extra" thing:
    • If the clue would normally be interpreted as a Save Clue, then it transforms into an Occupied Play Clue.
    • If the clue would normally be interpreted as a Play Clue or a Prompt, then it transforms into an Occupied Finesse.
  • Note that the concept of being Occupied generalizes to lots of different kind of moves. For example, when an Occupied player clues an off-chop 5, it is certainly not a 5 Stall - it must be an Occupied 5 Pull!

The Out-of-Order Play Clue (Triple O / OOO)#

  • Sometimes, a player will have two playable cards in their hand of the same suit, but they will be "blocked", meaning that both a color clue and a number clue will not be able to focus the first playable card.
  • One technique to get around this is to give a clue that focuses the wrong card, and then have the next player give a Fix Clue. This is called an Out-of-Order Play Clue because the cards were originally out-of-order, but the original focus is still playable.
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • It is the first turn and nothing is played on the stacks.
    • Cathy hand is as follows, from left to right: red 4, red 1, red 2, red 3, blue 4
    • Alice clues red to Cathy, touching slot 1, slot 2, slot 3, and slot 4.
    • Bob sees that Alice has indicated to Cathy that she has the red 1 on slot 1. Cathy will go on to misplay the red 4 as the red 1.
    • Normally, Bob would think this is a Finesse and try to play the red 1 into the red 4. However, that doesn't make any sense, because Cathy has the red 1, and then Alice would be violating Good Touch Principle.
    • Instead, Bob knows that the team should be using Cathy's red 1. Thus, Bob knows that he needs to give a Fix Clue to Cathy, because Alice intends for her and Bob to work together.
    • Bob clues number 4 to Cathy, touching the blue 4 and "filling in" the red 4.
    • Cathy is surprised because the card that she thought was red 1 is actually a red 4. Cathy knows that since the red 4 was the original focus of Alice's clue, then it must actually be playable right now. Thus, Cathy must have the red 1, the red 2, and the red 3.
    • Cathy plays the red 1 from slot 2 (the left-most red card that could be the red 1). She will go on to play the red 2, the red 3, and the red 4.
    • Cathy (and everyone else on the team) knows that even though the blue 4 was the focus of Bob's clue, it is not actually playable right now, and was just "collateral damage" of Bob's required Fix Clue.
AliceAlice clues Red to Cathy, touching slots 1-4BobClue GiverClue GiverBob gives a fix clue to Cathy, touching slots 1 and 5Cathy4Red 4Red 1Red 2Red 34Blue 4Cathy will play slot 2first turn

The Out-of-Order Finesse#

  • Sometimes, a Finesse is initiated by giving a color clue that focuses the wrong card.
  • When this happens, the Finesse will still work: a player will blind-play a connecting card. However, a Fix Clue must then be given to the player who received the clue, or they will go on to misplay.
  • Normally, after receiving a Fix Clue, a player would "stop" and not assume anything else about his hand. However, when an Out-of-Order clue is given, the player should always go on to play the original focus of the clue.
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • It is the first turn and nothing is played on the stacks.
    • Bob has a red 3 and a red 2 (on slots 1 and 2 respectively).
    • Cathy has a red 1 on slot 1 (in Finesse Position).
    • Alice clues Bob red (as an Out-of-Order Reverse Finesse). The focus of the clue is the red 3 on slot 1.
    • Bob sees the red 1 on Cathy's Finesse Position, so he has to respect that it could be Reverse Finesse. Bob discards.
    • Cathy blind-plays red 1.
    • Alice must now give a Fix Clue to Bob, or else red 3 will be misplayed as red 2.
    • Alice clues number 2 to Bob.
    • Bob plays red 2.
    • Bob knows that his other red card must be red 3, since it was originally clued as playable and it caused a Reverse Finesse.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobRed 3Red 2CathyRed 1Cathy blind plays Red 1Next turnAliceClue GiverClue GiverBobr32Cathyfirst turn

Interaction with 5 Color Ejection#

  • The 5 Color Ejection takes precedence over the Out-of-Order Finesse as long as the two-or-more-blind-plays rule is satisfied.
  • For example, in a 3-player game, this would be a 5 Color Ejection:
    • It is the first turn of the game and nothing is played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues red to Cathy, touching a red 5 on slot 1, a red 1 on slot 2, and a red 2 on slot 3.
    • Bob knows that this could be an Out-of-Order Finesse. Specifically, if Bob gives a follow-up number 5 Fix Clue to Cathy, then Cathy would play the red 1, Cathy would play the red 2, and Bob would blind-play the red 3, Bob would blind-play the red 4, into Cathy's red 5.
    • However, this line would require Bob to blind-play 2 cards, so Bob knows that he should prefer a 5 Color Ejection instead.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobBob blind plays slot 2CathyRed 5Red 1Red 2first turn
  • For example, in a 3-player game, this would be an Out-of-Order Finesse:
    • It is the first turn of the game and nothing is played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues red to Cathy, touching a red 5 on slot 1, a red 1 on slot 2, a red 2 on slot 3, and a red 4 on slot 4.
    • Bob knows that this could be an Out-of-Order Finesse. Specifically, if Bob gives a follow-up number 5 Fix Clue to Cathy, then Cathy would play the red 1, Cathy would play the red 2, Bob would blind-play the red 3, Cathy would play the red 4, and then Cathy would play the red 5.
    • Since this line only requires that Bob blind-plays 1 card, he knows that it cannot be a 5 Color Ejection, so Bob performs the Fix Clue to allow for the Out-of-Order Finesse.
AliceBobr3Bob gives a fix clue to CathyCathyRed 5Red 1Red 2Red 4first turn

The Out-of-Order Corollary#

  • First, see the section on the Out-of-Order Play Clue.
  • As specified in the sections above, if Alice gives a clue to Cathy touching the next playable card, but the focus is wrong, Bob would normally give a OOO Fix Clue instead of blind-playing a card.
  • Thus, if Alice gives a clue to Cathy, and Bob does blind-play a card, then by default, Cathy can mark all the cards that were touched with a note of not being the next playable card.
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • Red 2 is played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues red to Cathy, touching two cards on slot 1 and slot 2.
    • Bob blind-plays an unrelated card.
    • Cathy marks her slot 1 card as the red 4. (Cathy knows that Alice performed a Bluff and slot 1 was the focus of the clue.)
    • Cathy also marks her slot 2 card as the red 5. (Cathy knows that if it was a red 3, then Bob would be forced to give a Fix Clue.)

The Suboptimal Prompt & The Suboptimal Finesse & The Suboptimal Bluff#

  • If the other copy of a card is in the trash, then the remaining copy is critical and needs to be saved. Critical cards of this nature can be saved with either a color clue or a number clue.
  • If both types of clues will only introduce one new card, then it is said that that there is a Free Choice between the two clue types.
  • In this situation, the clue type will be chosen that "fills in" other ancillary cards in the hand or gives important negative information.
  • If a clue type is chosen that is clearly worse than the other one, then the clue giver must be trying to communicate something extra.
  • The means that this innocent-looking Save Clue is really a Play Clue, and all of the in-between cards are called for.
  • Note that for a Suboptimal Save Finesse to work, the clue has to be really bad, not just technically suboptimal in some slight way.

The Good Touch Bluff#

  • Care has to be taken so that a Bluff does not look like a Finesse.
  • For example, in a 4-player game:
    • Red 2 and blue 2 are played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues Cathy number 4, which touches a red 4.
    • Bob blind-plays a blue 3 from his Finesse Position.
    • Since 3 connects to 4, Cathy knows she has the blue 4, and goes on to misplay red 4 as blue 4.
    • Thus, Alice should not have given this clue.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobBlue 3Cathy4Red 4Illegal!
  • However, what if someone else on the team already has the connecting card? In this situation, the clue can be given without fear: from Good Touch Principle, the clue recipient will know that it is a Bluff instead of a Finesse.
  • For example, in a 4-player game:
    • Red 2 and blue 2 are played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues Cathy number 4, which touches a red 4.
    • Bob blind-plays a blue 3 from his Finesse Position.
    • Cathy's first thought is that since 3 connects to 4, she must have the blue 4. However, Cathy sees that Donald already has a clued blue 4 it in his hand. (The blue 4 just has a blue clue on it and the true identity of the card is not yet known to Donald.)
    • Cathy knows that she must not have the blue 4, because then Alice's clue would have violated Good Touch Principle. Cathy can reason that her 4 is instead some other one-away-from-playable 4. The only other valid Bluff target is the red 4 (because the only one-away-from-playable 4 is red 4). So, Cathy marks her number 4 card as a red 4, and discards.
    • Donald is surprised by Alice's clue. From Donald's perspective, Cathy should have misplayed the red 4 as the blue 4, since 3 connects to 4.
    • Since Cathy did not misplay, Donald can reason that he must have the blue 4. Donald marks the previously unknown blue card in his hand as blue 4.
AliceBobBlue 3Cathy4Red 4DonaldBlue 4

The Pestilent Double Bluff (PDB)#

  • First, see the section on the Good Touch Bluff.
  • In the Good Touch Bluff, a Bluff is given that looks like a Finesse. However, what a Good Touch Bluff is performed and the "connecting" card is not yet clued?
  • In this situation, if the cluer is not making a mistake, they are trying to send a deeper message - they want an extra person to blind-play.
  • For example, in a 4-player game:
    • It is the first turn and nothing is played on the stacks.
    • Alice goes first.
    • Bob has a red 1 on slot 1 and a blue 2 on slot 2.
    • Alice clues number 2 to Bob, touching a blue 2 on slot 2.
    • Bob does not see any other 1's on Finesse Position. Thus, the number 2 clue must be a Self-Finesse, so he blind-plays a red 1. Bob now knows that his clued 2 is a red 2 and marks it accordingly.
    • Cathy comes next. From Cathy's perspective, Bob will incorrectly mark his 2 as a red 2 (but it is really a blue 2). If nothing else happens, Bob will go on to misplay that card.
    • Cathy knows that technically, she could give a Fix Clue to Bob to fix the situation. However, is that what Alice really intended? That would be a waste of a clue and would be really inefficient. Alice must be trying to communicate something extra.
    • Cathy knows that this must be a Pestilent Double Bluff, so she blind-plays her Finesse Position card. It is a red 2 and it successfully plays.
    • Bob gasps in surprise when Cathy blind-plays. He knows that the only reason that Cathy would blind-play is because of Alice's clue. This must be what Alice intended all along, which means that Bob must not actually have the red 2. (The red 2 is already played now, so Bob knows that Alice would not violate Good Touch Principle.) Bob updates his note from "red 2" to "blue 2, green 2, yellow 2, or purple 2".
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobRed 12Blue 2CathyRed 2Donaldfirst turn
  • In this example, Cathy knows that the initial clue was "diseased", and Cathy blind-plays a card to "heal" the situation. This is where the name Pestilent Double Bluff comes from.
  • In this example, Cathy blind-plays the exact copy of the card that Bob was mistaken about. However, notice that Cathy could actually blind-play any playable card. Even if Cathy does not blind-play the red 2, blind-playing a card would still "heal" the situation, because Bob would know that Cathy is blind-playing from Alice's clue.
  • A Pestilent Double Bluff is similar to a normal Double Bluff in that it gets two people in a row to blind-play their Finesse Position, getting two unrelated cards. However, unlike a normal Double Bluff, a Pestilent Double Bluff is initiated by cluing a one-away-from-playable card (instead of a two-or-more-away-from-playable card).
  • Furthermore, consider the case where Cathy sees a red 2 in the middle of someone else's hand (e.g. Donald's hand). In this hypothetical, Cathy could just give a Play Clue to the red 2 in Donald's hand, Donald would play the card. This clue would "heal" the situation, because Bob would no longer think that he has the red 2. However, we agree that Cathy should not do this and should still blind-play her Finesse Position card. (This is because doing something weird like this for a 3-for-2 is not strong enough.)
  • Additionally, consider the case where Cathy sees both copies of red 2 in someone else's hand (e.g. Donald's hand). In this hypothetical, Bob would not go on to misplay the red 2, so no further action is needed to heal the situation. However, we agree that Cathy should still blind-play her Finesse Position card (as a Known Pestilent Double Bluff). (This is because seeing both copies is so rare that we do not want complicate things by having to consider it.)
  • More examples of a Pestilent Double Bluff can be found here.

The No-Information Double Finesse#

  • Sometimes, a card that is two-away-from-playable is re-clued in order to initiate a Finesse or a Bluff. Most times, the clue will "fill in" or give extra information to the existing card.
  • Other times, the clue will give no information (e.g. re-cluing number 3 to an already known 3). In this situation, if it was merely a Bluff, it would be pretty low value.
  • Thus, by convention, a "no information" clue on a two-away-from-playable card must "get" at least 2 new cards (as opposed to a single Bluff that only gets 1 brand new card).
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • Nothing is played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues 3's to Cathy, which touches one 3, the red 3.
    • Bob blind-plays blue 1. At this point, everyone knows that Alice has performed a 3 Bluff, and from Cathy's perspective, her 3 can be any 3 at all.
    • Cathy discards.
    • Alice clues 3's to Cathy, which re-touches the red 3 (and gives no additional information to it).
    • Bob blind-plays red 1. If this was a 3 Bluff, then no-one would be promised the red 2. However, since no new information was given, it must be a No-Information Double Finesse. Bob sees that Cathy does not have the red 2, so he must have the red 2, and can blind-play it on his next turn.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobBlue 1Cathy3Red 3Next turnAliceClue GiverClue GiverBobRed 1Cathyr23Red 3
  • The "no-information" principle can also be used to perform a No-Information Layered Finesse on the next player. (The next player will know that it is a Layered Finesse instead of a Bluff because some other more-useful clue could have been given to initiate the Bluff.)

The No-Information Double Bluff#

  • Usually, a "no-information" clue conveys a Double Finesse. But you can also use it to perform a Double Bluff (or a Double Half Bluff). For example, in a 3-player game:
    • Nothing is played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues 3's to Cathy, which touches one 3, the red 3.
    • Bob blind-plays blue 1. At this point, everyone knows that Alice has performed a 3 Bluff, and from Cathy's perspective, her 3 can be any 3 at all.
    • Cathy discards.
    • Alice clues 3's to Cathy, which re-touches the red 3 (and gives no additional information to it).
    • Bob blind-plays green 1. If this was a 3 Bluff, then no-one would be promised the green 2. However, since no new information was given, it must be a No-Information Double Finesse.
    • Cathy sees that Bob does not have the green 2, so she must have the green 2, so she blind-plays her Finesse Position card, and it is yellow 1 instead of green 2.
    • Since two cards were blind-played (that did not connect to anything), everyone now knows that the No-Information clue was a Double Bluff instead of a Double Finesse. From Cathy's perspective, her 3 can (still) be any 3 at all.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobBlue 1Bob blind plays slot 1Cathy3Red 3Cathy discardsNext turnAliceClue GiverClue GiverBobGreen 1CathyYellow 1g23Red 3