Level 22 - Charms & Miscellaneous

  • Level 22 strategies should only be learned if you have 400+ games of experience with the group.

Conventions#


Charms#

  • Charm is similar to Ejection and Discharge, except the Forth Finesse Position card is blind-played.
  • Just like a Bluff, a Charm can only be performed on the very next player.
  • Several different kinds of moves can cause a Charm. The most common one is the 4 Charm.

Special Moves#


The 4 Charm#

  • When a Play Clue is given to a 4 that is not yet playable, Bob must react:
    • The first interpretation is that it is a Prompt.
    • If Bob has no matching cards in his hand, then a Prompt is impossible.
    • The second interpretation is that it is a Finesse.
    • If Bob sees that he would have to blind-play one card or blind-play two cards to fulfill a Finesse, then he should assume that it is a Finesse.
    • If Bob sees that he would have to blind-play three cards in their hand to fulfill the Finesse, then a Finesse is unlikely.
    • The third interpretation is that it is a 4 Double Bluff.
    • If Bob sees that Cathy does not have a playable card (or a one-away-from-playable card) on her Finesse Position, then a 4 Double Bluff is impossible.
    • The fourth interpretation is a 4 Charm; Bob should play his Fourth Finesse Position.
  • For example, in a 4-player game:
    • It is the first turn and nothing is played on the stacks.
    • Alice clues number 4 clue to Cathy, touching a red 4 on slot 1 as a Play Clue.
    • Bob knows that normally, this would be a Finesse on the red 4, meaning that he should blind-play a red 1, a red 2, and a red 3. (Bob does not see any red cards in anyone else's hands.)
    • Since the Finesse requires three blind-plays, it is unlikely, and Bob knows he is supposed to revert to a different interpretation.
    • Bob sees that Cathy does not have a playable card (or a one-away-from-playable card) on her Finesse Position, so a 4 Double Bluff is impossible.
    • Thus, Bob knows that this must be a 4 Charm. He blind-plays his Fourth Finesse Position. It is a blue 1 and it successfully plays.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobBob blind plays slot 4Cathy4notplayableDonaldfirst turn
  • 4 Charms can be given with either a color clue or a number clue.
  • Similar to a 5 Color Ejection, Prompts don't factor into the "three or more blind-plays" rule. Players only count the number of blind-plays.
  • 4 Charms take precedence over Safety Charms. (Safety Charms are an advanced move that is covered later.)

The Blaze Discard#

  • Normally, if a player performs a Gentleman's Discard and the other card is not on Finesse Position, it could one of two things:
    1. If the card on Finesse Position is itself playable right now, then it would be a Layered Gentleman's Discard.
    2. If the card on Finesse Position is not playable right now, then it is an emergency situation.
  • Alternatively, if a player performs a Baton Discard and the other card is not on Finesse Position, then it is an emergency situation.
  • If this is the case, and it is not an emergency situation, then the player who is performing the weird Gentleman's Discard (or Baton Discard) must be trying to communicate something extra.
  • In this situation, the discarding player intends for the very next player to blind-play the Finesse Position that matches the true Finesse Position of the other card. This is called a Blaze Discard because it "ignites" the next player's hand to fix the problem.
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • All 1's are played on the stacks.
    • Alice discards a known red 2 as a Gentleman's Discard.
    • Bob sees that Cathy's hand is completely unclued and is as follows, from left to right: red 1 (trash), red 2, green 1 (trash), green 1 (trash), blue 1 (trash)
    • Bob knows that normally, the Gentleman's Discard promises that the other copy of the red 2 is on Finesse Position. But Alice is Lying to Cathy, because she will go on to misplay the red 1 as the red 2.
    • Bob knows that it would be pointless for Alice to perform a Gentleman's Discard and then for Bob to give a Fix Clue, as that would waste a clue. So, if Alice is not making a mistake, she must be trying to communicate something extra.
    • Bob knows that this must be a Blaze Discard and he must blind-play the Finesse Position that matches the Finesse Position of the other card. In this case, since the red 2 is on Cathy's Second Finesse Position (slot 2), Bob must play his Second Finesse Position (slot 2).
    • Bob blind-plays slot 2. It is a blue 2 and it successfully plays.
    • From Cathy's perspective, she first suspects that some kind of Ejection is going on, since Bob blind-played his Second Finesse Position. However, since the previous action was a Gentleman's Discard, Alice knows that this must be a Blaze Discard. In other words, Bob was just blind-playing his Second Finesse Position to communicate to Cathy that she should play her Second Finesse Position instead of her First Finesse Position.
    • Cathy blind-plays the red 2 from slot 2.
AliceAlice discards Red 2BobBob blind plays slot 2CathyRed 1Red 2Green 1Green 1Blue 1Cathy blind plays slot 2
  • Remember that Blaze Discards work with Finesse Positions, not with slot numbers.
  • Blaze Discards must be on the very next player. In other words, Bob has to immediately react to prove where the position of the matching card is.
  • Blaze Discards do not apply when someone discards a 1 and there are two copies remaining. (In other words, it is still possible to perform a normal Gentleman's Discard by discarding a red 1 in the case where Bob has a red 1 on his Finesse Position and Cathy has a red 1 on her Second Finesse Position behind an unplayable card.)
  • It is illegal to perform a Layered Blaze Discard (on either the ignited player or the player holding the matching card). We want to keep Blaze Discards as simple as possible.
  • Blaze Discards do not apply when someone performs a Gentleman's Discard or a Baton Discard that looks like a Sarcastic Discard. In these situations, one of the following is true:
    • The discarding player is making a mistake (as a Wrong Prompt).
    • The discarding player is not making a mistake and there is enough past context for the player with the cards to be able to tell the difference.
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • Alice discards a red 3 as a Blaze Discard.
    • Bob sees that Cathy has the other copy of the red 3. However, it is on slot 2 instead of on slot 1. (Cathy's hand is completely unclued.) Thus, Bob has to communicate to Cathy that it is actually on her Second Finesse Position.
    • Bob has a clued 5 on his slot 1. Thus, Bob's Finesse Position is on slot 2 and his Second Finesse Position is on slot 3.
    • Bob blind-plays his Second Finesse Position (slot 3). It is a blue 1 and it successfully plays.
    • Cathy knows that because Bob blind-played his slot 3, the red 3 must be on her slot 2.
AliceAlice Blaze Discards Red 3BobBob blind plays slot 3CathyRed 1Red 3Green 1Green 1Blue 1Cathy blind plays slot 2

Finesses with a Lie Component#

  • Lie Principle states all that Fibs must resolve immediately. An untruth that does not resolve immediately is a Lie.
  • Normally, Lies are expressly illegal. However, some players will occasionally break the rules for the purposes of getting a Finesse. We call such moves Finesses with a Lie Component.
  • Typically, when players Lie out of Bluff Seat, the game quickly falls apart; subsequent clues will have different meanings to different players and everyone will become "desynchronized". This typically leads to a loss.
  • With that said, it is sometimes possible to construct safe lines that contain a Lie Component. There is usually deep levels of nuance involved in these lines, so this kind of thing is only recommended for advanced and expert players.
  • The previously mentioned Out-of-Order Finesse is a specific example of a Finesse with a Lie Component. One key attribute of the Out-of-Order Finesse is that the player who receives the Fix Clue knows that all of the related cards are playable, or it would not have been worth the risk (and the confusion) to perform a line with a Lie Component in the first place.
  • This concept can be generalized to all Finesses that have a Lie Component. After a player receives a Fix Clue in such a situation, they should assume that the Finesse is "still on". So, depending on the situation, they should either know that the initial card that was clued is playable (like in an Out-of-Order Finesse) or continue to blind-play cards to fulfill the initial Finesse (if the card clued with a Fix Clue seems to be unrelated).
  • Importantly, Finesses with a Lie Component are only allowed if there is not an alternative line that would "get" the same number of cards without any lies. Thus, if you are looking to do a Finesse with a Lie Component, make sure you carefully consider the efficiency of all of the possible alternatives.

The Hesitation Blind-Play#

  • Sometimes, a player will receive a Play Clue on a card. And then, instead of playing it, they will discard their chop instead. This would normally indicate some sort of emergency. However, sometimes it can be seen that there is nothing special going on and that everybody has safe chop cards.
  • In such a situation, if the player is not making a mistake, the only reason that they would discard is that they are allowing for the possibility of a Prompt or a Reverse Finesse - someone else on the team has a playable card (either clued or on Finesse Position) that "connects" to the card that they got the Play Clue on.
  • Depending on the game state, clever players may be able to blind-play their Finesse Position card in response to this hesitation, getting a card for "free". This kind of move is called a Hesitation Blind-Play.
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • Red 1 and all of the other 2's are played on the stacks.
    • The team has 5 clues. Nobody on the team has any cards clued in their hand.
    • Alice clues number 3 to Bob, touching a blue 3 on slot 1 as a Play Clue. (The team is now at 4 clues.)
    • Bob discards. (The team is now at 5 clues.)
    • From Cathy's perspective, Bob was supposed to play the blue 3 immediately instead of discarding.
    • Cathy knows that since the team has so many clues available, this cannot be a Scream Discard from Bob. (Scream Discards are only typically done when the team is at 0 or 1 clues.)
    • Thus, Cathy knows that Bob must be hesitating because is he allowing for the possibility of a Reverse Finesse. In this situation, the only possible card that could Bob could be hesitating for is red 2.
    • Cathy blind-plays her Finesse Position card. It is red 2 and it successfully plays.
    • Alice discards.
    • Bob knows that since Cathy blind-played the red 2, Alice did a Reverse Finesse and that he has the red 3.
    • Bob plays the 3, but it is revealed to be blue 3 instead of red 3.
    • Bob now knows that nobody has the red 3 and that Cathy blind-played the red 2 from Bob's hesitation.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBob3Blue 3Bob discardsCathyCathy blind plays slot 1, it is Red 2Clues: 5
  • Hesitation Blind-Plays are not always safe to do:
    • If a player could be hesitating for a clued card in your hand or your Finesse Position card, then you cannot act on the hesitation. (If you guess wrong, you could misplay a critical card.)
    • If a player could be hesitating for a card that is identical to the card that was clued, then you cannot act on the hesitation. (If you blind-play the same copy of the card, then they will go on to misplay the clued card.)
    • If blind-playing a particular card would cause the original clue to look like a Double Finesse with a "self" component, then you cannot act on the hesitation. (For example, if a number 4 clue causes a Hesitation Blind-Play of a red 2, the clue receiver would go on to misplay their Finesse Position card as the red 3.)