Level 23 - Unnecessary Moves

  • Level 23 strategies should only be learned if you have 420+ games of experience with the group.

Unnecessary Moves#

  • Experienced players will know about all sorts of tricky ways to "get" cards - the Trash Bluff, the Trash Finesse, the Unknown Trash Discharge, the Trash Push, and so forth.
  • In most cases, these complicated moves end up being a 1-for-1, which is not very efficient. Consider that doing a complicated move like a Trash Bluff as a 1-for-1 is pretty pointless if the cluer can instead just give a direct Play Clue to the card that needs to be played as a 1-for-1. Giving "normal" Play Clues is much less likely to go wrong!
  • Therefore, advanced moves are generally used in situations where the card that needs to be played is hard to clue directly. For example:
    • It could be "blocked" by other cards (e.g. two of the same card in the hand).
    • It could be on chop and "blocked" in the sense that any clue given would look like a Save Clue instead of a Play Clue.
    • And so on.
  • An unnecessary move is defined as a "complicated" move that is performed when the cluer could have instead given a direct play clue.
  • Unnecessary moves do "one extra thing" on top of the normal meaning of the move. Depending on the situation, the "extra" thing will be either:
    • an Ignition (with known trash)
    • a Chop Move (with unknown trash off-chop)
    • a Trash Push (with unknown trash on chop)
  • Remember that a move is only unnecessary if it does not have any side benefits. Specifically:
    • A move is not unnecessary if it "picked up" an extra useful card (e.g. Unknown Trash Discharges commonly do this).
    • A move is not unnecessary if it also fixed an impending misplay or a violation of Good Touch Principle.
    • A move is not unnecessary if it also "filled-in" previously-clued cards in the hand of the person who received the clue.
      • For simplicity, only positive clues "count" as being Necessary. "Filling-in" a card with a negative clue doesn't count.

Unnecessary Moves with Known Trash --> Ignition#

  • If known trash is used as clue target, the "extra" thing is an Ignition. The Ignition can be on anyone on the team, similar to how Double Ignition works.
  • For example, this would be an Unnecessary Trash Push in a 3-player game:
    • All of the 3's are played on the stacks.
    • Bob's hand is completely unclued.
    • Alice clues number 1 to Bob, touching a single 1 on Bob's slot 5 (his chop).
    • Bob knows that this is a Trash Push and blind-plays his slot 4. It is a red 4 and it successfully plays.
    • Cathy sees that Bob has no other red cards in his hand. Thus, Alice could easily clued red to Bob in order to "get" the red 4 in a straightforward way. That means that Alice performed an Unnecessary Trash Push.
    • Cathy blind-plays her Finesse Position. It is a red 5 and it successfully plays.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBob1Bob blind plays slot 4CathyCathy blind plays her Finesse position
  • For example, if an Unnecessary Trash Chop Move was done on a card that could be saved directly, the next player should blind-play their Finesse Position, and the clue receiver should still Chop Move.

Unnecessary Moves with Unknown Trash#

  • If Bob already has to play to tell the clue receiver that the clue target is trash, as an "extra thing" the team also interprets the clue as the known trash version of the clue.
  • If the focus of the clue was off-chop trash, this will be a Trash Chop Move.
  • If the focus of the clue was a trash card on chop, this will be a Trash Push.

Unnecessary Moves with Unknown Trash: Off-Chop Examples#

  • If unknown trash is used as a clue target that is off-chop, the team responds as if a Trash Chop Move was given.
  • For example, this would be an Unnecessary Trash Finesse in a 3-player game:
    • All of the 2's are played on the stacks except for the red 2.
    • Bob has a red 2 on his Finesse Position and no other red cards in his hand. Thus, Alice could give a red clue to Bob in order to "get" the red 2.
    • Cathy's hand is completely unclued.
    • Alice clues number 2 to Cathy, touching a blue 2 on slot 4. (Blue 2 is already played and is therefore trash.)
    • Bob knows that from Cathy's perspective, Alice's clue looks like a Play Clue on the final remaining 2 - the red 2. Cathy will go on to misplay the blue 2 as the red 2.
    • Thus, Bob knows that this is a Trash Finesse or Trash Bluff. He blind-plays his Finesse Position card. It is a red 2 and it successfully plays.
    • Cathy now knows that her 2 is trash (since Bob blind-played in response to the clue). However, Cathy also knows that this Trash Finesse was unnecessary, as Alice could have just clued red to Bob.
    • Thus, Cathy knows that this is an Unnecessary Trash Finesse, so she marks her slot 5 card as being Chop Moved.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobRed 2Bob blind plays slot 1Cathy2Blue 2ktcmCathy performs a Chop Move, her 2 is a known trash
  • For example, Alice performs an Unnecessary Unknown Trash Discharge by cluing Cathy. Then Bob should blind-play his Third Finesse Position (from the clue), and Cathy should Chop Move the cards right of the clue target (from the unnecessariness).
  • For example, Alice performs an Unnecessary Unknown Trash Discharge on a single off-chop card in Donald's hand, while Donald's chop is trash. Now Bob blind-plays his Third Finesse Position (from the clue). Cathy sees that Bob's card could have been clued directly, so Donald is about to chop move a trash card. Therefore Cathy plays her second finesse position as an additional Bad Chop Move Ejection.
  • Importantly, note that Unnecessary Chop Moves are tricky in that they have information asymmetry: the player who blind-plays will not know that the card is chop moved, while everyone else will. All players will have to keep this in mind until the Chop Move has been demonstrated.

Unnecessary Moves with Unknown Trash: On-Chop Examples#

  • If unknown trash is used as a clue target that is on-chop, then the corresponding known-trash clue is a Trash Push.
  • For example, this would be an Unnecessary Trash Finesse in a 3-player game:
    • All of the 2's are played on the stacks except for the red 2.
    • Bob has a red 2 on his Finesse Position and no other red cards in his hand. Thus, Alice can give a red clue to Bob in order to "get" the red 2.
    • Cathy's hand is completely unclued.
    • Alice clues number 2 to Cathy, touching a blue 2 on slot 5. (Blue 2 is already played and is therefore trash.)
    • Bob knows that from Cathy's perspective, Alice's clue looks like a Play Clue on the final remaining 2 - the red 2. Cathy will go on to misplay the blue 2 as the red 2.
    • Thus, Bob knows that this is a Trash Finesse. He blind-plays his Finesse Position card. It is a red 2 and it successfully plays.
    • Cathy now knows that her 2 is trash (since Bob blind-played in response to the clue). However, Cathy also knows that this Trash Finesse was unnecessary, as Alice could have just clued red to Bob.
    • Thus, Cathy knows that this is an Unnecessary Trash Finesse. Therefore Cathy additionally responds as if a known trash card was clued on her chop, so she blind-plays her slot 4 as a Trash Push.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobRed 2Bob blind plays slot 1Cathy2Blue 2ktCathy blind plays slot 4
  • For example, if an Unnecessary Trash Push Discharge was performed by cluing a card in Cathy's hand, Bob should blind-play his Third Finesse Position (from the clue). Note that, even though the focus of the card touched by the clue was known trash, Bob had to blind-play to tell Cathy that the card she was about to push is trash, so the 'unknown trash' rules apply. Therefore Cathy also performs a Trash Push, playing the card next to the card that she learned is trash.
  • The conversion to the known-trash interpretation also holds if the team has to prevent the clue receiver to Trash Push a card that's not playable:
    • All of the 2's are played on the stacks.
    • Bob has a red 3 on his Second Finesse Position and no other red cards in his hand. Thus, Alice can give a red clue to Bob in order to "get" the red 3.
    • Donald's hand is r1 - g1 - b2 - b1, completely unclued.
    • Alice clues number 2 to Donald, touching the blue 2 on slot 3.
    • Bob knows that from Donald's perspective, Alice's clue looks like a Trash Chop Move. Since Donald is about to chop move a trash card, Bob ejects his red 3 as a Bad Chop Move Ejection.
    • Since Bob's blind play told Donald about a trash card, namely that the chop-moved blue 1 was trash, Donald will now additionally interpret the clue as a Trash Push.
    • Cathy sees that Donald is about to play green 1 as a Trash Push, but green 1 is already played.
    • Thus, Cathy plays her third finesse position as a Trash Push Discharge.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBob(!R)Red 3Plays(!R)(!R)(Bob plays from Bad Chop Move Ejection)CathyPlays(Cathy plays from Trash Push Discharge)Donald(R1)(G1)2(B2)(B1)

Other Examples#

  • More examples of unnecessary moves can be found here.