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Level 23 - Unnecessary Moves

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 must be Bob, unless Alice had a very good reason not to let Bob give the clue, similar to how Double Ignition works.
  • Note that performing a Unnecessary Trash Chop Move is explicitly illegal, since that move would be indistinguishable from a Chop Move Ignition.

Example 1 - An Unnecessary Trash Push (with Ignition)

  • 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 GiverBobRed 41Cathy

Unnecessary Moves with Unknown Trash Off Chop --> Chop Move

  • If unknown trash is used as a clue target that is off chop, the team responds as if a Trash Chop Move was given.
  • 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.

Example 1 - An Unnecessary Trash Finesse (with a Chop Move)

  • 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 1.Cathy2cm

Example 2 - An Unnecessary Unknown Trash Discharge (with a Chop Move)

  • For example, if an Unknown Trash Discharge was done to Discharge a card that could be Play Clued directly, the clue receiver should Chop Move the cards to the right of the clue target.

Example 3 - An Unnecessary Unknown Trash Discharge (with a Bad Chop Move Ejection)

  • For example, in a 4-player game:
    • All the 2's are played on the stacks.
    • Donald's hand is as follows: blue 4, blue 4, red 1, blue 1
    • Alice clues red to Donald, touching the red 1 on slot 3.
    • Bob sees that this is an Unknown Trash Discharge. He plays his Third Finesse Position. It is a blue 2 and it successfully plays.
    • Cathy sees that Alice could have given a direct Play Clue to Bob's blue 2. Thus, this clue was Unnecessary, and Donald will go on to Chop Move the blue 1 on slot 4.
    • Thus, Cathy knows that this is a Bad Chop Move Ejection. She blind-plays her Second Finesse Position card. It is a blue 3 and it successfully plays.

Unnecessary Moves with Unknown Trash On Chop --> Trash Push

  • If unknown trash is used as a clue target that is on chop, the team responds as if a Trash Push was given.

Example 1 - An Unnecessary Trash Finesse (with 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. She must respond as if a known-trash card was clued on her chop, so Cathy blind-plays her slot 4 card as a Trash Push.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobRed 2Bob blind-plays slot 1.Cathy2

Example 2 - An Unnecessary Trash Push Discharge (with a Trash Push)

  • For example, if an Trash Push Discharge was performed by cluing a card in Cathy's hand, Bob should blind-play his Third Finesse Position to prove that the Trash Pushed card is trash. Then, Cathy should blind-play the card next to the card that she learned is trash.

Example 3 - An Unnecessary Bad Chop Move Ejection (with a Trash Push Discharge)

  • The conversion to the known-trash interpretation also holds if the team has to prevent the clue receiver from Trash Pushing a card that's not playable.
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • 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 as follows, from left-to-right: red 1, green 1, blue 2, blue 1
    • 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 blind-plays 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 blind-plays her Third Finesse Position as a Trash Push Discharge.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobRed 3Bob blind-plays the red 3.CathyDonald2

Other Examples

  • More examples of unnecessary moves can be found here.