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Null

These conventions apply to any variant with a null (touched by no clues) suit. They are turned off once all null cards are played or globally known.


The Null Kick

  • When null cards are newly drawn, they can usually be gotten by Bluffs, Ejections, and Discharges. However, it can sometimes be difficult to get cards near the back of the player's hand.
  • Therefore, in variants with a null suit, we replace less commonly used Ejections with a move called a Kick. A Kick signals that the next player should blind-play their chop. (Chop Moved cards should never be blind-played from a Kick.)
  • Specifically, Replay Ejections, Poke Ejections, Trash Ejections and Double Ejections are turned off, and instead signal a Null Kick.
  • Similar to Bluffs, Ejections, and Discharges, Kicks must be performed on the very next player.
  • Note that a Double Ignition takes precedence over a Null Kick; if Bob sees that someone else has a playable card on finesse position, that interpretation should be preferred.

The Null Kick Finesse

  • Since it is usually very easy to get non-null cards on a player's chop, we agree that Null Kicks should be used only to get null cards.
  • Thus, if Bob blind-plays a non-null card into a Null Kick, he should continue blind-playing cards until he finds a null card.
  • In this situation, Bob should blind-play his Second Chop, Third Chop, and so on, until he reaches his First Finesse Position. If he has still has not blind-played a null card, he should then play his Chop Moved cards from left to right.

Null 5 Tech

  • Bluffs, Ejections, Discharges, and Kicks are useful to "get" null cards. However, we need a separate and more reliable way to deal with null cards.
  • The main tool for this is to use number 5 clues.
  • The 5 Save and the 5's Chop Move still work the same as they would in a no variant game. However, the following conventions are turned off:
    • Play Clues with a number 5 (including on a previously clued 5)
    • The 5 Stall
    • The 5 Pull
    • The 5 Number Discharge
  • These moves are replaced with other things; see below.

The Null 5 Chop Move

  • When Alice gives a number 5 clue that is not a 5 Save or a 5's Chop Move, as long as Bob is not loaded, it signals a Null 5 Chop Move on Bob.
    • Note that the number 5 clue can be given to any player; it does not necessarily have to be on Bob.
  • The Null 5 Chop Move is only allowed to save null cards that are critical (or a null 2 that isn't visible elsewhere, same as an ordinary 2 Save).
  • This convention applies only to Bob; see The Double Save for saving other players.

The Loaded 5 Null Play Clue

  • When Alice gives a number 5 clue that is not a 5 Save or a 5's Chop Move, if Bob is loaded, it signals a Loaded 5 Null Play Clue to Bob.
    • Note that the number 5 clue can be given to any player; it does not necessarily have to be on Bob.
  • Bob should immediately play his rightmost card with no positive clues. Notably, if Bob is Chop Moved, he should play his rightmost Chop Moved card.
  • This convention applies only to Bob.

Interaction With Pink

  • Pink Promise does not apply to number 5 clues, except for 5 Saves, 5's Chop Moves, and Turnabout Ejections.
  • In particular, it is not possible to perform a Bubblegum Finesse or a Bubblegum Bluff with a number 5 clue.

Saving Multiple Cards

Double Save Situations

  • Given that the Null 5 Chop Move only applies to Bob and only chop moves one card, it can be difficult to save two critical cards in a row on Bob.
  • A Double Save Situation occurs when:
    1. Cathy is not loaded.
    2. Cathy has a critical null card on her chop.
    3. Cathy has any critical card on her second chop (the next unclued card after the chop).
    4. Cathy's two critical cards cannot be saved with one clue (e.g. a 5 Chop Move, a Trash Chop Move, or an Unnecessary Reverse Trash Finesse).

The Double Save

  • In the Double Save, Alice gives a number 5 clue, similar to a Null 5 Chop Move. But Bob does not Chop Move, and instead immediately performs a second Save Clue or Chop Move on Cathy.
  • Double Saves can only be performed in Double Save Situation.
  • When a Double Save interpretation is possible, Cathy should always assume that a Double Save has occurred. In other words, Cathy should not assume that Alice performed a Null 5 Chop Move on Bob and that Bob gave her a play clue.
  • Since the necessity of saving 2s is not symmetric, Double Saves may not be initiated to save non-critical 2s.
  • Note that Double Saves may be performed regardless of whether Bob is loaded.
  • For example, in a 3-player game of the "Null (5 Suits)" variant:
    • The red 3 is played on the stacks. The green 4 is discarded.
    • Bob has already been given a Play Clue on a yellow 1, but has not played it yet. He also has a playable null 1 in as his rightmost card.
    • Cathy has two critical cards on chop: the null 5 and the green 4.
    • To save these cards, Alice initiates a Double Save by cluing number 5 clue to Cathy, which forces Bob clue a number 4 to Cathy.
    • Normally, since Bob is loaded, he would consider this to be a Loaded 5 Null Play Clue, and would play his chop. However, Bob knows that Double Save situations take precedence over Loaded 5 Null Play Clues.
    • Normally, since Cathy sees that Bob has a playable null 1 on chop, she would consider this to be a Loaded 5 Null Play Clue. However, Cathy knows that Double Save situations take precedence over Loaded 5 Null Play Clues.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobCathy

The Double Save Corollary

  • Since Cathy should always assume a Double Save occurred whenever it is possible, Alice must take care not to create ambiguous situations by performing a Null 5 Chop Move at the wrong time.
  • For example, in a 3-player game of the "Null (5 Suits)" variant:
    • The red 2, yellow 2, green 2, and blue 2 are all played on the stacks.
    • Bob and Cathy both have critical null cards on chop.
    • Alice should refrain from trying to save Bob's critical card now.
    • This is because using a Null 5 Chop Move on Bob would prevent Bob from doing a Null 5 Chop Move on Cathy, since it would look like a Double Save.
    • Thus, Alice can clue number 1 to Bob as a Trash Chop Move. Alternatively, Alice can discard and count on Bob to save Cathy's critical null card.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobCathy
  • For example, in a 3-player game of the "Null (5 Suits)" variant:
    • The red 1, yellow 1, and blue 1 are played on the stacks. The yellow 4 is discarded.
    • Bob has a critical null card on chop, and Cathy has a playable yellow 2.
    • If Alice clues number 5 to Bob as a Null 5 Chop Move, Bob will be unable to get the yellow 2 to play.
    • This is because if Bob were to clue yellow to Cathy, it would look like a Double Save on the null 3 and the yellow 4.
    • Thus, Alice should probably clue the green 1 or discard.
AliceClue GiverClue GiverBobCathy

Relaxed 1 and 2 Saves

  • It is optional for players to give Save Clues to null 2's.
  • Thus, if a null 2 is discarded, players should not make any Elimination Notes for it.
  • Similarly, it is optional to "get" the first copy of the null 1.
  • If the first copy of the null 1 was difficult to get played and is discarded, players should not make any Elimination Notes for it.