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Hanabi» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Is this novel? Discard-inhibiting pseudo-finesse rss

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Clive Jones

Cambridgeshire, UK
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This is an idea I came up with a couple of weeks ago. Sadly, the other players in my group aren't keen, but I thought I'd bounce it off people here for feedback.

Suppose Alice, Bob and Charlie are playing. The b1 has been played. Charlie has b4 in hand. Bob's discard candidate is unsafe to discard.

Alice clues Charlie "blue", identifying the b4. Bob sees the b4 is not playable, so suspects a finesse. But both b2 and b3 would be needed to make the b4 playable, so it can't be.

What if we define such circumstances to be discard-inhibiting? Bob recognises the situation and treats his previous discard candidate as unsafe, instead discarding his second preference. Now Charlie sees that Alice's clue perturbed Bob's discard candidate, so recognises the discard-inhibiting nature of Alice's clue and knows not to play the b4 (in the same way as if it had been a bluff).

This seems a potentially useful way to give other information at the same time as inhibiting a discard and/or to inhibit a discard it would otherwise be tricky to warn about.

As an added bonus, it's fairly robust. Even if Bob fails to recognise the convention for what it is, his only option is to do something to cancel Alice's play clue to Charlie. So it definitely stops Bob discarding, one way or another. And if Bob recognises it, his peculiar discard is a very strong signal to Charlie that something strange is afoot.


Thoughts?
 
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Pierre Beri
France
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clivej wrote:
What if we define such circumstances to be discard-inhibiting?
Can you really define things in Hanabi? If this trick is interpreted by all players in the same way after a number of tries without communicating about it, then it may become something logical and that fits in the spirit of the game.

However, in Bob's shoes, off the top of my head, I would think this is a fake bluff and play my newest card.

I agree there are situations (like x x 5 m3 b3, where b3 is critical) where you can't easily clue Bob's chop card to save it, but I'm not sure this is worth it. Maybe just give an empty clue to Bob, so he understands something is wrong about his hand.
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Jay Ackerman
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If I'm Bob, I'm thinking I have both the B2 and B3 and play what I think is the 2.
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Andreas Krüger
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SliceOfBread wrote:
If I'm Bob, I'm thinking I have both the B2 and B3 and play what I think is the 2.


But then Charlie plays b4, you have to prevent this. I would frown and give Bob a different clue. But I am a noob, so...
 
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Clive Jones

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SliceOfBread wrote:
If I'm Bob, I'm thinking I have both the B2 and B3 and play what I think is the 2.

I don't. Not the way we play, at any rate!

Remember it's possible for Bob to have b2,b3 and Charlie to have b3. With my group we could well choose the finesse for tempo. So you can't finesse against the b4.
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Clive Jones

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beri2 wrote:
clivej wrote:
What if we define such circumstances to be discard-inhibiting?
Can you really define things in Hanabi? If this trick is interpreted by all players in the same way after a number of tries without communicating about it, then it may become something logical and that fits in the spirit of the game.

I'm comfortable with the idea of players discussing in advance what particular kinds of clue would mean.

And I know I'm not alone in that.

Of course, one of the beauties of Hanabi is that, even when we've "defined" what something would mean, along comes a situation where common sense and intuition requires that it mean something else. (-8
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Jay Ackerman
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
SliceOfBread wrote:
If I'm Bob, I'm thinking I have both the B2 and B3 and play what I think is the 2.


But then Charlie plays b4, you have to prevent this. I would frown and give Bob a different clue. But I am a noob, so...


Let's assume my hand is unclued. My assumption is I have B2 B3 x x. If I don't, I have no idea what Charlie will think.

FWIW I've seen multiple cards finessed from a single hand many times. This game is at its best when everyone assumes that everyone else knows what they are doing and, since they do, they are relying on you to know what you are doing. Every clue, every play, every discard and (assuming the above) every bomb has a reason. Figure out what it is and you'll be a better player.
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Alex Churchill
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Jay: Ah, so you're saying you'd interpret this not as a discard-prohibiting finesse but as a multi-card B-B-C finesse. And so you assert that if Bob plays b2 in this situation, Charlie would see the fact that Bob's next card is now also playable, and so assume the clue is telling Charlie to wait until all of Bob's playable blues are done?
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Clive Jones

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alextfish wrote:
Jay: Ah, so you're saying you'd interpret this not as a discard-prohibiting finesse but as a multi-card B-B-C finesse.

That seems to be the case. I'd not seen that suggested before.

My initial feeling is that's uncommon, error-prone and interferes with the ability to finesse various other holdings people might have. But I'm going to think harder about it and perhaps experiment.
 
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Travis Cooper
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SliceOfBread wrote:
Thamos von Nostria wrote:
SliceOfBread wrote:
If I'm Bob, I'm thinking I have both the B2 and B3 and play what I think is the 2.


But then Charlie plays b4, you have to prevent this. I would frown and give Bob a different clue. But I am a noob, so...


Let's assume my hand is unclued. My assumption is I have B2 B3 x x. If I don't, I have no idea what Charlie will think.

FWIW I've seen multiple cards finessed from a single hand many times. This game is at its best when everyone assumes that everyone else knows what they are doing and, since they do, they are relying on you to know what you are doing. Every clue, every play, every discard and (assuming the above) every bomb has a reason. Figure out what it is and you'll be a better player.


This is exactly how I'd interpret the clue as well (assuming I don't see the b2 or b3 in other hands and in the right positions). I love doing a double card finesse. in fact I've even used this to mix a finesse and a bluff together. You'd need to clue number in this case, instead of color, but such a clue could get him to play the blue 2, then some other unrelated card.

Another fun thing is to finesse a card out of the same hand you clue. For example, you've previously learned about some yellow cards. Currently the yellow 2 is playable, I clue you on the 3 in your hand (that you already know is yellow). You look around, don't see the yellow 2, so you play your newest yellow card. It took me several times cluing this before people in my group started picking up on it, but it works great. Way better than cluing the 2, then cluing the 3.
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Patrick Freer
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Connecticut
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SliceOfBread wrote:
Thamos von Nostria wrote:
SliceOfBread wrote:
If I'm Bob, I'm thinking I have both the B2 and B3 and play what I think is the 2.


But then Charlie plays b4, you have to prevent this. I would frown and give Bob a different clue. But I am a noob, so...


Let's assume my hand is unclued. My assumption is I have B2 B3 x x. If I don't, I have no idea what Charlie will think.

FWIW I've seen multiple cards finessed from a single hand many times. This game is at its best when everyone assumes that everyone else knows what they are doing and, since they do, they are relying on you to know what you are doing. Every clue, every play, every discard and (assuming the above) every bomb has a reason. Figure out what it is and you'll be a better player.


For me multiple finesse is much harder to do when playing with Multicolour cards, since there are so many possible plays. But I like this interpretation nonetheless. But only if the other B3 is discarded so player C knows not to play after the B2.
 
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Patrick Freer
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Connecticut
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clivej wrote:
beri2 wrote:
clivej wrote:
What if we define such circumstances to be discard-inhibiting?
Can you really define things in Hanabi? If this trick is interpreted by all players in the same way after a number of tries without communicating about it, then it may become something logical and that fits in the spirit of the game.

I'm comfortable with the idea of players discussing in advance what particular kinds of clue would mean.

And I know I'm not alone in that.

Of course, one of the beauties of Hanabi is that, even when we've "defined" what something would mean, along comes a situation where common sense and intuition requires that it mean something else. (-8


I think that all conventions in Hanabi should arise from playing, such that if a perfect logician were to play they would react sensibly from clues without having to be told about conventions. I don't have a problem with discussing hypothetical situations before games, only with defining arbitrary conventions which would not arise as responses from playing enough Hanabi.

This very much sounds like something which could be interpreted in different ways depending on the game state. I suspect a better plan would be to use an extra clue to accomplish this rather than risk disasterous confusion when it inevitably goes wrong.
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Travis Cooper
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Weir_Doe wrote:
clivej wrote:
beri2 wrote:
clivej wrote:
What if we define such circumstances to be discard-inhibiting?
Can you really define things in Hanabi? If this trick is interpreted by all players in the same way after a number of tries without communicating about it, then it may become something logical and that fits in the spirit of the game.

I'm comfortable with the idea of players discussing in advance what particular kinds of clue would mean.

And I know I'm not alone in that.

Of course, one of the beauties of Hanabi is that, even when we've "defined" what something would mean, along comes a situation where common sense and intuition requires that it mean something else. (-8


I think that all conventions in Hanabi should arise from playing, such that if a perfect logician were to play they would react sensibly from clues without having to be told about conventions. I don't have a problem with discussing hypothetical situations before games, only with defining arbitrary conventions which would not arise as responses from playing enough Hanabi.

This very much sounds like something which could be interpreted in different ways depending on the game state. I suspect a better plan would be to use an extra clue to accomplish this rather than risk disasterous confusion when it inevitably goes wrong.


We often have clues like this go horribly wrong, but we keep trying them, eventually they turn into a very helpful tool. The experimentation with this game is one of the things that keeps me playing it. It is worth having some bad games if it means trying out new things to see if people will pick up on what I'm thinking, or to find out it was just a terrible idea. So, don't be afraid for things to go terribly wrong. I do agree with you though, I don't like discussing things before hand. Just try it out and see what happens. Hopefully you have a group that is willing to let you do this.
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Pierre Beri
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Weir_Doe wrote:
I think that all conventions in Hanabi should arise from playing, such that if a perfect logician were to play they would react sensibly from clues without having to be told about conventions. I don't have a problem with discussing hypothetical situations before games, only with defining arbitrary conventions which would not arise as responses from playing enough Hanabi.
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Malachi Brown
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One of my proudest Hanabi moments was giving Bob a 4 clue to the middle of his hand when a 2 was the highest card played in order to get a B-C-B double finesse.

In the presented scenario, as Bob, I would generally assume double finesse with the expectation that Charlie won't play the clued card nor his finesse card because he can see that I have the B3, even if the other B3 has not been seen yet.
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Justin Fox

Michigan
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If I were Bob, I would assume the b4 is important (perhaps I'm about to discard it?) and finesse play, expecting to play a color other than blue.
 
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James Rousselle
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Metairie
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Here is how our group would handle this situation.

If the clued card is AT RISK (= if it is discarded, the maximum possible score is reduced), then this is treated as a SAVE clue.

If the clued card is not AT RISK, this is a finesse.


The meanings of some of our clues depends upon the clue giver. For example, in the above example, if the player to the left of the guy about to discard the AT RISK gives the clue, it's a SAVE. If the same clue is given by the person to the right, it's a play.

Of course, if the number clue is given by the player on the right, it's clearly a SAVE clue.
 
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Dylan Thurston
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Hmm, our group has a contradictory convention. That clue in the OP would be discard-inhibiting for Charlie, although it's a little weak. A stronger convention would be if the clue were for a 5 or a discardable card; a clue like that would convey that Charlie's chop card is unsafe, in addition to its surface meaning.
 
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