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Subject: Dodging a Rocket as Landlord rss

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Keng Leong Yeo
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小富靠勤,中富靠智,大富靠德。
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My Significant Other and I have been visiting a friend, Lip Ghee, regularly since May. He has been helping us playtest our board game, Three Kingdoms Redux.
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We sometimes find ourselves with a little time on our hands after the playtest, and will break out some lighter games. More often than not, Dou Dizhu is chosen. We had one such session today, and an interesting game came up during it. The following is a reconstruction of that game.

Initial Hands
Me: 335668101010QQQKAA22
Significant Other: 34455677JJQKKA2 BJ CJ
Lip Ghee: 44567788899910JJA2
(CJ=Coloured Joker, BJ=Black and White Joker)

I had a decent looking hand. The 10 and Q triples could be tagged with the single 5 and 8, though there was concern that there might be three Ks sitting with another player. I had a pair of Aces and 2s, which could be used to back up my pair of 3s and 6s. My hand was missing 4, 7, 9, J and the jokers, so a bomb or rocket seemed quite likely.

My Significant Other had a somewhat awkward but moderately strong hand. Playing 34567 as a 5 card sequence would leave her with many small single cards. She did have a 2, and both jokers to back her up. Her pairs of Js and Ks were also relatively strong pairs. Her hand was missing 8, 9 and 10.

Lip Ghee had a rather weak hand. He has an aeroplane format in his hand, i.e. the 888999. He can tag two small singles, probably the 5 and 6, or two small pairs, probably the 4s and 7s, on them. Outside of that, he did not have sufficient high powered cards to back up his smaller cards. His hand was missing 3, Q, K and the jokers.

I had the first call on landlord. I wanted to try for the landlord, but did not want to risk too much until I had more information regarding their hands. With that in mind, I started the bid at 1 point. My Significant Other was next, and after giving her hand some consideration, she upped the bid to 2 points. Lip Ghee passed on the bid almost immediately.

Observing their bids, I was guessing that the two jokers were probably split up between the two of them. Otherwise, a 3 point bid would be likely. It was also likely that both of their hands were not very strong. With that in mind, I took the chance and upped the bid to the maximum 3 points.

The three cards uncovered for the landlord were 3, 9 and K.

Drawing a 3 allowed me to form another triple, which I could tag on another small single. That would be the 9 that I also just uncovered. The real bonus was drawing the K. It allowed me to form another high pair, and I also now knew that my trio of Qs were the highest in the game, outside of bombs and the rocket. My hand was still missing 4, 7, 9, J and the jokers though, and I had to be very careful about being bombed. It was after all a 3 point game!

Game Starting Hands
Landlord's hand (Me): 33356689101010QQQKKAA22
Peasant 1's hand (Significant Other): 34455677JJQKKA2 BJ CJ
Peasant 2's hand (Lip Ghee): 44567788899910JJA2

Turn order was landlord, peasant 1, followed by peasant 2.

I wanted to gather information/draw out other triples in the game, and therefore started with 3339. Peasant 1 passed without much consideration. Peasant 2, upon seeing this, understood that peasant 1 did not have triples in her hand, and it was up to him to try and fight with me. He broke his aeroplane format and played 9995. I followed it up with 1010105. Both peasants then passed. Mental note: 9 bomb no longer possible.

I confidently played QQQ8 next, and both peasants passed too, as expected. At this point in time, I only had pairs left in my hands, but the 4, 7, J and neither joker were out yet.

I played my smallest pair, the 6s, next. Seeing I had so few cards left, Peasant 1 followed with her highest pair, the K pair. Peasant 2 passed. I laid out my pair of Aces. Both peasants then passed again, shaking their heads as they do so. shake

I had only a pair of Ks and a pair of 2s left. I knew both peasants were under much pressure now. Even if a bomb were to appear, they had to have long sequences without singles or pairs in their hands to beat me. That both peasants passed instead of laying out bombs suggested that there were either no bombs, or that their hands were reasonably weak, and they would not be able to win after gaining control by bombing.

I laid out my K pair next, still half expecting a bomb or rocket. If it was a bomb, I would sit tight and wait for pairs. If it was a rocket, I would win when singles or pairs were played. Unexpectedly, both peasants passed again. Peasant 2, in particular, looked quite helpless about it. robot

Pair of 2s to finish the game.

They opened up their remaining cards, and I was a little surprised to see the rocket in my Significant Other's hand. Closer inspection showed that she had too many singles and doubles to risk playing the rocket. If she had done so, I would most probably still have taken victory and doubled the points at stake. In that sense, it was good play by her.

This was the first time I won as landlord with an unplayed rocket in a peasant's hand.
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John Biggs
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You mention that you got the 9 in the landlord pot so I'm not sure why you were still concerned with a 9 bomb. Did I miss something?
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Keng Leong Yeo
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小富靠勤,中富靠智,大富靠德。
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JBiggsjr7 wrote:
You mention that you got the 9 in the landlord pot so I'm not sure why you were still concerned with a 9 bomb. Did I miss something?

No, you didn't miss anything. I probably missed that as I was recalling the game and writing out the session report.
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