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Subject: Communication through hand organization? rss

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Jason Boomer
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I wasn't sure if this belongs in "Rules" or "Strategy," because it describes a scenario that feels cheaty.

I've only played a few times so far, but I understand that many people try to organize their cards in different ways to keep track of them, set up conventions, etc. This seems to me to create situations where the way a hand is organized can provide information.

Let's say, for example, that whenever I know that a card is safe to play, I turn it sideways. In my example, I am holding a card that I have been told is white. Because of the timing of this hint, I also have strong reason to believe that it is either a 4 or a 5. Currently the white 3 has been played.

One of the other players discards, and picks up-- the white 5! If I immediately turn my card sideways, it's not a huge leap for them to figure out what they picked up, although I was not trying to communicate with them. Even if we make the rule that re-organizing your hand can only be done during your turn, it is possible that the intervening actions are obviously irrelevant to this situation and the other player could still deduce.

On the flip side, suppose the white 5 is not drawn, so I still have a white 4/5 in my hand. Suppose that we have set up a convention that if I've turned a card sideways it means I'm about to play it and you'd better tell me if I'm wrong. If I take a chance and turn this card sideways, and I get told that it is a five, no problem. But if I *don't* get told that it is a five, then I know that it's a four, and that's free information. This one is deliberate, so it seems more dishonest than the previous situation.

Are these situations ok? If not, how do you avoid (the first one, anyway)? Trying to play without rearranging would just make it difficult for everyone-- for me to not be able to mark my genuinely received information, and for other players to not know readily what my next discard is, for example.

Thoughts?
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Dylan Thurston
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I would say that moving your cards in any way in response to a card that someone else draws is cheating.

Personally, I keep my cards in a fixed order (oldest to newest) and never move them around, and only adjust their position (usually raising or lowering) in response to clues I've been given, and in a predictable way (just to remember which card is which).

On the other hand, it's really hard to avoid information leakage. I try to avoid it, but we often accidentally leak something.
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Jonathan Meltzer
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We have had issues like this too. The way we usually organize the hand is to turn a card upside down (using the card backs) when we have been given a hint about it, but we do not change the orientation of the card based on information that we see.

One place where we have issues with communication is the convention where you ask a player "What do you know about your hand?". Do you answer based solely on the hints you have been given, or based on what you can deduce based on what you see (in the discards, the played cards, and other hands)? If the latter, it can lead to a cascade of logic where someone figures out something about their hand based on what you say.

The only thing I have a problem with (in terms of gameplay) in your post is
Quote:
Suppose that we have set up a convention that if I've turned a card sideways it means I'm about to play it and you'd better tell me if I'm wrong.

You are of course able to set up whatever house rules you want, but to me this goes beyond the spirit of the game.

Good discussion, though.
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Dylan Thurston
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Mizerak wrote:
One place where we have issues with communication is the convention where you ask a player "What do you know about your hand?". Do you answer based solely on the hints you have been given, or based on what you can deduce based on what you see (in the discards, the played cards, and other hands)? If the latter, it can lead to a cascade of logic where someone figures out something about their hand based on what you say.
Even asking the question has the potential to leak information. But we do play with asking this question, and I answer based only on what I've been told and what's common knowledge, although the common knowledge may only be indirect; eg, if I and two other players know they have all the remaining fives, and I only have one five, it's common knowledge that I know what color it is, even if the other players are unsure about which of their fives is which color.

Such cases are rare, though, and I usually answer based only on clues, even if people generally believe I know more.
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Ryan McGuire
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I agree... Rearranging your card based on the cards in other people's hands is cheating.

Also, saying that you know something that isn't 100% common knowledge, is cheating. Even saying that you know that this card is safe to play has the possibility of relaying more information than you should.
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ben small
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I recommend only moving cards on own turn, and not allowed to ask what people know.
 
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R. O. Schaefer
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groza528 wrote:

Are these situations ok?


No, it's cheating.

groza528 wrote:

If not, how do you avoid (the first one, anyway)? Trying to play without rearranging would just make it difficult for everyone-- for me to not be able to mark my genuinely received information, and for other players to not know readily what my next discard is, for example.


Just try to remember what everybody knows and what is his oldest card. The next discard should be clear that way. It's not that difficult to play without rearranging for my group. If you are not sure about which card received a clue earlier just ask.
 
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Malachi Brown
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Quote:
If you are not sure about which card received a clue earlier just ask.

Our group plays where you can ask someone what they remember about what they have been told, but you cannot remind someone about a clue from a prior turn.
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Ryan McGuire
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Malachi wrote:
Our group plays where you can ask someone what they remember about what they have been told, but you cannot remind someone about a clue from a prior turn.


Exactly.
 
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kh choi
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I would play:
Player 1: you have 3 reds in your hand.

Player 2 then shuffles his hand to 3 reds next to each other.
Note: Player 2 has 3,4,1 red and 1,1 blue

Player 3 then says to Player 2: out of the 3 reds, there’s a number 1.
Note: Player 2 then shuffles his 1 red to 1,1,1 hand and 3,4 red on another pile.


Player 2: forgot what he has, he asks everyone what he has, and other players say he has 3 reds from player 1’s clue and 1 red.

Now is, what is wrong here?
 
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