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Subject: Finesse, Bluff, Reverse Finesse - explained rss

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ben small
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Finesse

Player A tells Player C about a single card that has a gap of 1 card before it is playable. Player B notices that C will lose a life if plays that card, so assumes they need to fill the gap, and do so with newest card.

example newest card on left, only card on table is Red 1.

A
G4,R4,W3,W4,Y4

B
R2,B4,B3,Y2,Y3

C
W5,Y5,R3,B2,G3

A tells C red for red 3. B can see that C will assume it is R2 and can go ahead and play it and lose a life, so plays newest card to fill the gap.

This is the simplest form of finesse, but there are many ways of doing it that should still work. ie you might clue 2 cards being red, but there is a gap that needs to be filled with newest. Basically any clue that you would expect the person to play a card and would lose a life, should be assumed to be a finesse.

The logic behind using newest card, is that you cant afford to spend 2 clues to tell someone about a card that isn't even playable, so must be an advance move to get a player to fill the gap without a clue. If they had that playable card sooner it most likely would have been clued, so makes sense that it would be the newest card. With more players you need to look around to see if someone else has the card to fill the gap, and if they don't then it must be you, unless you see someone else play newest card then it was a bluff (see below).

If B had a known red or known 2, obviously they would assume that is the card that fills the gap, and the move is not a finesse at all, just a normal logical clue.

Bluff

This is the same as a finesse except the gap card turns out to be an unexpected color, but is still playable. Player C needs to pay attention to the fact that player B played newest unclued card, so must have thought it was a finesse, and holds on to own clued card, until the real gap card does get played.

example newest card on left, only card on table is Red 1.

A
G4,R4,W3,W4,Y4

B
W1,B4,B3,Y2,Y3

C
W5,Y5,R3,B2,G3

A tells C red for red 3. B can see that C will assume it is R2 and can go ahead and play it and lose a life, so plays newest card to fill the gap. It doesn't fill the gap, but is still a legal play, so C now knows he must have R3 to make B think he was doing a finesse, so knows it is a bluff, and holds R3 until R2 turns up.

You should only ever do a bluff for the very next person to fill the gap, as the finesse is a more efficient move, and should always be given priority with assumptions. ie if you do a bluff for someone 2 places down to fill the gap, you can expect the next player will assume it is a finesse for them, and they will play newest.

Reverse Finesse

Similar to Finesse but is done out of order. Player A tells Player B about a single card that has a gap of 1 card before it is playable. Player B notices that C has the playable card of the same color in new slot, so waits to see if they play that card on their turn.

example newest card on left, only card on table is Red 1.

A
G4,R4,W3,W4,Y4

B
W1,B4,R3,Y2,Y3

C
R2,Y5,W3,B2,G3

A tells B red for red 3. B can see that C has R2 in new slot, so does something unrelated on their turn, to see what C does. C can see the only good reason for the red clue is if C has R2 in new slot for reverse finesse and plays R2. You should be a little hesitant to do a reverse finesse, especially if you can see that someone else can do a regular finesse, or maybe someone else is better off spending the clue, as you see they have fairly useful cards about to be discarded.

A replay of a game with a few reverse finesse found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H21tX_GQ8tI
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Jay
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That is a good explanation. I would say that bluffs are used more often in multicolor (because you can clue an MC card any color) but you get less information. In your bluff example, if it was multicolor, C could hold the R3 or M2 as both would bluff out the W1.
 
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James Rousselle
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Ben,

This is an interesting way to play the reverse finesse.

In our group, the reverse finesse is a save clue. For example, if instead of finessing, A gives a 1 card clue of the newest card to the player at his immediate left (LH1), it tells the next player (LH2) that his chop card must be saved.

Most of our conventions are based upon a 3 player game. We are still working on a 4 player game set of conventions.

One of the problems we found was that there is often ambiguity when a clue is given to the chop card. Is it a save or play clue? If there is possible ambiguity, here is our current idea. If RH1 gives the clue, it's a play clue. If RH2 gives the clue, it's a save clue.

Keep posting stuff, Ben. I know good ideas when I steal them!!
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ben small
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Interesting James. Although it is quite fun to come up with conventions within a regular group, it all goes out the window a bit when you want to play with strangers online etc.

Hence I like it most when there are no set conventions, just everyone works on the most logical reasons for each clue, and hopefully you can come to the same conclusions.

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Streetsmart Dan
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Thanks Ben! This is very helpful for me to get better at online play.
 
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Joel Oakley
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I have a question about the finesse/reverse. Suppose someone has previously clued me that I have two 3s and I have played one of them. Then suppose that on a future turn, someone clues Yellow to another player's Y4 with only the Y2 in play. Should I assume that my remaining 3 is yellow or should I assume that my newest card is the Y3?
 
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Malachi Brown
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“Questions are a burden to others; answers a prison for oneself.”
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I would assume the 3 I had been clued on previously is Yellow.
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I always go with a card I have information for (unless the info disqualifies it) before I go with newest.

So if you have a 3 and someone clues the person after you to play a R4, I would say they want you to play your 3 (it may not be red 3, but it should be a playable 3). If it wasn't the red 3 hopefully the next person sees that you played your three assuming it was red 3 so their card must be red four.
 
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Grant Fikes
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Useful resource! Thanks!

Is it just me, or are Hanabi conventions easier to learn than Bridge conventions?
 
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Dylan Thurston
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mathgrant wrote:
Is it just me, or are Hanabi conventions easier to learn than Bridge conventions?
I think it's just because Hanabi is much younger than Bridge...
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