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Subject: Is it ever appropriate to pass an opponent a Dragon or Phoenix? rss

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Erik Boyko
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My gaming group and I gave Tichu a try for the first time recently. In our first few games, most people who were dealt the Dragon or Phoenix passed them off to their opponents [as long as nobody called Tichu or Grand Tichu before the passing of cards]. I always preferred to keep those cards despite the potential negative points. Is it ever appropriate to pass your opponent a Dragon or Phoenix?
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Erwin Lau
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Don't be too concern about that +/-25pts. They are irrelevant if you and your partner go out first. Even if not, they provide the power far more than the perceived negative pts./pts to opponents.

If you win a trick by dragon, give the trick to the opponent who you think he will lose. If you or your partner goes out first, your team get back that dragon for +25 pts.
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Mark M
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I consider myself to just be a casual player (I'm sure the experts will chime in with "special situations"), but I don't think I have ever passed the Phoenix or Dragon to an opponent. The power of the cards in going out first, or completing straights or other tougher combinations more than offsets the negative point implications. Also, you may have missed in the rules that someone can call Tichu anytime up until they play their first card - in other words you don't always know before the pass if someone is going to call Tichu. Many times the other three players will be deep into their hands, when the final player calls Tichu and takes the balance of the tricks. Bottom line, if you don't feel that the Dragon/Phoenix will help you make Tichu or go out first - pass them to your partner, not your opponents!

Edited for grammar.
 
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David desJardins
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xxeyes wrote:
Is it ever appropriate to pass your opponent a Dragon or Phoenix?


That's easy. No.
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Mark McEvoy
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The real debates are if and when it's good to pass MJ or Dog to an opponent (because it's NEVER good to pass Dr or Ph to the opponents. Never.)

I believe it's exceedingly rarely a good idea to pass MJ to opponents, but if the rest of your hand is in indivisible powerhouse sets and you have the means to get the lead, you MIGHT be willing to give MJ to your opponent - not the one who plays right before you, though. It would be incredibly rare, though. I'd pass the opponents a singleton king before passing an MJ. If my hand was a powerhouse and the MJ really didn't fit, I'd most-likely pass the MJ to my partner.

The passing of the Dog has been an ongoing debate in my play group. Some players insist that they'd just about always give it to opponents, and some try to keep it in their partnership, usually in the weaker hand (in case it gets a lead it can provide the stronger hand with one more lead).

 
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Kevin Cachia
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I would never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever pass either of them to an opponent.

I tried to think of a situation when I would do such a pass, and this is the closest I came.

If my pre-pass hand consisted of the Phoenix, the Dragon, a 5-card straight bomb, a 6-card straight bomb, and one other card, I might be consider passing the Dragon to an opponent.

Even with that hand, I think I would pass my opponent the Phoenix, and my opponents the 1 loose card, and the lowest card of the 6-card bomb. That would leave me two 5-card bombs, the Dragon and the 3 cards I got passed. Hopefully the Phoenix would help my partner, and we could Tichu 1-2.

Okay, finally thought of a hand I would probably pass the Dragon on. Same as the above, but instead of the 2 straight bombs, 2 4-card bombs and 3 Aces. I think I would keep the bombs and the Aces, and pass the other cards, giving my opponent the Dragon, since I can bomb it anyway, and the Phoenix offers more versatility to my partner.

Now...if someone would just deal me that hand...
 
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Chris Darden
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I could see towards the end of a set where you want to guarantee your opponents -25 points by passing them the Phoenix, or yourself 25 points by giving them the Dragon. It's a last ditch effort, and shows desperation.. but sometimes, you gotta gamble.
 
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Lewis Wagner
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The order in which you go out, plus knowing when to call Tichu, is strategy. Fiddling with points is tactics. Focus on strategy first.

When I teach people, I briefly tell them what scores points. Then I tell them to forget the scoring, and their play will improve. Yours will, too. This is even true of good card players who have a lot of experience with games like Bridge and Spades.

After you have played 100 games of Tichu, then and only then start worrying about tactics.
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Greg Jones
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My first thought was "r u crazy?"

Then I tried to think of situations where you might do it.

Perhaps you want to trick your opponent into calling Tichu. Suppose I'm dealt AADrPh, two bombs, and two low cards. Obvious move is probably pass the two low cards to my opponents and Phoenix to my partner, call Tichu, and hopefully the Phoenix helps my partner go second.

Instead I could pass the Phoenix to an opponent. If he also ends up with AA, maybe he'll call Tichu. But I will call Tichu over him. Net 200 points plus whatever points collected - quite probably a lot. The opponent will get the -25 and I'll bomb my own Dragon to guarantee +25. If I give the Dragon to my partner, there's a chance for net 300 points with Tichu 1-2, but the odds are less.

This could potentially be a good desperation move if your opponents are way ahead. If you're at 225 to 975, making big scores for your own team will only get you so far. You really need to get some negative points for the other team, or they'll just crawl slowly to victory.

Actually, much more realistically, if I had an extremely good Tichu hand I might pass the Dragon just for the points. Say I held AAAAPhDr and most of the rest of my hand formed sets, but no bombs. Passing the Dragon away does not guarantee you get the 25 points. If your opponent passes the trick to the person who finishes last, and their team finishes first, they still get the points. However if you finish first, as you are pretty sure to with this hand, you always get the 25 points if the Dragon is in your opponents' hands. It's kind of a bonus for finishing first against the odds of not having the Dragon. It goes to you or your partner's tricks, and even if your partner finishes last his tricks go to you.

However, I'd probably pass the Dragon or some good card to my partner in this case. If you go 1-2, it's worth more points than the 25 for the Dragon. If I was at, say, 875 points, then maybe I'd pass the Dragon to the opponents with this thinking. Maybe even at 900 (because I'd take the Phoenix -25 points, and guaranteeing the Dragon points guarantees a win with a Tichu). Or if I was at say 995 points I could give away the Dragon and not call Tichu, even though I knew I'd finish first.

Or suppose my opponent has called Grand Tichu. I'm holding 12345, a full house, and the Phoenix. Maybe I pass the Phoenix to my opponent, then lead 12345 wishing for an Ace. Quite possibly they play 10JQKA, likely with the Phoenix substituting for one. Good enough, I forced an Ace and drew the Phoenix I passed. Likely I broke up some high pairs they had. But if I'm lucky, they don't beat the straight. Then I lead the full house. Almost certainly they have at least two Aces, and are forced to play AAPhxx or AAAxx or at least AAxxx. Maybe even AAAPhx if they don't have a pair.
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Penny
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I think it must be a newbie thing. Although as a newbie I never did this. I have seen other newbies passing me dr or ph, and I asked them, are you sure? They said yes....

There is almost NO situation where you would want to pass your opponent Dr or Ph. Those are 2 very powerful cards. I won't repeat what others have said, but the simple answer is, don't make newbie mistakes, don't pass Dr or Ph to anyone but yourself or partner.

Oh 1 occasion where this is possible is, game is stalled at 900+ vs 200 something, and you are on the losing team, and you gotta go potty, or eat, or home or just go, you wan the game to be over in the next 5 min, then you can do this, make the opponent win, then you are free. =)
 
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Everett Scheer
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xxeyes wrote:
Is it ever appropriate to pass your opponent a Dragon or Phoenix?


When you hate your partner.
When you want to end the game and go .
....
I can't think of any others

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Erik Boyko
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Thanks everyone for the comments, very insightful. I don't typically discuss strategy online -- I like to figure it out myself. However, My girlfriend and I got clobbered last time by the other couple. We need an edge. We're playing again tonight, I can't wait.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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cbdarden wrote:
I could see towards the end of a set where you want to guarantee your opponents -25 points by passing them the Phoenix, or yourself 25 points by giving them the Dragon.

In both cases you are not, in fact, guaranteeing where the points go just because you pass the cards. It's where the cards end up that determines who gets the points.
 
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David F
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Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
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It's appropriate to pass an opponent a Dragon or Phoenix if you're playing against me.
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