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Subject: Questions about the combos rss

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Kai Poon
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I'll probably learn to play the game the original way, but I'm curious about one of the rules behind Tichu and why it's important to play in this manner.

In several different games such as Poker - Big 2, usually the bigger card combos beat the smaller ones. Straight/Flush/Full house/Four of a kind etc...

Would it change the game drastically if people were capable of playing larger combos over other players? (Assuming similar numbers of combos). Otherwise from theory, it just seems like most of the time these sort of combos (consective pairs etc) would take the lead? especially given that bombs seem quite rare.

I guess the original rules would encourage players to take the lead more often than not?
 
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Mark McEvoy
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Yes. It would change the game drastically, and the game is fine as it is without making a change that makes TJQKA beatable by 22233. The lead IS crucial and powerful. By design.
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Mad Scientist Philip von Doomula
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thatmarkguy wrote:
Yes. It would change the game drastically, and the game is fine as it is without making a change that makes TJQKA beatable by 22233. The lead IS crucial and powerful. By design.


I agree. Controlling the lead is a vital part of what makes Tichu such a great card game.
 
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Lacombe
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KeroKai wrote:
I'll probably learn to play the game the original way, but I'm curious about one of the rules behind Tichu and why it's important to play in this manner.

In several different games such as Poker - Big 2, usually the bigger card combos beat the smaller ones. Straight/Flush/Full house/Four of a kind etc...


In Poker, you are correct. In Big 2, you definitely are not. All cards played must be of the same type as previous plays in the round.

[The only caveat is that in Big 2 all 5-card combos--Straight, Flush, Full House, Four + 1--are "one" type and can beat each other.]

I'm not aware of any climbing game where you can jump to another type of combo. It's kind of against the whole point of the game.

Quote:
Otherwise from theory, it just seems like most of the time these sort of combos (consective pairs etc) would take the lead?


Now I'm confused.

You play a pair. What are you saying a) Tichu's rules say I can play; b) You'd like to see me able to play?

In Tichu [and all climbing games] if I play a pair you must only play pairs [or Bombs, in varying games].

As I understand it, you're asking why you're not able to play a "bigger" combo over my pair. Right?

The reason is exactly what you said: Only the biggest combos would take the lead in most hands.

Am I reading you right?

Quote:
especially given that bombs seem quite rare.


Try Zheng Fen, the game Tichu is based on, which gives players a bit more flexibility in beating each other [a straight can be beaten by a higher or a longer--and "as high"--straight whereas all Tichu straights must match the size of the original, and there are four ways of making full houses] and dramatically increases the number of bombs likely to be in a hand.
 
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Kai Poon
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Quote:
In Poker, you are correct. In Big 2, you definitely are not. All cards played must be of the same type as previous plays in the round.

[The only caveat is that in Big 2 all 5-card combos--Straight, Flush, Full House, Four + 1--are "one" type and can beat each other.]

I'm not aware of any climbing game where you can jump to another type of combo. It's kind of against the whole point of the game.


My bad I wasn't clear on the 5 card combo issue. But yes, that is what I had meant.

As for the other comments about the lead being a crucial component to Tichu and that it'd be ridiculous to have an TJQKA be beaten by a full house. But other climbing card games are also about controlling the lead in order to get rid of cards, so I'm just curious about why it has been done in this format.

The only reason I could think of is that it's to ensure that people are able to take control of the lead easier (with single cards such as Ace) without being blocked off by a potentially stronger Ace (Using Big 2 formats) allowing for more exchange of leads.

Quote:

Otherwise from theory, it just seems like most of the time these sort of combos (consective pairs etc) would take the lead?


Sorry, just to clarify. I'm talking specifically about 3+ card combos.

What I meant here was specifically by limiting straights to beating straights or stairs being able to be stairs. It seems that opponents have less opportunity to block off the person from taking the lead.

In most scenarios card sets like 334455 would stop most players from being able to continue play.

Perhaps this is all to encourage that the lead is swapped often, rather than people just countering 5 card combos with slightly larger 5 card combos etc.

I'll play with the original rules regardless so that I can treat it as a different game to other climbing games. These questions are more just ones of curiosity


 
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Lacombe
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KeroKai wrote:
The only reason I could think of is that it's to ensure that people are able to take control of the lead easier (with single cards such as Ace) without being blocked off by a potentially stronger Ace (Using Big 2 formats) allowing for more exchange of leads.

...

Perhaps this is all to encourage that the lead is swapped often, rather than people just countering 5 card combos with slightly larger 5 card combos etc.


The real [and only] reason Tichu uses the system it does is because Tichu is stolen from Zheng Fen and Zheng Fen uses this system.

I couldn't tell you why Zheng Fen uses the system it does. Probably simply because it is a later development more divorced from Poker.
 
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Edward
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Your fears that wimpy combos will win tricks are groundless. If I have 2233, it increases the odds that other players have similar pairs. Likewise, if I have a long straight, chances are, other players have a long straight too.
 
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Matt Dodor
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NateStraight wrote:


I'm not aware of any climbing game where you can jump to another type of combo. It's kind of against the whole point of the game.


I seem to remember Frank's Zoo having very specific rules about when you can increase the combo size.
 
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Kai Poon
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theory wrote:
Your fears that wimpy combos will win tricks are groundless. If I have 2233, it increases the odds that other players have similar pairs. Likewise, if I have a long straight, chances are, other players have a long straight too.


I'll admit that the odds do increase.

Eh. Guess I'll have to try out the game to see whether one or two combos tend to take the trick.
 
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Matthew M
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KeroKai wrote:

Eh. Guess I'll have to try out the game to see whether one or two combos tend to take the trick.


Anecdotal evidence from thousands of hands:

Singles - should be obvious - most of the time while early in a hand a high face card, Ace or Dragon/Phoenix wins.

Pairs - Low pairs are not winners. Everyone will have some pairs to play UNLESS they want to save them (as a part of steps or a fullhouse or prefer to play them separately) or unless they have ridiculously long straights.

Three of a kind/Full houses - Less action than pairs, but again it is very likely that other people have trips they can play.

Straight - depends on the length. Low 5 card straights will get beat. Low 6 card straights will probably get beat. 7 card straights are about 50/50

Consecutive Pairs - these are the most difficult things to match in the game, IMO, but if the Phoenix is still out there a low consecutive pair is still easily beat.

In many cases, if someone can play something they will. Particularly if they can play something of middle strength - playing over your lead is a great opportunity to save themselves from having to lead the middling combo later. And as having the lead is SO important things will often escalate to the top unless doing so would drain one's hand of strength (you won't often see someone play over an early full house with Aces-Full - those aces are more valuable individually).

So what you'll typically see is high stuff winning early and then lower stuff winning late in a hand because players have fewer cards and thus fewer options.

Restricting what can be played to having to follow-the-leader places VITAL importance on winning the lead. You could have an awesome straight, but without the lead you need someone else to give you the opportunity to play it. If you allow combos to trump other combos then who has the lead is far less important as you can play your stronger stuff pretty much at will. It would place more emphasis on having strong combos and less on managing your hand in order to grab and maintain control.

-MMM
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Kai Poon
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Octavian wrote:
KeroKai wrote:

Eh. Guess I'll have to try out the game to see whether one or two combos tend to take the trick.


Anecdotal evidence from thousands of hands:

Singles - should be obvious - most of the time while early in a hand a high face card, Ace or Dragon/Phoenix wins.

Pairs - Low pairs are not winners. Everyone will have some pairs to play UNLESS they want to save them (as a part of steps or a fullhouse or prefer to play them separately) or unless they have ridiculously long straights.

Three of a kind/Full houses - Less action than pairs, but again it is very likely that other people have trips they can play.

Straight - depends on the length. Low 5 card straights will get beat. Low 6 card straights will probably get beat. 7 card straights are about 50/50

Consecutive Pairs - these are the most difficult things to match in the game, IMO, but if the Phoenix is still out there a low consecutive pair is still easily beat.

In many cases, if someone can play something they will. Particularly if they can play something of middle strength - playing over your lead is a great opportunity to save themselves from having to lead the middling combo later. And as having the lead is SO important things will often escalate to the top unless doing so would drain one's hand of strength (you won't often see someone play over an early full house with Aces-Full - those aces are more valuable individually).

So what you'll typically see is high stuff winning early and then lower stuff winning late in a hand because players have fewer cards and thus fewer options.

Restricting what can be played to having to follow-the-leader places VITAL importance on winning the lead. You could have an awesome straight, but without the lead you need someone else to give you the opportunity to play it. If you allow combos to trump other combos then who has the lead is far less important as you can play your stronger stuff pretty much at will. It would place more emphasis on having strong combos and less on managing your hand in order to grab and maintain control.

-MMM


That's a brilliant breakdown of things.

I do see how restricting the hand will force people to decide carefully about when they want to take lead rather than just splitting cards and forming various strenght combos.

Thanks ^^
 
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