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Revision as of 20:59, 21 July 2020 by Kevan (talk | contribs) (move variant section)
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Hanabi is a cooperative game. Your goal, as a team, is to build a fabulous fireworks show. You do this by playing the cards in the correct order. However, you cannot see your own cards; you can only see the cards of your team mates.

Final Score Ratings

Points Overall impression
5 or less horrible, booed by the crowd...
6-10 mediocre, just a spattering of applause.
11-15 honourable, but will not be remembered for very long...
16-20 excellent, crowd pleasing.
21-24 amazing, will be remembered for a very long time!
25 legendary, everyone left speechless, stars in their eyes

Card distribution

In a game of Hanabi on NORMAL DIFFICULTY, the deck contains 50 cards. Each has exactly one colour: either Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, or White.

There are 10 cards in each colour:

  • three 1s
  • two 2s
  • two 3s
  • two 4s
  • one 5

Multicolour cards

There are three variants that add a 6th colour: the multicolour.

  1. TRICKY DIFFICULTY adds 10 multicolour cards to the normal game. These cards get marked by a separate multicolour clue.
  2. HARD DIFFICULTY adds 5 multicolour cards to the normal game: one of each number. These cards get marked by a separate multicolour clue.
  3. VERY DIFFICULT DIFFICULTY adds 10 multicolour cards to the normal game. These cards get marked by ANY colour clue.


You each take turns. During a turn, a player may take one (1) of three actions. After your action, the turn ends and it is the next player's turn.

The game can end in several ways:

  1. All cards have been drawn from the deck. After this happens, everybody gets 1 more turn. The game ends with the score at the last turn.
  2. Your team played all possible cards. In this case, the game ends immediately and you receive the maximum possible score.
  3. Your team made three mistakes that caused misfires. In this case, you lose the game and get negative ten (-10) points.
  4. Your team 'abandons' the game. Although discouraged, you receive zero (0) points.


During your turn, you have one (1) action. You can choose to do one of the following:

  1. Give a colour or number clue to a teammate: This costs one clue-token (-1). You cannot give a clue if there are zero (0) clue-tokens left. When you give a clue, you must indicate ALL cards of a certain colour, or ALL cards of a certain number.
  2. Play a card: When a card is played, it is evaluated. If the card fits in one of sequences, it is placed in the appropriate colour stack on the table. If it does not, it is placed in the discard pile and the team gets a misfire-token.
  3. Discard a card: When you discard, the card is placed in the discard pile and you get a clue-token (+1). Note: cards on the discard pile are out of the game and can never return.

When you remove a card from your hand, by either playing or discarding, at the end of your turn, you draw a new card. Your newest card is always placed on the left.


When you play with others, certain words are used to describe certain objects or situations. Here is a short list.

  • MARKED: A card that is highlighted by a clue.
  • UNMARKED: A card that is not clued.
  • CHOP: The oldest, unmarked card. The right-most card that you have no information on and will chop from your hand.
  • DRAW: The newest, unmarked card. The left-most card that you have no information on and was freshly drawn to the left side.
  • TO BOMB: A play that causes the third misfire-token. Sometimes called EXPLOSION
  • UNIQUE: A card that has no copy (left) in the deck.
  • DOUBLE DISCARD: Discarding the (usually CHOP) card when it can be Unique (or the last copy of the card in the discard pile).
  • DOUBLE SAVE: To mark a card that is useless, because the copy of the card is already played, or marked.
  • STRATEGY: A set of rules / guidelines / conventions on how to interpret actions by players (including spending of clue-tokens).

ELO rating

If you are playing with ELO rating on, your ELO may be changed at the end of the game.

Here is how it works:

  1. Every player on the team is temporarily considered as having the average ELO rating of the team.
  2. The system will generate a bot associated with the score your team has achieved (let’s call it Hanabot). Hanabot’s ELO rating depends on the variant you are playing (50 cards, 60 cards, 60 cards multicolor), the number of players on the team and, most importantly, your team's score. All Hanabot’s ELO ratings have been set by an experienced player, they are not random or simply proportional to the score/number of players.
  3. Your team (actually your team's average ELO) will now compete against Hanabot. The system will calculate your team’s ELO gain/loss as though your team had tied with Hanabot.

If your score is below 18 (50-card game) or below 21 (60-card game), Hanabot's ELO is always 1000.

You can find all bots' ELO ratings here:

The 55-card variant (50 cards + 1 of each value in the sixth color) cannot be played with ELO rating on. This is because this variant is highly dependent on draw and a team’s score may not always reflect the players’ skills.

If you achieve the perfect score and this should cost you ELO points, you will be considered as having beaten the bot associated with the score, so that you lose no ELO points.
To be confirmed: I think the ELO-system has had an overhaul.

About "cheating"

In the "real life Hanabi", you can talk. That's why we chose to let the chat open for the online version.

As a consequence, it is very easy to cheat at Hanabi. However, as you can imagine, cheating is very stupid and has no interest... except for ELO boosting. This is why there is no international ranking for this game (ie: best player, second best player) and no trophies associated to it.