For the rules of Love Letter, see GameHelpLoveLetter
This is no single strategy for Love Letter which is the beauty of the game
Each card has its own strengths and weaknesses dependant on the stage of the game and more importantly, your opponents hand
As the game progresses, keep an eye on the cards which have already been played – this can be seen in the number indicator below each players hand. By working out which cards remain you can plan you strategy and narrow down what cards your opponents are likely holding to counter their plays
In the early game, using a Guard can provide a lucky guess to remove an opponent. To successfully increase odds players will often guess lower card (2-5 cards each appears twice) at the start of the game for a higher probability of success. Guards can be used to defend a weak position, ie. by trying to remove Prince's if you have the Princess or Barons if you have a lower card. However, using the same strategy many times will often reveal your weakness so mix it up!
- Play late game when fewer cards remain for a high probability of a successful guess
- Use after a Priest has been played and the player hasn't discarded the revealed card
- Cannot be guessed by other guards
- Reveal an opponents Princess to remove them from the round
- Guards are an easy target for Barons. Avoid holding guards too long if there are still 2 Barons to be revealed
- Minimal chance of winning at the end of the game if you are holding a Guard
- Mix you guesses and base them on all the information revealed in the round
- Pay attention to what cards have been played and refer to the key for the number of each card available
- Cards which have 2 copies which have yet to be revealed in the mid game can be easy targets for a Guard
Using a Priest reveals more information to narrow down remaining cards. Once a card is known it puts pressure on players to use the revealed card on their next turn to prevent a guard being used
- Forces opponents to play 'known' cards
- If the opponent reveals a Baron they will often play it against you on their next turn as a make or break move which can put you out of the round if you hold a high card
- Use Priests to force players to change their hand
- Play a Priest in the mid game to locate the Princess or force play of a higher card
The Baron is very strong in the early game when combined with a mid to strong card to defeat an opponent. When using a Baron however you will potentially reveal information about yourself to your opponents if you win the duel
- Play in the early game alongside a 4+ card to defeat opponents who are more likely to be holding guards or lower cards
- A quick way to win the round when you only have one opponent remaining and hold a high
- Using a baron will reveal the range of your card ie. > Prince (5). This will narrow down guesses or make opponents play Prince's on you to defeat a suspected Princess
- If your card is not higher than you opponents you are out of the round (however this can also weaken their position if there are other players to play before them based on the above point)
- Try to ensure you discard a card which was higher than your opponents by your next turn so other players think your winning card has been used to prevent them from knowing the range of your card (this could be the card you pick up on your next turn or the forced discard from a prince)
- If a Priest is played against you and you hold a Baron you may need to take out the opponent who has seen your card on your next turn
The Handmaids strength comes in ensuring you survive the round. You can't win if you are out after all!
- Ensure you last longer in the game when there are less cards available
- Force opponents to target each other to possibly defeat and increase your chances of winning the round
- Protecting a high card in the end game to prevent guards being played or prince's if you are holding the princess
- Buying yourself time if someone knows your card, but you don't have the right cards to deal with it at that moment.
- Less powerful in the end game than the high cards available
- Does not allow you to knock out another player
- Use early game to narrow down the cards and protect yourself
- Use in late game to hold the Princess (or another high card)
- As there are still a lot of players in the game, and not a lot is known about the remaining cards yet you are less likely to be knocked out early in the round. Making the handmaid more powerful later in the round.
The Prince is the highest of the cards appearing twice in the deck and a big threat to anyone holding the Princess
- Play on an opponent who you suspect has a Princess to defeat them
- Remove a card from your opponents hand (early game to mix up their hand or late game to remove a higher card they may be holding)
- Often guessed when guards are played are there are still 2 Prince's to be played
- In a 1 on 1 situation, if your opponent has played a Handmaid you may be forced to play the Prince against yourself to discard your own card (Princess included!)
- Play against players you suspect hold a strong card (especially the Princess to remove them from the round)
- Play on yourself to get a new card and discard both your cards
- Remove a high card an opponent is holding in the late game to increase your chances of winning the round
The King is a hard card to play as it means giving away your position to an opponent but can be the difference at the end of the round to grasp a last second win
- Remove the Princess from your hand in the early rounds to prevent you being a target and give it to another player
- Switch cards at the end of the game to gets a higher card from an opponent
- Strong when used with a Baron with less chance of being guessed then a Prince or the Princess
- When you play the King played your opponent will know what your new card is making you an easy target for a guard
- Always pay attention to what your own card is in between plays. If a King is used on you you'll want to remember what card you gave them!
- Holding a King till the end of the round can allow you switch cards with your opponent to grab the Countess of Princess however, if you hold a King and then draw the Princess you'll be forced to give it to your opponent!
A high powered card which holds less risk than the Princess early game but a high risk if you draw a Prince or King which forces you to play the Countess revealing your likely other card
- High card for the end game. Only beaten by the Princess
- Strong when used with a Baron with less chance of being guessed then a Prince or the Princess
- If you draw a Prince or a King you will be forced to play this card revealing that you likely hold a Prince or a King
- Play the Countess when you don't hold a Prince or a King to reduce the chance of a guard being successfully used on you
- Hold near the end game if a Princess has been played or in the hope the Princess will found before the end of the round
The strongest card at the end of the round but you'll be the main target if your opponents suspect you hold it. High risk, high reward!
- Highest card in the game. If you can get to the end of the round with the Princess you've won
- Guaranteed win when used with a Baron
- If you draw the Princess in the early game it can be very hard to keep it hidden and evade guesses
- If an opponent play a Priest when you hold a Princess you won't be able to play it and can easily be guessed on their next turn if they play a Guard
- You will always have to play your second card so drawing a Prince will force you to play the Princess and be out of the round
- Use a Handmaid to protect the Princess especially in the late game
- Swap the Princess using a King in the early game to allow you to then target your opponent
- When playing a Guard, don't be afraid to accuse another player of being the Princess to try take suspicions away from you
To give an idea of the probability your opponent holding a given card you can refer to the table below by:
- Looking at the horizontal row based on the number of remaining cards in the round + the number of active players left in the round (including yourself – your opponents each hold an unknown card and there was a card removed)
- For cards with multiple copies look at the probability column based on the number of these cards which not been played or are not held in your own hand
- In a 4 player game with 5 cards remaining in the deck and all players still active
- You hold a Baron and a Guard and no Prince's or other Barons have been played.
- There are 9 other possible cards: 5 in the deck + 4 active players (3 unknown cards held by opponents and the 1 discarded)
- There is a 11.1% chance a given opponents holds a Baron (since you hold one so only one other remains)
- There is a 22.2% chance an opponents holds a Prince (there are 2 possible Prince's remaining)
If you have an idea of the range of the card you opponent holds this can provide you a better idea than the basic probability of a player having a given card based on the number of cards remaining
- The game is won after you win 4 (4 players) or 5 rounds (3 players). If one player is closer to winning, try remove them from the round to prevent them winning or gaining a bigger lead. It does not necessarily matter if you don't win the round, just as long as someone doesn't win the game at the end of it!
- Pay attention to which cards have been played and what guesses have been made by your opponents to try work out what cards they may or do not have
- A random guess at the start of the round happens! Sometimes you'll be the lucky guesser, other times you'll be on the receiving end. If this happens forget it and more on to the next round
- Remember that a card is removed at the start of the round so there may not always be a Princess for example
- If someone doesn't have a large lead don't target them every turn. You'll only end up being on the receiving end of their cards so mix it up
- Adapt based on what has already being played! If the Princess has been revealed, the Countess is now the highest card for the end game. If both Princes have been played the Princess has no chance of being discarded by an opponent's card play. If both Barons have been played your guard is a lot safer. Play the game, see what happens, learn and have fun!
LPB – 10/5/2020
Tips from GameHelpLoveLetter 2021-12-24
Some cards combination lead to odd situations and you should be aware of them:
- Princess + King = You will be forced to trade the Princess with somebody else.
- Princess + Prince (and everyone else is protected) = You will be forced to play the Prince on yourself and toss the Princess (therefore, lose).
- King + Opponent Guard = If you King to trade with someone, and that person draws a Guard, they will be able to instantly eliminate you!
- Try to play the constable and then discard the princess to kill yourself and win the game
Keep in mind how many Prince cards are left in the deck. When a player uses the Prince, one more card from the deck is used. So, keep that in mind to not be tricked in the deck count.
You should focus on eliminating the players with the most points first.
¹ There is only 1 King, Countess, and Princess per game. Therefore, there cannot be multiples of these cards.