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*** The copy of that card MUST be marked in a future clue (because a save-clue will be given that will mark the copy card as collateral).
 
*** The copy of that card MUST be marked in a future clue (because a save-clue will be given that will mark the copy card as collateral).
  
==== Meaning of skipping a player / stealing clues ====
+
==== Meaning of skipping a player / stealing clues in Finesse convention ====
 
* There are different approaches among finesse-convention-players about who should clue whom. So this section will be devided into sub-sections. The order does not say anything about which approach is more common on BGA. There are a lot of players following each idea.  
 
* There are different approaches among finesse-convention-players about who should clue whom. So this section will be devided into sub-sections. The order does not say anything about which approach is more common on BGA. There are a lot of players following each idea.  
 
* As of now, there is no way of saying which approach is "right" or "better". Of course it is important for success, that in a game, the group of players follows the same idea. If they get mixed, it will most likely result in bombs. If that happens, it does not mean, the other player is "bad" - it merely means, they follow a different idea. So you can only try to find a common ground for the next game or play with another group next time.
 
* As of now, there is no way of saying which approach is "right" or "better". Of course it is important for success, that in a game, the group of players follows the same idea. If they get mixed, it will most likely result in bombs. If that happens, it does not mean, the other player is "bad" - it merely means, they follow a different idea. So you can only try to find a common ground for the next game or play with another group next time.

Revision as of 13:26, 22 February 2022

For tips on how to play hanabi, see Tips_hanabi

Introduction

  • 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 card 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.
  • There are three difficulties:

Tricky

  • Adds 10 multicolour cards to the normal game.
  • These cards get marked by a separate multicolour clue.

Hard

  • 5 multicolour cards to the normal game: one of each number.
  • These cards get marked by a separate multicolour clue.

Very Difficult

  • Adds 10 multicolour cards to the normal game.
  • These cards get marked by ANY colour clue.

Game play

  • 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.

Turn

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

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.

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 fit, it is placed in the discard pile and the team gets a misfire-token.
  • Then draw a new card.

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.
  • Then draw a new card.

Options

Black Powder

  • You may not give clues regarding the colour black.
  • Black cards must be played in reverse order, from 5 to 1.
  • In the deck there are three black 5s, two black 4s, two black 3s, two black 2s, and one black 1.

Five Flamboyants

After playing the last card of a colour, randomly select one of the following bonuses for immediate use:

  • Gain a clue token.
  • Gain a clue token and recover a life.
  • Give a clue regarding a colour.
  • Give a clue regarding a number.
  • Shuffle a discarded card into the deck.
  • Play a discarded card, if possible.

Lingo

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 card that you have no information on and will chop from your hand.
draw
The newest, unmarked card. The card that you have no information on and was freshly drawn.
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
When consecutive players have the same card on chop. A special problem, since, to each of the consecutive players, a number to chop does not look like a unique save.
Twin chop
2 consecutive players have the same card on chop. Same as Double discard
Double save
When a player has two consecutive unique cards, requiring consecutive save clues.
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 multicolour), 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.
  • Abandoning: Another method of cheating is to deliberately avoid finishing games that would cause ELO to drop.
    • While some argue that games become "boring" once 30 becomes impossible, it is rarely the case that games are abandoned on 29 points while waiting for the final 5 to be drawn.

Conventions

Please note that these conventions are not widely used in BoardGameArena. Expert and master players in BGA tend to play very often according to the conventions in this document.

  • If you want to play "full information" style, meaning that you wait until you know both the colour and number of a card before you play it, you will likely be short on clue-tokens in >99% of the decks.
  • The logical conclusion is, that you cannot play a full information style game, and the team must agree on some sort of convention.
    • Meaning: a certain amount of meta-information is assigned to the clues.
  • Many players have different kinds of conventions.
  • When different players in the same team assign different meta-information to the same clue, the game becomes unplayable.
    • This is why the BGA table-settings give the option to set a table convention since the end of 2020.
    • Please see this post started by Romain672.
  • Ideally, all players adhere to the convention, to avoid miscommunication.
  • Below, the meta-information of several conventions is explained.
  • In the examples, colours are indicated by their first letter:

R - Red -      , Y - Yellow -      , G - Green -      , B - Blue -      , W - White -      , M - Multi-colour -      , P - black Powder -      . K - blacK powder -      .

  • For example: Y2 means the card with number 2 and colour yellow.
  • For Black, you might see P or K (P for Powder, K for blacK which is played in reverse)

Standard convention

  • You can assume the following meta-information:
    • Every card that gets marked, will be playable at some point.
    • A card marked with a number, can be played when all "number-1" cards are played.
      • This is usually explained as: number-clues mean that these cards should be saved and played later on in the game.
      • It is custom to play saved cards from oldest to newest.
      • The small minority that pushes the conventions present on this wiki claim that doing so is the best way to prevent bombs, since this convention makes it more difficult to save unique cards on CHOP without marking collateral, potential useless cards.
      • Most BoardGameArena players do not adopt this convention. A number hint is generally seen as a save (i.e., marking a unique cards that is about to be discarded) when on chop, and as a hint to play as soon as possible otherwise.
    • A colour-clue means that the newest, previously unmarked card, is the next playable card in the sequence.
    • The oldest, unmarked card is safe to discard.
      • Obviously, if a player has a card that they are sure they will never be able to play, for example a card on which is marked as blue when the blue pile has already been completed, such card must be discarded in priority.
  • Clues you should avoid giving (bad clues):
    • Giving a clue that marks 0 new cards.
    • Give a clue that tells a lie (does not conform to the meta-information above).
    • As a special remark: Since every marked card is assumed playable, you shouldn't mark useless, or duplicate cards. So if you have a saved 4, you are forbidden from marking 4s, unless you are sure you are not holding a copy of that 4.
  • Sometimes, a "bad" clue can't be avoided.
    • For example: when you need to save a unique 3 (using a number-clue) to avoid it being discarded, but you also accidentally mark a useless card.
    • Or if you are forced to give a colour-clue from a flamboyant, and you use it to mark 0 new cards.
  • When a lie has been told, it needs to be corrected.
  • A correction-clue can never mean "play", it can only mean "discard".

Example 1

    new -> old
P1: R1, Y1, G1, B1, W1
P2: R2, Y4, R3, B3, G5
P3: G4, Y1, R4, Y3, Y2
Table: R1, Y5, G1, B3, W4
  • It's P1's turn, and P2 knows his oldest card is 5.
  • P1 will give R-clue to P2.
  • This will tell P2, that the newest card is the next playable in the sequence (so must be R2), and that the other red can be R3, R4, or R5 (because it must be playable at some later point in the game).

Example 2

    new -> old
P1: R1, Y1, G1, B1, W1
P2: W5, Y4, R3, B3, G5
P3: W2, G4, Y1, R4, Y3
Table: R2, Y5, G1, B3, W4
  • It is P1's turn again, and P2 knows his oldest card is 5, and his middle card is R.
  • P1 will give R-clue to P3.
  • This will tell P3, that his middle card is the next playable in the sequence (so must be R4, because R3 is already marked).
  • This will give P2 the meta-information that his saved red card, is R3.
    • This particular move is sometimes called prompting, and is a common way to allow a card that is saved by colour to get played without re-cluing it.

Example 3

    new -> old
P1: R1, Y1, G1, B1, W1
P2: R3, Y4, R2, B3, G5
P3: G4, Y1, R4, Y3, Y2
Table: R1, Y5, G0, B3, W4
  • It is P1's turn, and P2 knows his middle card is 2.
  • P1 will give R-clue to P2.
  • This will tell P2 that his newest card is the next playable in the sequence (so must be R3, because R2 is now visible with 100% information).

Finesse

  • Finesse builds on the standard convention (making it a bit more complex).
  • In the finesse convention, the timing of the clue gives you extra information.
  • You can assume the following meta-information:
    • Every card that gets marked, will be playable at some point.
    • If the oldest, unmarked card gets marked with a number-clue, then the clue meant "save this/these card(s)". (It is custom to play saved cards from oldest to newest when appropriate.)
    • A clue that doesn't mark the oldest card, means that the newest, previously unmarked card, is the next playable card in the sequence.
    • The oldest, unmarked card is safe to discard unless that player is busy by having a "known" play.
      • Obviously, if a player has a card that they are sure they will never be able to play, for example a card on which is marked as blue when the blue and multicolor piles have already been completed, such card must be discarded in priority.
    • If a marked card gets discarded it means:
      • The copy of that card is already marked in someone else's hand, and the discarding player is the first to realize this; or
      • The copy of that card MUST be marked in a future clue (because a save-clue will be given that will mark the copy card as collateral).

Meaning of skipping a player / stealing clues in Finesse convention

  • There are different approaches among finesse-convention-players about who should clue whom. So this section will be devided into sub-sections. The order does not say anything about which approach is more common on BGA. There are a lot of players following each idea.
  • As of now, there is no way of saying which approach is "right" or "better". Of course it is important for success, that in a game, the group of players follows the same idea. If they get mixed, it will most likely result in bombs. If that happens, it does not mean, the other player is "bad" - it merely means, they follow a different idea. So you can only try to find a common ground for the next game or play with another group next time.
  • The text within the sections are written by people who follow the idea.
a) Skipping / stealing should be avoided
  • If more than 1 person are able to give the same clue, then the last possible person should give that clue.
  • In finesse convention skipping (P1 clues P3, instead of P2; then P2 is skipped) means either:
    1. The skipped player is forbidden from giving that clue; or
    2. The skipped player has something to play. But it must be a marked, completely known card. If there is no known card in your hand do NOT play blind.
    3. You should also clue someone
b) Skipping / stealing is for discard-management

Skipping/stealing is a term that is often used for a situation, where giving a clue is not left for the last possible player to do. For example - player A saves a card on chop of player C, potentially leaving player B without a known play or a useful/necessary clue to give. Skipping players is a useful move to give other players the time to play other cards or discard.

When getting skipped without having a play or useful option to clue, it most likely means that your chop card is not very useful. These are valid reasons for skipping you:

  • Your chop-card is trash (a copy of the card is already played/marked)
  • Your chop-card is redundant: Another copy of it is on another player's (or your own) hand as well
  • Your chop-card is a 4 and it's very early in the game
  • You might still have something nice on chop, but the player sitting before already received information that their chop might be something very good (from earlier discard-behaviour like NOT being skipped over by the player sitting before them on earlier turns) and they are reluctant to discard for that reason.
  • The clue given is a playclue for a card that might be in your hand so you couldn't know whether you want the other card or not. The player skipping you knows that you want it and therefore takes away the decision.

This approach sacrifices some saving-clue-tokens option (that might be achieved on a stricter dogma about who should clue whom) in order to be able to keep nice cards in the game for longer and discard useless cards instead and by that often get those cards played before they would be discarded.

  • This convention is better for players, who play efficient enough to rarely struggle with clue-shortness and can therefore afford being more careful about not losing first copies.
  • If a group often struggles with clue-shortness then skipping-dogma (as proposed by other conventions) might as well improve their overall results. If the problem for not achieving 30 points usually isn't clue-shortness but getting bottom-decked (or heavily delayed from losing earlier a card that could be played now), then results can get better with this discard-management convention.

Planning ahead is a vital aspect of the game. By carefully deciding on who to let clue and whom to skip, it is often possible to

  • avoid twin-chops before they become an issue
  • avoid not having enough clue tokens to save all necessary cards
  • get the discard you were waiting for (when a player has 2 copies of the same playable card and you want them to discard before clueing it)

Clues you should avoid giving (bad clues)

  • As a special remark: don't mark useless, or duplicate cards. So if you have a saved 4, you are forbidden from marking 4s, unless you are sure you are not holding a copy of that

Special interpretation for play-clues

  • When receiving a clue for the "next playable card in the sequence", the linking cards are not limited to already marked cards (like in standard convention).
  • The newest, unmarked cards in every player's hand should be considered as well.
Example
    new -> old
P1: ??, ??, ??, ??, ??
P2: B1, Y5, B3, W1, W2
P3: R5, R2, B2, G2, Y2
Table: R0, Y0, G0, B0, W0
  • P1 gives B-clue to P3.
  • This gives the information that B2 is the next playable card in the sequence, and that P2 is either not allowed to give B-clue, or has something to play.
  • Since P2 has no marked cards, he was not blocked from giving B-clue, so he must have something to play.
  • This something, must be the missing link (B1, to enable B2) that makes B2 the next playable card.
  • Since there is no logical (marked) card that could be B1, P2 must assume his newest, unmarked card is B1 and blind-plays this card.
Example of reversed finesse
    new -> old
P1: ??, ??, ??, ??, ??
P2: R5, R2, B2, G2, Y2
P3: B1, Y5, B3, W1, W2
Table: R0, Y0, G0, B0, W0
  • P1 gives B-clue to P2.
  • This gives the information that B2 is the next playable card in the sequence.
  • P2 sees that the newest, unmarked card in the hand of P3 is of the same colour (blue) and playable now. P2 concludes it is a finesse, with the players in reversed order, so his blue card must be B2.
Example of a bluff
    new -> old
P1: ??, ??, ??, ??, ??
P2: W1, Y5, B3, W1, W2
P3: R5, R2, B2, G2, Y2
Table: R0, Y0, G0, B0, W0
  • P1 gives B-clue to P3.
  • This gives the information that B2 is the next playable card in the sequence, and that P2 is either not allowed to give B-clue, or has something to play.
  • Since P2 has no marked cards, he was not blocked from giving B-clue, so he must have something to play.
  • This something, must be the missing link (B1, to enable B2) that makes B2 the next playable card.
  • Since there is no logical (marked) card that could be B1, P2 must assume his newest, unmarked card is B1 and blind-plays this card.
  • However, at this point the "lie" is revealed (because the colour of the played card does not match the colour of the finesse-clue).
  • The blind-played card is not B1, but W1. P3, up to this point, was thinking he had B1.
  • The blind-play of P2 gives him extra information: his blue card is in fact B2.

Hat-guessing

Logical Leftism

Closest Friend

  • TODO

Secret convention

  • TODO

Conventional Leftism

Chop-focus

  • TODO

Strategy

  • In addition to the convention(s), there is also some strategy to the game.
  • You should not confuse strategy with convention! Strategy is team vs deck; convention is communication within the team.
  • A simple example of strategy is saving 2s in 2-player games.
    • Using number-2-clue to communicate that those cards need to be saved, is a convention.

Examples

  • More advanced players will try to avoid losing as many "first" (non-unique) cards as possible.
  • It's a good strategy to keep good cards in the game as long as possible - even if they are not yet playable.
    • The other copy of that card might be far down the draw pile.
  • Trying to mark at least 12 cards with the first 8 clue-tokens.
    • This gives 99% chance of always having enough tokens in the game.
  • Not using the last two clue-tokens for "single plays".
    • This avoids running out of clue-tokens in times when you need to save critical cards.

For strategy tips, see Tips_hanabi