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Author: Subject: Guidebook 2023
victor1



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posted on 4-9-2023 at 10:49 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Guidebook 2023

Guidebook 2023

This material is a work in progress and requires revision. Please assist in the proofreading and editing process by sending your comments, corrections, and suggestions to wizardzester@gmail.com
* Let me know what you disagree with and why.

Winning at Wizard

Wizard takes minutes to learn and years to master. What follows is a simple guideline to help you on your way to mastery. It begins with bidding and then moves on to the play of the cards. The suggestions provided are offered to assist you and are in no way definitive. Some players like to be aggressive in their bidding and play while others prefer a more conservative approach.

BIDDING: Classic Wizard & Wizard Magic

After receiving your cards your first consideration is making a bid.
Eight Bidding Considerations
At least 8 factors must be considered when deciding on a bid:
1. Strength of hand
2. Distribution of hand
3. Number of cards dealt
4. Number of players
5. Order of bid
6. Score and stage of the game
7. Pattern of bidding
8. Flexibility

C=Clubs D=Diamonds H=Hearts S=Spades W=Wizard J=Jester

1. Strength of Hand
Hands containing high cards call for higher bids than hands lacking such strength. The possession of Wizards adds not only strength but flexibility as well. The Wizard's value is greatly enhanced by the fact that it can be played at any time. This means that it can be used to avoid winning or losing a trick. Jesters, like Wizards, can be played to avoid taking an unwanted trick or to protect a card that is needed to win a later trick.

E.g. Ten cards dealt. Four-player game.
C 2 5......D A 5 ......H 4 6 8.......S 9... W... J
This is a strong hand as it contains both a Wizard and a Jester. Regardless of the Trump suit declared you are in good shape.

2. Distribution of Cards
The length of each suit held determines the shape of the hand. A long suit adds flexibility because high cards are usually protected by lower ones. Conversely, cards in short suits are often forced out at the most inopportune moment. Mid-range cards such as 8-9-10 can be a real problem in a short suit.
E.g. Ten cards dealt. Four-player game
C 2 4 .......D A 5 6 ........H 5 6 8 10......... S 9
Although a long suit often adds flexibility the 4 Hearts are all clustered in the mid-range which limits the options. The other factors that will impact your bid are the suit declared as Trump and whether you are to bid early or late. You will probably bid 1 or 0.

3. Number of Cards Dealt
Other things being equal, the more cards in the hand the higher the bid. In a 4-handed game, a player will likely bid higher if dealt 10 cards than if only dealt 3 cards.
E.g. Ten cards dealt. Four-player game
C 4........D A 10 5 6.......H 5 A K........ S 6 7
Depending on the Trump suit and whether you are bidding early or late your bid could range from 1 to 3 tricks.

4. Number of Players
Other things being equal the more players, the lower the bid. If each player receives 9 cards, bids will be lower with six players than with four players.
E.g. Ten cards dealt with Clubs as Trump. In a four-player game, your bid will be higher than in a 6-player game
C 5 9 Q .........D A 10 ......... H 2 10......S Q W W

5. Order of Bid
Previous bids must be considered. High bids indicate the possession of Wizards and Trump and consequently, your bidding must be tempered by this information. Similarly, low bids may require an upward evaluation of your hand.
What if you are last to bid?
With an awkward hand and bidding, last it is wise to call it even. An awkward hand lacks flexibility. With a leading score and bidding last, it is advantageous to make a bid that will enable all players to be successful so that the score will not change dramatically. Conversely when losing more aggressive bidding is often necessary and even calls should be avoided. The gamble is that the leader will break and the standings will change. This is particularly true in the late stages of a game when the potential for scoring many points is high.

6. Score and Stage of the Game
Your ranking on the scorepad and how many hands remain to be played are factors that impact on the bid. If trailing and time is running out, it may be necessary to bid more aggressively.

7. The Pattern of Bidding
One should always consider the pattern of bidding established by the other players. For example, if a particular player tends to overbid consistently this information must be taken into account before bidding.
If the AI is activated for an absent player be aware that the bid of the AI is not to be taken too seriously. The AI tends to overbid and usually takes tricks as soon as it can do so until its bid is made.

8. Flexibility
The hand has flexibility if it contains Wizards and/or Jester because these cards can be played at any time regardless of the lead card. Flexibility is further enhanced if the hand is void in a suit. Even a low-ranked singleton can add to the options available. Conversely, middle-ranked cards such as a run of 10-jack-queen in a suit can be problematic.

9. Hand No. 1
Many consider the first hand of a game to be simply luck (a crapshoot). However, there are factors to be considered that will influence your bid. What do you need to consider when making a bid on the first hand? The number of players in the game. The number of players bidding before and after you. The Trump suit. The strength of your card. Bids made before your bid. In the great majority of cases, all players make their initial bid which would not be the case if only luck was involved.

What Is Your Bid Examples: Classic Wizard
In the sample hands an “X” indicates no cards of that suit or type. i.e. C X indicates no clubs.
In all of the examples below a mitigating factor is the score. Depending on the point in the game and your position in the ranking you may wish to be more or less aggressive in your bidding to suit the situation.

Example 1
You are the first to bid. Spades are Trump. There are 4 players. 9 cards are dealt.
H 3 6 J A
C 4
D 3 9
S 2 6
W X
J X
What is your bid and why?

Example 2.
With the same hand as in #1, you are last to bid and each of the others has bid 3. What is your bid and why?
Example 3.
You are last to bid. Spades are Trump. There are 3 players. Each of the others has bid 1.
Three cards are dealt. What is your bid and why?
H K
C 6
D X
S 7
W X
J X

Example 4.
In the first hand (1 card) of a 4-handed game you are last to bid. Hearts are Trump. Two of the first three players each bid 1. You hold a Wizard. What is your bid and why?

Example 5.
H Q 10 2
C 9 5
D A 6
S 7
W 1
J 1
What do you bid with 4 players in the game?
a. First to bid. No Trump. (10 cards dealt to each player.)
b. Last to bid. No Trump. 7 tricks have been bid by previous players.
c. Last to bid. Hearts trump. 7 tricks have been bid by previous players.
d. Last to bid. Spades trump. 7 tricks have been bid by previous players.
e. What do you bid with the same hand with 6 players in the first two scenarios?


Bidding Answers: Classic Wizard
1. Bid 1
Not knowing what the others are going to bid, a bid of 1 is advised. You hope to win with your Ace or by trumping in after dumping your lone club. Your lead and the play of the hand will be determined by the subsequent bidding.

2. Bid zero.
Your 2 trumps are weak, and you can easily avoid taking a trick with your Ace.

3. Bid zero.
You should be able to avoid taking a trick because the others each want a trick. A lead of a heart could be disastrous for you if nobody plays the Ace or trumps in.

4. There is no definitive answer here. It would be helpful if you were familiar with the style of play of the two bidders, especially the second person. The first person could be bidding on a high heart, but he could also have a Wizard. The question is, "What is the second bidder bidding on?" Unless I knew that he was a reckless bidder I would assume he has a Wizard. Consequently, I would bid zero.

5.
a. First to bid in ‘No Trump”. Bid 1.
There are 40 cards out so there is probably at least one other Wizard in play. Your Jester protects from taking an unwanted trick. If you are forced to take a trick in the Heart or Diamond suit you still have a good chance of dropping your Wizard on another Wizard. If you bid 2 you may have your D A trumped, especially if there is an overbid hand.
b. Last to bid in No Trump. Bid 2.
There are 3 tricks available, but you have a flexible hand with a singleton, a Wizard, and a Jester. You should have no problem winning 2 tricks on an underbid and have protection against taking the extra trick. Do not miss the opportunity to ‘set’ an opponent.
c. Last to bid with Hearts as Trump. Bid 3.
There are 3 tricks available. You should win a trick with the ♦ A but if you do not you still have a good chance of winning 2 Heart tricks.
d. Last to bid in Spades. Bid 1
There are three tricks available, but you have a good defensive hand and should not miss the opportunity to set your opponents. Your J protects you from taking an unwanted trick and if you do, there may be an opportunity to drop your W on another W.
e. With 6 players all cards are in play, and it is a No Trump hand.
Being the last hand of the game you will need to examine the scoreboard. Can you improve your ranking? Is there a particular person that you need to target to improve your standing? If you simply want to maintain your current ranking you may want to make an even bid. But if you are using the “Canadian Rule” and are in the lead you will not be able to make an even bid. Consider the two “no Trump’ scenarios above.
Scenario #1. First to bid. Six players. Bid 1
Your W is your only sure trick. If you are in the lead and cannot bid one to make it an even bid, bid zero hoping to dump your W on another W. Bidding two bids to make it an overbid should be considered if you need the extra trick to maintain your lead.
Scenario #2. Last to bid. Six players. Bid 2
7 of the 10 tricks have been bid by previous bidders. Bid 2 to make it one underbid. There are 6 players but only 4 Jesters and you hold one which provides the flexibility needed. If you lead 2 tricks to win the game in the lead you will not be able to make an even bid. Consider bidding 2 if you need 2 tricks to win the game or increase your finishing rank.

What are your bid examples: Wizard Magic
Example hand #1. Ten cards are dealt to each player
H Q J 2
C K 7 6 4
D A
S 5
W 1
J X (none)
What is your bid in each of the following situations?
1. Four players. No trump. First to bid.
2. Four players. No trump. Last to bid. The first 3 players have bid a total of 8 tricks.
3. Four players. Hearts trump. Last to bid. Seven tricks have been bid.
4. Four players. Spades trump. Last to bid. Seven tricks have been bid.
5. Six players. No trump. Last hand. All cards are in play.
Scenario #1 First to bid.
Scenario #2 Last to bid.

Example Hand #2 (9 cards dealt)
H 4 6 7
C 9
D A 10
S Q 8
W 1
J X (none)

This is not a strong hand. It lacks both power and flexibility. It has one W but the number of mid-range cards makes it problematic.

What do you bid with 4 players in the game? (9 cards dealt to each player.)
1. First to bid. No Trump.
2. Third to bid. Hearts are Trump. The first two bidders both bid 2 tricks leaving 6 available.
3. Last to bid. Clubs trump. 6 tricks have been bid on by previous players.
4. Second to bid. Spades trump. The first player bid on 1 trick.
5. What do you bid with the same hand with 6 players in the first two scenarios?

Bidding Answers: Wizard Magic
Example hand #1
1. “First to bid in ‘No Trump”. Bid 2
Your hand has good flexibility. You hold the 2 Hearts and the two additional Heart cards and the J protects it from being forced out. If it is an underbid hand and you win a trick with your DiamondA you can lead the 2 Hearts to relinquish the lead. (You may wish to cash in your W card before giving up the lead.)
2. “Last to bid. No Trump” Bid 2
You have good flexibility. You can bid 3 if you need 3 tricks to win the game or if the “Canadian Rule” prevents you from bidding 2.
3. “Last to bid. Hearts trump.” Bid 3
Bidding 3 makes it an even bid which should result in a slight gain in your score over your opposites. You gain 50 points. Your 3 opponents gain a total of 130 points if all bids are made.
4. “Last to bid. Spades Trump” Bid 2
Your W and the 2 Hearts are winners. If you win a trick with Diamond A, you can dispose of the 2 Hearts by leading it.
5. With 6 players all cards are in play, and it is a No Trump hand.
Scenario #1. First to bid. Six players. Bid 2
Again you should win 2 tricks with the 2 Hearts and the W.
Scenario #2. Last to bid. Six players Bid 2 or 3 depending on the situation on the scoreboard
You have flexibility with the J, W, and 2 Hearts.

Example hand #2
1. First to bid. No Trump. Bid 1
You could be forced to take a trick with the Diamond A but if so, there may be an opportunity to dump your W on another W. A lot will depend on the bids that follow. You will be in good shape if it is an overbid and in trouble if it is an underbid.
2. Third to bid. Hearts are Trump. Bid 3
You must avoid an underbid as you may be forced to take tricks with your 9, Queen, or Ace. If the fourth player bids 3 to make it an even bid your chances improve. Either an overboard or an underbid will put you in jeopardy as you lack flexibility.
3. Last to bid. Clubs are Trump. Bid 2
Although 3 tricks are available a bid of 3 will make your opponents think that you are stronger than you are. You only hold one solid trick with your Wizard, but you hope to win a second trick with your Ace if the hand is underbid. Although you generally want to hold a Jester during an underbid your lack of trump cards is useful.
4. Second to bid. Spades trump. Bid 2
Six tricks are available for the last 2 bidders. Because your hand is not strong you should be happy if all players make their bids. Your goal is simply not to lose points.
5. Six-player game.
Scenario 1. First to bid. Six players. No Trump. Bid 1
55 cards are in play. (6 x 9 plus the Jester card turned up.) Only 5 cards are buried so there is a strong possibility that all 4 of the deuces and all 4 of the Wizards will be in play.
Scenario 2. Third to bid Hearts are Trump. Bid 1
The first 2 players bid 2 tricks each. This leaves 5 available tricks for the next 3 players.
There are 5 tricks available and there are 2 players to bid after you. Again, your hand does not provide many options and your goal is to escape without a loss of points.

Wizard Camelot
The “Wizard Camelot” version poses several challenges not found in either of the other 2 versions. All of the special cards can be in jeopardy. Players must be judicious in deciding when it is appropriate to play a special card to avoid an unwanted loss of a trick.
Merlin: Adds flexibility because it can be played either as a Wizard or a Jester.
Grail: A winner if played from an “even” player’s position. (2nd, 4th or 6th)
Morgan le Fay: A winner but loses to Grail card played from an “even” position.
Excalibur: Always loses. Nullifies the trick.
The 2 most powerful cards, the Grail and Morgan le Fay can lose. The Excalibur card provides an additional manner in which they can lose.
The safest way to ensure a trick is to play the winning card as the final card played in a trick. Also, you should note when a special card that may best your card has been played. Typically, players do not play the Excalibur card until the last 1 or 2 cards are to be played. This being the case, it is often a good idea to get your declared bid early, especially when it is an even bid hand.

“Camelot” Bidding
The absence of a special card in a hand is shown by an “X”
The presence of any of the 4 special “Camelot” cards is shown by Y (Yes)
Example 1 Camelot
H A 2
C X
D X
S K J 8 5
W 1
J 1
Merlin X
Grail Y
Morgan le Fay X
Excalibur Y
There are 4 players, and Spades are Trump. 10 cards are dealt to each player. You are the first to bid.
What is your bid?

Example 2. Camelot
H Q 7 3
C A 8
D J 5 4
S 10 6 4 2
W 1
J 1
Merlin X
Grail X
Morgan le Fey X
Excalibur Y
Four players. All cards have been dealt for the last hand. No trump. You are last to
bid. The first 3 players have bid 4, 4, and 3 for a total of 11 tricks. There are a total of 14 available tricks.
What do you bid?

Example 3. Camelot
Same hand as in example 2 but you are first to bid. What do you bid?

Bidding Answers: Wizard Camelot
Example 1. Bid 5 (overbid by 2)
This is an unusual and very strong hand. You have voids in both Spades and Diamonds. You hold 2 of the 4 special Camelot cards, plus a Wizard and a Jester. You also have the advantage of the opening lead. You are in the driver’s seat and must take advantage of your strong hand. You have an opportunity to gain 70 points while the other players either gain 40 points or lose points. Set up your hand further by leading the 2 Hearts. You should have no trouble winning 5 tricks. There should be no danger of making over-tricks as you can dump the Grail by playing it “even’, the A Hearts can be dropped on one of your void suits and you have a Jester.

Example 2.
Bid 2 (underbid by 1)
You have flexibility with your Jester and the Excalibur card. Depending on the scoreboard you may want to target a specific individual with your Excalibur card. However, targeting one individual will further restrict your options. You expect to win 2 tricks with your Ace and Wizard. If your Ace loses you still have a good chance of winning a second trick with your Queen because of the underbid.

Example 3
Bid 1
You have 2 defensive cards; the Jester and the Excalibur card. Both can be used to avoid taking an unwanted trick. If you are forced to take an unwanted trick with your Ace or Queen, you should be able to dump your Wizard on a stronger card.

Playing Your Cards
Once all of the bids have been made you need to consider how best to play your cards to make your exact bid. At the same time, you would like to foil others from making their bids. The former is your prime objective.
Example 1
6-player game. It is an even-bid hand. Four of the other players have made their bids. You need 1 more trick and the player on your right also needs 1 more trick. You have the lead and hold a Wizard and a 6 of Trump. You have only seen 1 Wizard played so far. Which card do you lead?
Example 2
6-player game. It is an even-bid hand. Hearts are Trump. Four of the other players have made their bids. You need 1 more trick and the player on your left also needs 1 more trick. You hold a Wizard and a 10 of clubs. You have only seen 1 Wizard played so far. Which card do you lead?
Ans. example 1.
Lead the Wizard. If you lead the 6 of Trump one of the following 4 players may be forced to play a higher Trump. Then if the player to your right holds a Wizard he will let the higher Trump win the trick. His Wizard will win the final trick putting you and another player down. Leading the Wizard also allows the following 4 players to dump any winning cards that they hold.
Ans. Example 2
Lead the 10 clubs. If the player on your left has a winning card he will play it. Your Wizard will win the final trick. (There is always the unlikely possibility that a player will be forced to play a Wizard before yours to take the last trick. You should observe while playing the hand if a player wins a trick that they clearly did not plan to win.)

“Hidden Bid” and “Delayed Reveal Bid”
These are two optional bidding systems.
Hidden Bid
All players simultaneously reveal their bids. Online this is done automatically. For live games, players use coins held in the hand to simultaneously reveal their bids. After the bids have been shown the game proceeds as normal.

Delayed Reveal Bids
All players record their bids. After the hand has been played the bids are revealed. Online this is done automatically. For live games players often write their bids on a scrap of paper and place it face down on the table. When the hand is over all players reveal their bids.

Bidding Coins
The use of bidding coins is recommended for live games. Special “Wizard Coins” are available but regular coinage or poker chips work just as well. If a person bids 3 tricks, 3 coins are placed on the table in plain view. This allows every player to see how many tricks each player wants. When a player wins a trick, it is placed on the table and a coin is placed on top of it. This allows every player to see not only the number of tricks bid but the number of tricks won.

General Considerations: Classic Wizard
1. Question why a Jester card is played. If a Jester card is played instead of following suit there is often a reason. Perhaps the player is trying to avoid taking a trick. Leading the same suit back is often a good strategy.
2. A player who dumps a trump card on a Wizard is an indication that tricks are not wanted. Dumping one Wizard on another is another example of trick avoidance.
3. If you have a lot of trump cards and there is an underbid, it is not a good idea to lead a low trump. You get rid of one of your trump cards but you also remove at least 3 other trump cards from play. Better to dump your unwanted trump cards on other winning tricks.
4. Do not lead a Wizard when the hand is underbid. It allows other players to set up their hands by eliminating unwanted cards.
5. When you have a flexible hand you should not be satisfied with simply making your bid. Look for an opportunity to set another player.
6. Conversely when you have a weak hand you hope to play an even-bid hand. Play defensively. Your goal is to make your contract.
7. In general, you do not want to be the only person who fails to make your bid. (Do not go down alone!)
8. The play of your cards should always be tempered by the scoreboard. It may be to your advantage to not make your bid to set another player. For example, if you have bid zero and another player has bid 6 it may be to your advantage for both of you to lose 20 points rather than you gaining 20 points while your opponent gains 80 points.
9. Be aware that it is general practice for players to hold back both their Wizards and Jesters until the last couple of tricks. With a weak hand, you have a better chance of winning a trick with an Ace, King, or Queen in the early rounds.
10. The play of the other players can be very revealing. Whenever a Wizard or Jester card (or any ‘Special card’) is played, ask yourself, “Why?”. Whenever a player dumps a trump card on a Wizard, plays a Jester card instead of following suit, plays a Wizard on another player’s Ace, or leads the trump suit or any play that seems a little unusual information is revealed. For example in a classic game of 6 players the bids are even. The lead is a 4 of spades, followed by a 7 of spades, then the 3rd player plays a Wizard to take the trick. Why was the Wizard played so early? The answer must be that the player holds a high spade card, perhaps an Ace or King and did not want to win the trick with the Spade because it may be difficult to dump the Wizard.

Leading: Classic Wizard

Example #1
Four players. An even bid hand. The last 2 tricks. You and another player need 1 more trick. The other player is seated to your right.
You hold a Wizard and a Jester, and you have the lead. Which card do you lead?

Example #2
H K 4
C 9
D 4
S Q
There are 4 players. Diamonds are trump. You have bid zero. The other players have bid a total of 5 tricks making it an even bid. What is your lead and why?

Example #3
It is a 4-handed game. 3 cards have been dealt to each player. Diamonds are trump. You bid on 1 trick. However, everyone else bid zero. What do you lead and why?
H X
C K 3
D X
S X
W

Leading Answers: Classic Wizard
Answer 1
Lead the Wizard. If you lead the Jester and the player to the last play also has a Wizard, he/she will let player 2 or 3 win the trick and take the final trick with a Wizard

Answer 2
Lead the 4 Diamonds. It is a safe lead. Wait and see what happens. Keep the Jester until last unless you must play it to avoid taking a trick.

Answer 3
Lead the 3 Clubs.
Assuming you do not win the trick:
(a) If anything other than a Club is the 2nd lead discard the King of Clubs.
(b) If the 2nd lead is a Club take it with the Wizard and hope that your King of Clubs is trumped.

Leading: Wizard Magic
Example #1 4-player game. 10 cards are dealt.
H J 10 2
C A
D K 10 4
S 5 6
W 1
J X
Scenario 1
Hearts are Trump. You were first to bid and you bid 2. The other 3 players also bid 2, making it a 2- trick underbid. What do you lead?
Scenario 2
Clubs are Trump. You bid 2 and it is an even bid. What do you lead?
Scenario 3
It is a No-Trump hand. You bid 3 and it is a one-trick over-bid. What do you lead?


Leading Answers: Wizard Magic
Scenario 1. Lead the Club A. You need to know if this card is a winner or not. Best to find out fast. There is a good chance that one of the other players holds Club 2 and will take the trick. If not, you have created a void suit which will prove helpful if another Club is led. If Club A wins the trick things get difficult for you but all is not lost. Leading the Heart 2 is tempting but that will draw out 3 trump cards leaving you will 2 fairly high trump hearts. Better to lead the Spafe 5. If you do take a second trick with one of the hearts, you have to hope to dump your Wizard on another Wizard. You will be fortunate to make your contract and may go down one but should not go down two. In retrospect, you could have been 3 instead of 2. Hindsight is rarely wrong.
Scenario 2. Lead either Club A or the Spade 5. The response to either lead will guide your future moves. You will be content to simply make your bid.
Scenario 3. Lead the Diamond 4. You hope to win a trick with your W and your Heart 2. Subsequent play will determine whether or not you can win a third trick with either your Club A or your Diamond K.

Leading: Wizard Camelot
4 players. 13 cards are dealt to each player leaving 7 cards buried.
H 10 5 2
C K 7
D A J 6
S 8 4
W 1
J 1
Merlin X
Grail X
Morgan le Fey Y
Excalibur X

Example 1
Hearts are Trump. You have bid 3. You are the first to play. A total of 12 tricks have been bid. It is a 1 underbid hand. What do you lead?

Example 2
Diamonds are trump. You have bid 3. You are the first to lead. The hand is 1 overbid. What do you bid?

Leading Answers: Wizard Camelot
Example 1. Lead the Spade 4. This is a wait-and-see situation. Your special cards Wizard, Jester, and Morgan le Fay provide you with some flexibility. The Excalibur card is probably in play but you can’t be sure.
Example 2. Lead the Heart2. With Excalibur probably in play and the hand being overbid playing 3 may be a challenge. You should be able to win 2 tricks with the Morgan le fey card and your Wizard but the third trick could be elusive. With some luck, you hope to win either a trick with one of your trump cards or with your Diamond A.

The German Game
The distinctive feature of the German game is that there must be a break in every hand except the first. The last person to bid cannot bid to make the bids even. This means that the final bidder may be forced to make an illogical bid. For example, if you are last to bid in the second round with Hearts as Trump, and hold a Diamond 3 and a Spade 4 and all the previous bids are zero you are forced to bid one.
It has been argued that the rule applies equally to all, but each player is not last to bid an equal number of times. In addition, being last to bid in the early rounds is much more challenging than when you are holding several cards in the later rounds.
There seems to be no logical reason for the aversion to “even bids”. When the bids are even there is a good opportunity for a player with a good hand to break 2 opponents. If one player takes an extra trick another player will also go down.

How does the German game alter the Bidding?
Statistics show that 75% of the bids using the German system are Underbids. That explains why players of the German system prefer to hold a Jester rather than a Wizard because it is predominantly a defensive game. Using the standard bidding system, the bids are roughly distributed as 50% even, 20% Over, and 30% Under bids.

No example hands are provided for the German version because all of the material pertinent to the Classic Wizard game can be applied to the German game.

The "Andrews Fair Play Rule"
Fair Play Rule: All players agree to play to the best of their ability and to make honest bids throughout the entire game.
i.e. Not to play simply to sabotage others.

To view Regular Tournament Rules click on:
http://www.wizardcards.com/viewthread.php?tid=192


View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U victor1
verona



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posted on 4-10-2023 at 01:30 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Guidebook

I offer the following related to the "German" section.
You wrote--
"The distinctive feature of the German game is that there must be a break every hand. The person who is last to bid cannot bid to make the bids even. This means that the final bidder may be forced to make an illogical bid. For example, if you are last to bid in the second round with Hearts as trump, and hold a Diamond 3 and a Spade 4 and all the previous bids are zero you are forced to bid one.
It has been argued that the rule applies equally to all, but each player is not last to bid an equal number of times"

It is not "the first hand"--- it is "in a hand with only one card". In a game with 3 or 5 people you start with 2 cards in the first hand, so those first hands can NOT be even.

Also, where you say "each player is not last to bid an equal number of times", in a 5 person game, everyone is last twice, which makes it the "fairest" of the German version configurations. Rarely does one see a 6 person German game, so in the 4 person game, as there are only 9 hands of uneven bids, only one player has the disadvantage-- the player to the left of the first dealer has it in hand 2, 6 and 10, and everyone else only has it 2 times.
=========================================
You hit on most of the other strategy points that I use so I will not repeat those. One thing I was taught years ago by a very good wizard player, is to "BID YOUR CARDS". Although I agree that you have to consider what the people before you have bid, but when it comes to your bid, when you are bidding late in the process, many times what you wanted to bid before seeing the other bids may be what you SHOULD bid, regardless of what others bid--- especially on our site here when new players begin to play. New players tend to overbid their hands. If you lower your bid because of perceived stronger bids before you, you may take extra tricks. I use the "BID YOUR CARDS" rule when playing with players I have not played with before on the site. If I am playing in the World Championship, I assume all of the players are experienced and may revise my bid down when bidding later in the cycle.

Another point I would make is the wizard is also like a chess game. You MUST think a couple moves in advance. One example of that is to know that if you take a trick, and that is the last trick you need, you must have an "exit strategy"-----> ie. what card am I going to lead to get away from taking the next trick. That may mean that you play a wizard while you still have a low card in your hand to play, rather than playing your low card when that suit is led, THEN playing a wizard, and then NOT having anything low to lead.

A final point, again using chess and planning ahead, as a point of reference. You have to figure out where the wizards are in the final hand, by observing the bids and then how the cards are played. If you can determine where the wizards are in others hands, it helps you decide what to play from your hand, and when to play it. And speaking of the final hand, if you are trying to win and are not in first place, you have to figure out if you can bid a number that, when combined with making the leader MISS their bid, makes you the winner. If you are behind by 40 points, if you bid 2 and make the leader miss, you will win. If you bid one and the leader misses, you tie. So, if you are on the fence between a one or two bid, bid the bid that makes you WIN!!

Thanks. Rather than try to integrate this material into the main work I will leave it intact and simply delete comments not related to the game.

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U verona
verona



Mood:  No Mood.
posted on 4-10-2023 at 02:43 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
First hand bidding when you are first to bid.

Since there are no options for which card to play when a player is only holding one card, there is a statistically correct bid. Since a correct bid of 1 yields 30 points, and a correct bid of 0 only yields 20, a bid of 1 over time yields more points as long as the player has at least a 43% chance of winning the trick.

The known cards are only a player's own card and the turn up, so with 58 unknowns, the odds that a hand will win in a three player game are calculated by the odds that both of the other hands lose to that player. That is, (x/58)*((x-1)/57), where x=# of cards the player can beat. The calculation is similar for more players. Solving for x to yield 0.43 or greater gives the minimum number of cards a player needs to be ahead of to justify a bid of 1.

With the lead:

In a 3-person game, x=39, bid 1 with a non-trump Jack or stronger, or obviously any trump card.
In a 4-person game, x=44, bid 1 with the 3 of trump or stronger, (4 of trump if the turn up is the 2 or 3).
In a 5-person game, x=49, bid 1 with the 9 of trump or better, (the 8 will do if the turn up is higher than the 8)
In a 6-person game, x=50, bid 1 with the 10 of trump or better (9 if turn-up is 10 or higher)

When a jester turns up and there is no trump, and the player has the lead: always bid 1 in a 3 player game, With 4 players bid 1 on 3 or higher, with 5 players bid 1 with any 9 or higher, and with 6 players a 10 or higher.
Thanks for this input.

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U verona
wizard



Mood:  
posted on 3-7-2024 at 06:59 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
When an UNDERBID is GOOD.

Situation: Final hand of a 4-player game of MAGIC.
The bids were 5-4-4. I was last to bid.
My hand included 2 Jesters, 1 Wizard, and a 2 of Diamonds. I could easily make 2 tricks.
However, an even bid would give scores of +70, +60, +60 and +40 dropping me further behind.
I bid Zero hoping at least 1 player would go down.
As it turned out I was the only one who made his bid..
This worked because the other players assumed I did not hold either the 2 of Diamonds or a Wizard because I had bid Zero. I was able to conceal the whereabouts of those cards until late in the game because I held 2 Jesters.

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