Hints & Strategies
Bidding is a tricky thing in general, but even harder in Xactika®
where you must be precise and there are so many routes.
So here are few good guide lines.
A good rule of thumb is to bid 1 for each 11 and 1 for each 10 and 9.
Pay attention to other bids. Especially high bids from the first player, as these are usually associated with 'sure wins'.
Keep an eye out for runs of a single combination. These can be very powerful, but also extremely dangerous.
Try to give yourself a bit of leeway. Making a bid is very powerful, as winning scores for the game are usually around 8.
If you are going first, and have a few 'sure wins' think about only bidding on them. It's lower risk if you can dump the lead.
Never try to lose the last trick. If you are going to bid 7, better make it 8.
Again, just a few things we've picked up.
If you want to win the trick, call the lowest combination on the card.
If you want to lose the trick, call the highest combination on the card.
Pay attention to the total number bid for the round. If the total is higher than 8, you will have to fight for cards. If the total is lower than 8, you will end up with players trying to give you tricks. Play appropriately. If there are more cards than tricks wanted, 7s and 8s end up being winners.
If you have the lead, and a 'sure win' (a 12, 11, or 10 with 1 shape) play it so it will win.
Pay attention to sloughing. If players are sloughing, it is a great way to take a trick. Likewise, it is also a good way to lose a trick. I.E each card MUST have 1,2, or 3 Balls on it. So if everyone is out of 2 Balls, then you have a 50% chance that they will have 3 Balls, but only a 33% chance that they will have 3 Stars.
Spite is right! If you have lost your bid, it can be a very good thing to be spiteful. Remember it is MUCH better to end up -2 to -1 than -1 to 5. Plus this can be a really fun part of the game :-)
'Beware the last card'. Many times whoever plays the last card takes the last trick, even if it isn't the highest card. So try not to get stuck. If you need 2 more, and have 3, get out of the lead early, then try to jump back in. It's not that odd for a 4 to win the last trick.