TJ’s Guide to Big Two

Playing Tips for Big Two

Because Big Two is a card game, most of the time your chance at victory is determined by what cards you have and what cards the other players have. A lot of times how you play your cards won’t affect the outcome of the game. For example if playing Viet style Big Two, and a player goes first and has a thirteen card straight, then this person is going to win anyways, regardless of what cards the other players have or whether the players are good strategists or not.

My point really is that strategy is not a huge part of Big Two, unlike a game such as chess. The chance of winning is mostly determined by luck. I don’t really have anything brilliant to share here. All the stuff I put here are general strategies that most Big Two players know. The strategies change depending on what cards you have. Following these suggestions will not guarantee you victory, but they’ll probably prevent you from doing anything stupid. So, let’s start.

General Strategies
When Playing for Money…
TJ’s Tips

General Strategies
At the early part of the game, when you still have a lot of cards, especially singles and pairs, you should use the smallest card(s) possible to defeat the cards others put on the table. This will allow you to get rid of your useless little singles and pairs and save your big cards for the crucial moments when you need to control the game. Of course, there will be a lot, and I mean a lot of times when you can’t get rid of something in your hand because others keeping throwing out high cards. In this situation, there is really no perfect solution. You can put out a high card of your own and hope others pass, or you know that no one can beat your card. If someone beats your card though, then you just wasted a valuable card. It’s too bad you didn’t get a good hand, and there’s really nothing you can do about it.

Got carried away there. Let’s get back on subject. Combos are slightly different than singles of pairs. If you only have one small combo, then you should use when you can if your other cards are small or save it if you think your other cards are sufficiently high for you to take control of the game. If you have many small combos (in Viet way usually), you should try to take control of the game by using big cards and then try to get rid of your combos. Use you judgment when you do this. For example, if your largest card is just an ace, you probably have a slim chance at winning so don’t waste your ace if you know it’s going to be beaten.
If you happen to have big combos, you shouldn’t throw them out for no apparent reason. You should save them for a little bit so when others start playing compatible combos, you can beat them down with your own combo.

When Playing for Money…
Playing for money changes the strategy somewhat. If you have combos in this situation, get rid of them as soon as possible. This will reduce the number of cards in your hand and therefore reduce the amount you owe if you lose. You should also try to lead with high value cards if possible to keep other players from using their cards, so that 1:you get rid of your cards and 2: if you win, you get more money from the other players since they didn’t use many of their cards.

TJ’s Tips
Other than the above, I have a bunch of tips that I learned when playing Big Two with people. Hope they help you.

Tip 1: Remember what cards have been used. This goes especially for the high cards. For example, if all the 2s are out, then your ace could be the largest card that will allow you to control the game. By remembering what cards that had been used, you know better about the risks you take. If you are not very sure, look in the used card pile if the other fellow players let you.

Tip 2: Make sure that other players pass their turn when it seems like they probably will. Do not assume they pass even if they sit there idly like idiots. Some people are cheap and they will beat the card on the table just before you are about to put something down. They will also be able to see some of your cards this way because you have to take back what you were about to use. Ask them several times whether they pass or not and get a clear answer, so they can’t change their minds even if they wanted to.

Tip 3: Don’t be too eager to put down cards. Make sure it’s your turn and when you put your cards down, and try to hide your emotions when doing so. This is to prevent you form accidentally revealing some of your cards when it’s really someone else’s turn and the person put down something bigger than what you have.

Tip 4: If you have something you know other people can’t beat, you can pass a turn or turns and see if other people use their large (but not as large as your card(s)) and then defeat the card(s) with your own. This strategy is used to draw out cards that can be threats later in the game.

Tip 5: Make sure no one is peeking at your cards. Even your trusted friend that you thought would never betray you might peek at your cards. Keep you cards closed (like one over top of another in a stack) if possible and be aware of what the other players are doing. If you find them peeking at your cards, tell them to stop. If the behaviour persists, then give the person a good smack in the head. Just kidding. Don’t resort to violence on such a trivial matter. I mean it.

Tip 6: For your own good, don’t play with people that you know who don’t play fairly. This will save you a lot of grieve. Go play with someone else.

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One thought to “TJ’s Guide to Big Two”

  1. Hey
    I’m in year 11 as well, doing this UNSW ‘high school kids do uni at school’ course, and we have to make a program that plays a card game, similar to Big Two. I’m not very familiar with card games, and you’re tactics have helped a lot.

    Thanks for your awesome tips mate :)

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