Zynga, the developer behind the massive hit game Words with Friends – has recently released a new mobile title called Bluff Plus, which brings a fresh take on classic cards games such as I Doubt It and Cheat. According to the studio, the new title combines the art of bluffing with engaging island-building mechanics that will provide gamers with a fast moving, addictive experience.
As its name so aptly suggests, Bluff Plus revolves around the idea of “bluffing”. The game invites players to hone their gulling skills in order to deceive opponents successfully and become the ultimate bluff masters. Once victory is secured, users can collect rewards in the form of gold and power-ups.
With enough money secured in their account, players can go ahead and start customizing their home base islands and once satisfied with their efforts move on to the next island that needs decorating. Interaction with other players is supported beyond the mare matches through leaderboards and raids.
At launch, the gaming studio noted that it has an exciting roadmap of new features and event planned for Bluff Plus all meant to surprise and entertain players.
For those who are just getting started with Bluff Plus or have already played a bit, and have quickly realized they require some assistance, we have just the thing for you. To provide you with some help, we’ve put together a Bluff Plus beginner’s guide that includes a list of sneaky tricks and tactics that will surely help you improve your gameplay in no time.
1. Take Your Time To Understand The Rules Of The Game
Learning the basics of Bluff Plus is crucial and the game obliges players by offering a quick tutorial as they load up the game for the first time. For those who didn’t pay attention that one time, it is possible to re-load the instructions by tapping on the gear icon located in the upper right corner and clicking on Tutorial.
Anyway, in case you had some trouble understanding parts of the tutorial, we’re here to break them down for you in the simplest way possible.
In Bluff Plus, a card deck consists of 32 cards and a hand of 10 cards is distributed to each of the two players before a game starts. There are eight cards in the game ranging from 1 to 8, and each has 4 copies. (8 x 4 = 32 total cards in a deck). Unlike classical card games like Cheat, only two players can take part in a match in Bluff Plus and so there’s no option to play in 3 or 4.
The main objective is to use up all the cards in your hand before your opponent has a chance to do so. As a match starts, players must continue placing cards of the same rank until someone calls out “Bluff”. So for example, if the first player throws a 3 card the table, the second player is required to place their own 3 card on the pile and so on. What if you don’t have a 3 card at your disposal? Well here is where the game gets interesting giving you the opportunity to make a bluff.
For instance, you can try placing a 5 card down and announce it as a 3. But before attempting this yourself, you need to understand one thing – you can only bluff in connection with cards you already own. So let’s say your hand is made up of three 1 cards, two 4 cards, one 5 card, one 6 card, two 7 cards, and one 8 card. This means that no matter what, you can’t throw a 5 card on the table and pretend it’s a 3, simply because you don’t own any 3 cards. You can, however, pretend it’s a 7 or a 1.
Now, let’s go back to our example and talk a bit about the reason you would want to deceive your opponent into thinking you’ve placed down a 3 card, when actually you discarded a 5 card. Remember, the goal is to get rid of your cards by any means necessary. Well this tactic is beneficial, if for example, you have just one 5 card and two 3 cards in your hand. In this case, if you throw a 5 card as 3, and your opponent puts another 3 card on top of the pile, you will still have two viable moves to use, during which the other player can call your bluff with a positive outcome for you.
Whenever you place a card on the table, it is up to your opponent to decide whether it’s a good time to bluff or not. Thread carefully, but if you manage to deceive the other player, you’ll get rewarded with extra gold or other power-ups. In case your bluff is called out, you will inherit all the cards on the table and of course, you need to try and avoid this outcome as much as possible.
At the other end of the spectrum, when it’s time for your opponent to place a card on the table you have three choices:
• Call a bluff – if your assumption proves to be correct, then the opponent takes all the cards on the table;
• Play another card – it can be either a bluff or a true card;
• Pass – in this case, all the cards on the table will disappear and a new card will be added to your hand from the deck of remaining cards.
It should also be pointed out that each move is timed during a match, so if you fail to throw a card(s) on the table before the time allotted expires, it will be considered a pass, so you’ll automatically get an extra card.
These are main rules and you need to fully understand them if you have any chance of mastering the game. So if you ever find yourself in doubt, go back to the Tutorial or re-read section 1 from this beginner’s guide until you’re sure that you have grasped them fully.
2. Do Your Best To Work Out Your Opponent’s Playstyle
Once you’ve played a few matches and got accustomed to how things work in Bluff Plus, you’ll probably begin to notice that each player boasts a unique playstyle. With this in mind, it’s highly advised that you try your best to work out their pattern of action, so you can boost your chances of winning the match.
For example, some players tend to be a bit on the paranoid-side of things and so, they’ll call bluffs more often than others. In such cases, it would be best to abstain from attempting to use false cards as much as possible. Set your goal to be as truthful as possible, and only try to use deception when you see no way out.
How can you determine your opponent’s playstyle? Start off with a small bluff in the beginning of the game. Maybe throw a 6 card and announced it as a 7 and see how they react. If they immediately call your bluff, it might be a sign that you need to thread carefully around them. In most cases, however, if you start the match with a bluff, it usually tends to be overlooked.
For these reasons, starting a game with a bluff is a good idea. Given that a match doesn’t usually last very long, it’s smart to start testing your rival’s reactions as soon as possible. If your opponent calls the bluff, you’ll simply retrieve the card you placed on the table, so you won’t be worse off than you were before.
If you’re looking to attempt a double or triple buff (not really recommended, but you can still attempt one), first try to throw a real dyad or triad and evaluate their reaction. If they immediately jump to double check your claims, maybe you should find another way to insinuate that kind of bluff into the game play.
3. Experiment With This Strategy To Win A Match
At the beginning of a match, examine your hand and see how many single cards you have in your possession. Single cards are harder to distribute during the game, because they don’t have any additional backup, so you’ll have to use them mostly as bluffs. Be sure to keep that in mind.
If it’s your turn to start the game, you’re already at an advantage. Take one of the single cards and use it to construct a bluff. For example, if you have a single 3 card and 4 card, throw the 4 and announce it as 3. This way if your opponent throws a 3 card of their own, you’ll have a real 3 card to place on top of the pile when your turn comes. At this point, a lot of players will be ready to call a bluff – in a lot of cases the 3rd card is all it takes for the suspicions to arise.
So our recommendation is this – if you’re the one beginning the match, play one of the single cards you claiming it’s another – but preferably a card of which you have multiple copies of. Then wait until your opponent makes their move. Next, keep pilling true cards on the table worry-free, because if your opponent decides to call a bluff during the next two or three rounds, you’re covered.
Alternatively, if your opponent starts the game and lays down a type of card you don’t possess, then the situation is a bit trickier, as this scenario can quickly lead to disaster. All things considered, you’ll be forced to take some pretty big risks, but in this case, there is no other way around it.
If you don’t have a card of the same rank in your hand, you will have to go for the bluff strategy from the get go. However, when the card pile becomes too big it might be smarter to pass. Most of the times, it’s not worth the risk to call a bluff when there are too many cards on the table. Sometimes passing and drawing a card will be to your advantage, giving you a card which you thought your opponent had.
For example, if you have two 4 cards and you suspect your opponent might have the other two, but then you end up drawing another 4 card, you will know for sure that your opponent can’t have two 4 cards in his possession. In this situation, only the location of the fourth 4 card is under the scrutiny – it can be either in the possession of the other player or in the pile of cards.
Before attempting the tips we’ve outline above, make sure that you apply what we described in section 3. First, try your best to decipher your opponent playstyle. Once you manage to do a reasonable reading, you’ll be able to apply the instructions from this section with a better rate of success.
4. Don’t Rush To Make Your Move
Sometimes you can tell whether a person is bluffing or not by the amount of time it takes them to make a move. In poker, this is called a “tell” and it’s important to be aware of this little detail while playing Bluff Plus, as well.
Throwing your cards too quickly can be interpreted as telltale sign that someone is using a true card. Watch out for such behavior, and if you catch an opponent doing that, abstain from calling a bluff.
If your goal is to subtly confuse your opponent and make them think you’re bluffing when you’re actually not, take longer than normal to place your card(s) on the table. You’ll find that this course of action works most of the times. The majority of players will interpret your taking longer to react as not having the proper card.
This strategy can work the other way around. For example, in a situation where you want to pass a card disguised as another without your rival noticing it. What you should do is quickly place the card on the pile, as to make it look that you have just the right card. Hopefully, your enemy will casually let it slide.
5. Try To Keep Track Of The Cards That Have Been Used
When you successfully bluff the cards you’ve played land in your opponent’s hand. Make sure to keep track which cards you already played especially if you still have cards with the same number left in your hands.
If, for instance, during previous rounds you played two of the three 5 cards you owned and you successfully bluffed, the cards were inherited by your opponent. If then you, after a few other rounds, attempt to play two 5 cards there’s a big chance the other player will realize you are bluffing especially if they also already had a 5 card before getting yours.
In another scenario, you play there copies of the same card which leads your opponent to bluff. From here you can deduce that your enemy most likely does not possess the fourth missing card. When someone passes, the cards on the table are removed from the game for good, so don’t be fooled if at one point later in the game, your opponent wants to play two or three copies of that card. It’s simply not possible!
This also works the other way, if you have three cards of the same number then play one of those cards. If the enemy follows, then you can add again a card of the same number if they add to it again you can call his bluff.
Don’t play a big number of cards at once as this might be too obvious of a move. It’s tempting to play lots of cards at once since that option is given but more often than not it will just make your opponent call your bluff. For example, if you choose to play three cards of different numbers and say it’s all 2’s and by coincidence your opponent has a stack of two number 2’s then he for sure knows you’re bluffing.
6. How To Finish A Match In Glory
When you’re getting closer to the finish line and you have two types of cards left in your hand, it might be a good idea to bluff. Play one kind (usually the kind with less copies in your hand) announcing it as the other. If you’re opponent calls your bluff, you’ll simply get your card back. The only downside is that your opponent will now know your full hand. But you can quickly fix that by drawing a card during the next round.
Anyway, if the opponent does not call your bluff you can quickly play the other card(s) and finish off the match with a sweet victory. But be careful, don’t use this strategy when you’re dealing with a rival that is a bit of a control freak and is calling bluffs left and right.
Alternatively, if your opponent has three cards left and places one on the board, there’s a very big chance they are bluffing and you should call it. The two cards left are probably of the same rank, and so by misrepresenting the identity of the first card ensures they can then place the remaining pair on the table in good faith (FYI you can’t end a game with a bluff).
If you find yourself in such a situation, calling a bluff is your only shot at turning the odds in your favor. Simply adding another card to the pile will not help with anything and it will only allow your opponent to win.
7. Attack And Raid Other Islands For Loot
Winning a match comes with a set of rewards including gold. In addition, depending on your performance during the match, you might also be able to unlock bluff rewards and power-ups like shovels and rainbow balls. You can have a maximum of 5 each.
These are great additions to your inventory because they enable to you to launch attacks and raids on other players’ islands. Doing this will get you more gold which can then be spend on your own island’s decorations. Once you build everything there is to build (or repair for that matter, because stuff can get broken on the island), you will be able to unlock new skins for your island.
Something to note here is that you can’t get more than 5 shovels or rainbow balls. So when you notice you have 5 shovels in your inventory, quickly use one up. Now in case you win another shovel in the next match, you’ve made sure it won’t go to waste.
Keep in mind that was goes around comes around. This means that other players will be also out to attack and raid your island for a chance to make some extra gold. Fortunately, when that happens you can take revenge (tap on the Revenge button located in the lower right corner) and get back some of that cash you lost.
8. Collect Lavana’s Gift
Lavana is a little leprechaun that acts as your hostess throughout the game. From time from time, she will offer you the chance to win a gift. Remember to always redeem it when it becomes available.
Every 3 hours or so, Lavana’s Gift is ready (look for the button in the upper left screen) and all you need to do is select one of the cards available on the board to get your hands on a gift. This can range from gold to power-ups and shields. Protective shields defend your island in case of enemy attacks, and you can get up to 3 of them to secure your island.
The more shields you have activated, the better the chance that players who raid your island will manage to steal a smaller amount of gold coins. So remember to check to see if a new gift has become available every time you’ve check into the game. Better yet, the game sends out notifications when it’s time to select your card, and so it might be wise to do so as soon as you are alerted.
With this we’ve reached the end of our Bluff Plus beginner’s guide. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading it and that you’ve found some useful bits of information inside. If you’re familiar with the game and have knowledge of some tips we haven’t touched upon in this guide, you’re invited to share them with the community in the comment section below.