An old favorite card has returned into the standard set of specials. The new special eight allows you to wish for one card from one other player by selecting a suit and they must pass you a card of that suit if they have one. This is an incredibly powerful ability in the right hands such as an experienced Wodka veteran like myself. Even in the brief time that this card has been back in the game I have seen numerous questionable plays with it so below I shall outline a number of good uses of this ability and what do if targeted by wish.
Before going to different uses of the eight, we must first consider the power of the red seven as it counts as all suits. Any wishes made against the player with the red seven can always result in you being handed the seven. Conveniently we will usually know if anyone is holding the seven in their hand as they will have been the player who went first so all we need to do is remember if they have played it or not.
If you have the red seven in your hand don’t have a specific reason to play it early, consider holding onto it so you can always pass it should a wish be attempted.
Fishing for Aces
The most obvious way to use the eight is to attempt to force an opponent to give you an ace or another high card. At the most basic level, this involves keeping track of which high cards have been played and asking for one that is still going to be in someone’s hand. Attempting to force an opponent to give you a high card is generally much more effective later in the hand while they are holding fewer cards. Attempting to do this early will likely result in them giving you an unwanted low card.
Additionally you should consider the number of cards in each suit that have been played. For example if you suspect a player may have one of two kings, wish for the one which they are less likely to have lower card of the same suit in their hand.
If you are holding onto a high card such as an ace, attempt to keep a low card of the same suit which you can pass instead of ace. For example if you are leading and your three remaining cards are:
You should lead the green three as if an opponent plays the red eight and wishes a black card from you, you’ll be able to pass them the two instead of the ace. If you led with the two, you would be forced to pass the ace and then likely wouldn’t be able to go out.
If you are missing single low card to construct a bomb, it can be tempting to wish for it from an opponent. For example, if you have the red, green and blue five, you can choose to wish for a black card from an opponent in the hope they will pass you their black five. This is can work well against inexperienced players but to a skilled skilled opponent can it can be quite obvious this is what you are attempting to do.
If an opponent wishes a card from you out of the blue while you still have a large number of cards in your hand you should be suspicious that they may be hoping you pass them the “obvious” singleton low card in your hand. You should consider passing them a different card that you know won’t complete a bomb for them.
A final card
If someone has only a single card in your hand you can wish this from them, forcing them to go out. Generally you’ll want to do this to help out your partner if you are worried they might have been left with a singleton low card.
You can also do this for against an opponent if their partner has placed a Wodka. Although this will give the opponent a point for going out, your team will get the points for the Wokda failing.
If your partner has placed a Wodka, be sure not to leave yourself on only a single card as this makes your vulnerable to being wished out of the game.
Hoping to miss
There will be some circumstances where you don’t want a card. For example if you play a bomb of eights and have one other card in your hand, you might not want to receive a card which could potentially prevent you from going out. In this scenario recall how many of each card have been played and wish for that suit from a player with few cards left in their hand.
Consider keeping a low card of each suit in your hand so you are always able to pass it to an opponent should they wish something from you.
Asking for a gift from your partner
If you’re not looking for any specific cards from your opponents, you can ask your partner to give you a gift. In this case select a suit that has high cards remaining and they may choose to pass one to you.
Another variant of this to consider is if you and your partner pass each other the same value of card during the passing phase. If your partner has not yet played the card you passed them, wishing for a card of that suit from them should be an indication you want that card back.
In summary, there are a number of different ways the new eight can be used and you should be considering it even when you don’t have it in your hand. Keep appropriate fodder cards in your hand to prevent being forced to pass a card you don’t want to and when a wish is targeted against you in an unusual situation, consider what the wishing player is looking for so you don’t give them what they want unnecessarily.