Anno General

Strategies I: Likelihood of the Draw in Anno

Basic Anno Strategies I

Seasons don’t fear the Numbers…

…and neither should you! Today we are bringing you some of the basics that can help you improve your scores and win more rounds of Anno! I will be getting into the numbers a bit. It is inevitable with Card games. Don’t worry they are not complicated. A little bit of statistical analysis won’t hurt you.

Is it in the Cards for you?

Deciding Your Path

Below is a chart that shows the odds of pulling any one card of a full and shuffled deck of Anno. It is a good general reference to glance. Obviously, these numbers shift as the cards are dealt but they are still important because they establish a base. You can use them as general rankings of groups of cards, and their likelihood of being the next card to be dealt. That is the goal here, help you make better guesses about which cards could be drawn and how can you use this to Match and Score!

 You will never know their true odds during the game because you will not be able to see the other players’ hands. You have seen the cards that: have been matched by anyone, are in the Community-8 and cards that you have now or have Burned (discarding it at the end of your turn). The better you can track which of these cards have been played and where they are at, the better the decisions you can make. In a remote way it is like counting cards in Blackjack.

  • Months
    • A Month: 1/80
    • Any Month: 12/80 (3/20)
  • Quarters
    • A Quarter: 3/80
    • Any Quarter: 12/80 (3/20)
  • Season
    • A Season: 3/80
    • Any Season: 12/80 (3/20)
  • Zodiac
    • A Zodiac: 1/80
    • Any Zodiac: 12/80 (3/20)
  • Days:
    • 31: 7/80
    • 30: 4/80 (1/20)
    • 29: 1/80
    • 28: 1/80
  • Blue Moon: 4/80 (1/20)
  • Cusp: 3/80

Which to Burn and Which to Keep

Let’s start with an easy inference that I have used a lot. Often when I am deciding on which cards to Burn, I will have a Zodiac card in my Hand. Zodiac cards, as you will see in the chart, have a lower likelihood of being Matched when compared to say the Quarters. Also, they are more specific in their uses. It can be simple to determine the usefulness of a Zodiac card if the right cards are visible to you.

Let’s say I am deciding which of the cards in my Hand to Burn. I have a Taurus Zodiac as one of the cards in my Hand. My Taurus card will only score me points if I get a April or May Month card to Match it to. If I can see that April and May have been Matched already by other players, I know for sure that I will not be able to Match Taurus to anything this round. That means that I can Burn it first without worrying that I might want it later in the round.

You might be wondering, how likely is it that you will get enough info from observing the table and my hand? Turns out pretty good overall. There are 80 cards in an Anno Deck. If you deal to four players, including the Community-8 cards you will have dealt out 32 cards, that is 40% of the total cards in the deck. That means that almost half of the cards are in play right off the bat. At the very first play of the first round, a player can see 17.5% of the number of total cards in the deck. That is a much larger number than it might seem at first. That is about 1 in every 6 cards in the Deck you can account for right off the bat.

Let’s extend the Zodiac strategy about to the more complicated Season card. Let’s say you are deciding on whither to Burn (again the end of turn discard) your Spring or Summer card. You need to determine which is more likely, picking up a Month card that Matches to Spring or Matches to Summer. Look around at the other player’s boards. If they have Matched one more than the other, you can infer that it is less likely that you will get one. If there is one Matched Spring month and two Matched Summer cards, it is more likely that you will get a Spring Month card during the remainder of the round. Therefore, going just off the numbers, it is a smarter move for you to Burn the Summer Season card and keep the Spring Season card. These don’t always pan out to be the best move, but it is about making the best move you can make with what you know.

April Month Card – Anno the Card Game

Bonus Tip

Here’s a bonus tip for you. If you are waiting to get a Month card to start your first Matching of the round, try and keep all of one type of a Primary card. For instance, keep as many types of Quarter cards as you can. Or keep as many Season cards as you can. Or keep the 31 and 30 cards. The idea is horizontal coverage on one level. Maximize the odds that you will have the corresponding Matching card to the Month card you get next. Think of it is putting out a fishing net across a creek. The net is in four pieces. If you can get one of each of the four types of Season cards or four types of Quarters cards, then you are covering every part of the creek. No matter what Month comes to you next, you will have it covered. It is hard and rare to have total coverage like that, but it is helpful to try and get as much coverage as you can until you get a Month card to work off of.

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Croatian-American Businessman with professional backgrounds in American civil litigation and N.A.T.O. centric military contracting. Creator of Anno the Card Game and Managing Partner of N.R.B.M. Corp.

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