Whilst AGO Last Card (or other ways to use AGO cards) are not really meant to be overly competitive, it can be more enjoyable when players know what they’re doing strategy-wise. So, for those of you looking to get an edge (or perhaps even the field against some players that have already figured the strategy out), here are a list of strategy tips to consider. You can even create a mini-lesson out of teaching the strategies.
- The most important and useful tip that is to hold back from playing ‘double’, ‘triple’ or ‘quadruple’ cards of the same rank whenever possible, as these have strategic value at the end of the game – particularly when played as ‘Last cards’.
E.g. if a player calls ‘Last cards’ when they have three cards of the same rank in their hand, they have a 75% of having a matching color. This is slightly counter-intuitive – especially to children – who will almost always play any double or triple cards from their hand as soon as possible in order to ‘take a lead’ in the game.
Other strategy notes:
- A pick up card also has defensive value – it can be used to deflect a pick up card played at you onto the next player – so there is value in holding onto these cards for use late in the game.
- Picking up lots of card has benefits, too: Especially early in the game, picking up cards can lead to acquiring doubles or triples of the same rank – so can be helpful in terms of forming a finishing strategy.
- Try to maintain cards of all colors in your hand for as long as possible. If you have a few play options in your hand, try to play a single card of your strongest suit.
- If playing multiple cards of the same rank, ensure that the final card played is the most useful to you color-wise.
- Double or triple jump cards can be very valuable late in the game. (E.g. in a four player game, a player could play 3 jump cards together, after which play jumps back to them, and they have an opportunity to play again, perhaps play their ‘last cards’.
- Teaching advanced students these strategy tips can also make for an interesting side-component of a lesson, and lead to more interesting games, but once again remember of course that the focus should be mostly about having fun and getting in quality practice!