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When one reserves a development card, the rules state

The reserved cards are kept in hand and cannot be discarded.

And when reserving a card drawn blindly from one of the three decks

without showing it to the other players.

My question: Can you, and should you, or must you keep any reserved card hidden from the other players so that they cannot see the cost of the card and strategize against your purchase?

It's clear that after you have purchased any card, it must remain visible to other players. The phrase "in hand" could imply that you can keep the reserved card hidden, but it would be better if it was unambiguously stated.

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    I've left this as a comment rather than as an answer as this is just my interpretation of rules of Splendour and games in general. I believe in hand means it is hidden information from other players. I cant think of my examples where things 'in hand' are public knowledge and indeed this would be explicitly stated in the rules. – StartPlayer Apr 15 '17 at 18:05
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Can you keep any reserved card hidden from the other players

Definitely. You can keep the information to yourself. That's the point of the hand. There would be no point in drawing a card without showing it to others only to place it somewhere others can see.


Must you keep any reserved card hidden from the other players

This is the interesting question.

A rule on whether you can share private information is rarely stated explicitly unless it's forbidden because the game sees keeping the information private as an advantage for you, so the default position I take is that you can share private information as long it's not explicitly prohibited.


Unless the game has some kind of team or co-op element, when a game indicates that information is private except for one player, it's for that player's advantage. They won't mention that you can reveal the information because there's rarely any reason to do so.

Rules clarifying that you can share private information would usually be found in tournament rules, not the game's rule. For example, the Magic: The Gathering tournament rules include the following passage:

players may choose to reveal their hands or any other hidden information available only to them, unless specifically prohibited by the rules.

I feel that's the default position one should adopt for any game. Games where information must absolutely be kept secret will state this. In Splendor, I wouldn't hesitate to show a card I had reserved if I had a reason to do so.

  • You say "There would be no point in drawing a card without showing it to others only to place it somewhere others can see." I agree, but a reserved card which you pull off the board has already been seen. I'm trying to determine whether it's acceptable to shield that card's cost and bonus until you actually purchase it. Your answer seems to be "yes". I'm simply pointing out that it was previously visible while in the table middle. – Bill N Apr 17 '17 at 0:52
  • It doesn't matter where you get it from; it goes to your hand, and you've just agreed that cards in your hand are kept private. My answer on that is "definitly yes". – ikegami Apr 17 '17 at 4:09
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By a strict interpretation of the rules, no, you cannot show your reserved cards. This is simply because here is no rule saying that you can do so. And in general, the only things you can do within a game are things that the rulebook gives you express permission to do.

Where it gets trickier is the question of verbally discussing what you have. Pretty much every player I know would allow this, as without showing the card, the other players would have to decide if you are telling the truth or bluffing. Trying to convince other players that you are in a weaker position than you really are is generally a part of a lot of games.

  • Actually, by a strict interpretation of the rules, you can, because nothing says you must keep others from seeing your hand. Nothing in the rule even says your hand is private; that's just a convention. – ikegami Apr 16 '17 at 1:34
  • @ikegami, rules say what you can do, not what you can't do. If the rules don't specify you can do something, you can't. And the quote given by the OP makes it clear that it is private. – GendoIkari Apr 16 '17 at 3:05
  • @Gendolkari, Re "rules say what you can do, not what you can't do", What? Plenty of rules say what you can't do, and plenty of rules don't include things you can do. And I'm very confused as to why you tell me this (unless you're arguing you can't keep others from seeing your hand)? /// When something is private, it doesn't t mean you can't tell anyone; it just means you should do so judiciously. – ikegami Apr 16 '17 at 3:15
  • @ikegami Yes sometimes rules do forbid things, but that's generally for clarity, not for necessity. There are dozens of things you can't do that aren't mentioned anywhere in the rules (grabbing chips when it isn't your turn, stealing chips from other players, etc). Rules don't try to list all the possible things that you can't do. – GendoIkari Apr 16 '17 at 3:43
  • Again, why are you telling me this??? – ikegami Apr 16 '17 at 4:30

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