Going first, you have 9 cards to take out, and going second you have 8 cards to take out. Here are some of my ideas:

Going first better:

  • If the average turn of the setter/guessers is 2 cards except one of the turns (probably the first turn where it's the easier with 9 cards) is 3 cards, is it better to first because 2+2+2+3 cards.

Going second better:

  • If the average turn of the setter+guesser is 2 cards correct, then it is better to go second because 2+2+2+2=8 cards. Sometimes, aiming for 2 cards a turn is a safer play and strategy because when you try to hit 3 cards, it's very frequent that one of them may overlap an opponent's card or at worst a black card. If you have 4 animals on the board, 3 of which are yours "bear" "donkey" "crow" and 1 of which are your opponent's "dog", it can be quite difficult.

Not sure what else.


I think you covered most of it already; of course there are many other possible turn-counts. Theoretically team 1 can go for a 3+3+3 win in 3 turns; though that would be very difficult and require some luck as well.

Another minor advantage for team 2: On team 1's first guess, they will always have the full board of 25 options to pick from. Whereas for team 2, at least 1 and usually a 2-3 of the options will already be covered up, making the guessing for team 2 slightly easier on the first turn.

Other than that, the swings of which words got covered up when will tend to be pretty much random for either team, and I think this luck ends up outweighing any potential advantage for either team.

  • 2
    Something else to consider is that even if the first team gets no correct guesses on their first guess the second team has gained information in the form of the clue. They can use this to their advantage to help eliminate cards from the clue they get. – Joe W Jun 12 '20 at 14:45

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