Hanabi (card game)
The box cover of Hanabi
|Publisher(s)||R&R Games, Cocktail Games, Abacus Spiele|
|Players||2 to 5|
|Setup time||5 minutes|
|Playing time||20-30 minutes|
|Age range||8 and up|
|Skill(s) required||Deduction, Memory, Cooperation, Planning|
Hanabi (from Japanese 花火, fireworks) is a cooperative card game created by French game designer Antoine Bauza published in 2010 by Asmodée Éditions in which players, aware of other players' cards but not their own, attempt to play a series of cards in a specific order to set off a simulated fireworks show. Players are limited in the types of information they may give to other players, and in the total amount of information that can be given during the game. In 2013, Hanabi won the Spiel des Jahres, a prestigious industry award for best board game of the year.
The Hanabi deck contains cards in five suits (white, yellow, green, blue, and red): three 1's, two each of 2's, 3's, and 4's, and one 5. The game begins with 8 available information tokens and 3 fuse tokens. To start the game, players are dealt a hand containing five cards (four for 4 or 5 players). As in Indian poker, players can see each other's cards but they cannot see their own. Play proceeds around the table; each turn, a player must take one of the following actions:
- Give information: The player points out the cards of either a given number or a given suit in the hand of another player (examples: "This card is your only red card," "These two cards are your only 3's"). The information given must be complete and correct. (In some editions, it is allowed to indicate that a player has zero of something; other versions explicitly forbid this case.) Giving information consumes one information token.
- Discard a card: The player chooses a card from his hand and adds it to the discard pile, then draws a card to replace it. The discarded card is out of the game and can no longer be played. Discarding a card replenishes one information token.
- Play a card: The player chooses a card from his hand and attempts to add it to the cards already played. This is successful if the card is a 1 in a suit that has not yet been played, or if it is the next number sequentially in a suit that has been played. Otherwise a fuse token is consumed and the misplayed card is discarded. Successfully playing a 5 of any suit replenishes one information token. Whether the play was successful or not, the player draws a replacement card.
Players lose immediately if all fuse tokens are gone, and win immediately if all 5's have been played successfully. Otherwise play continues until the deck becomes empty, and for one full round after that. At the end of the game, the values of the highest cards in each suit are summed, resulting in a total score out of a possible 25 points.
- The game can be made easier by adding more information tokens, or more challenging by removing information or fuse tokens.
- The deck comes with a 6th "rainbow" suit which can be added to the base game as either just an additional suit, or with the special rule that rainbow cards can not be pointed out as such, but instead must be treated as if they belonged to all other suits simultaneously.
- The Royal Favor variant doesn't use scoring, and players keep on playing even after the deck is gone, having potentially fewer cards in hands. Completing all fireworks to 5 is a win; anything else is a loss for all players. The game ends immediately when a player would start a turn with no cards in hand.
- Other unofficial variants can be found in the Hanabi Live variants documentation.
You can play Hanabi online at several different websites. The most popular are:
- Hanabi.live (created in 2017, open source, with development ongoing in 2020)
- Board Game Arena (created in 2013)
- Hanabi.cards (created in 2019, open source, with development ongoing in 2020)
Hanabi is a cooperative game of imperfect information.
Computer programs which play Hanabi can either engage in "self-play" or "ad hoc team play". In self-play, multiple instances of the program play with each other on a team. They thus share a carefully honed strategy for communication and play, though of course they are not allowed to illegally share any information about each game with other instances of the program.
In ad hoc team play, the program plays with other arbitrary programs or human players.
A variety of computer programs have been developed by hand-coding rule-based strategies. The best programs, such as WTFWThat, achieved near-perfect results in self-play with five players, with an average score of 24.9 out of 25.
In self-play mode, the challenge is to develop a program which can learn from scratch to play well with other instances of itself. Such programs achieve only about 15 points per game as of 2019, far worse than hand-coded programs. However, this gap has narrowed significantly as of 2020, with the Simplified Action Decoder achieving scores around 24.
Ad hoc team play is a far greater challenge for AI, because "Hanabi elevates reasoning about the beliefs and intentions of other agents to the foreground". Playing at human levels with ad hoc teams requires the algorithms to learn and develop communication conventions and strategies over time with other players via a theory of mind. Computer programs developed for self-play fail badly when playing on ad hoc teams, since they don't know how to learn to adapt to the way other players play. Hu et al. demonstrated that learning symmetry-invariant strategies helps AI agents avoid learning uninterpretable conventions, improving their performance when matched with separately trained AI agents (scoring around 22), and with humans (scoring around 16 vs. a baseline self-play model that scored around 9).
- "Hanabi | Board Game | BoardGameGeek". boardgamegeek.com. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
- "Spiel des Jahres official site: 2013 winner".
- "Fairplay Online: À la carte prize 2013". (in German)
- "Open source repository for Hanabi.cards".
- Cox, Christopher; De Silva, Jessica; Deorsey, Philip; Kenter, Franklin H. J.; Retter, Troy; Tobin, Josh (December 2014). "How to Make the Perfect Fireworks Display: Two Strategies for Hanabi". Mathematics Magazine. 88 (5): 323–336. doi:10.4169/math.mag.88.5.323. ISSN 0025-570X. S2CID 124445429.
- Bowling, Michael; Bellemare, Marc G.; Larochelle, Hugo; Mourad, Shibl; Dunning, Iain; Hughes, Edward; Moitra, Subhodeep; Dumoulin, Vincent; Parisotto, Emilio (2019-02-01). "The Hanabi Challenge: A New Frontier for AI Research". arXiv:1902.00506v1 [cs.LG].
- "The next big challenge for Google's A.I. is a card game you've never heard of". www.digitaltrends.com. Retrieved 2019-07-04.
- "A cooperative benchmark: Announcing the Hanabi Learning Environment". www.marcgbellemare.info. Retrieved 2019-07-04.
- Hu, Hengyuan; Lerer, Adam; Peysakhovich, Alex; Foerster, Jakob. ""Other-Play" for Zero-Shot Coordination" (PDF). International Conference on Machine Learning, 2020.
- hanabi_learning_environment is a research platform for Hanabi experiments.: deepmind/hanabi-learning-environment, DeepMind, 2019-07-01, retrieved 2019-07-04
- Hanabi at BoardGameGeek
- Seagull, Jon (29 September 2014). "Hanabi: card game with the goal to launch a spectacular firework display". Boing Boing. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- Hirotaka Osawa (1 April 2015). "Solving Hanabi: Estimating Hands by Opponent's Actions in Cooperative Game with Incomplete Information". www.aaai.org. AAAI Workshops at the Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Retrieved 2015-06-07.