How to Play Caravan + Personal Strategy

#1The_Final_CutPosted 10/19/2010 11:59:08 PM
So, here's my small guide to playing and winning at Caravan.

First Hand/First card to start your "Caravans"
So, for your initial hand you will be given 8 of the cards out of their deck, and the only cards you can lay down are either 2-10 or an ace. Typically a good strategy is to lay either your highest or lowest cards down first. (I typically start with highest because more points means you're closer to your 21-26 winning number.) After both players have laid down their first cards for each of their three Caravans, the game is ready to go.

Numerical Direction
As stated in game, the second card laid down in each individual Caravan determines your "numerical direction." What this really means is whether or not your cards will go in ascending or descending order. (Descending being much like Solitaire, if you're still not quite getting it.) The difference between Caravan and Solitaire is that Unlike Solitaire, Caravans cards do not need to be in order, but rather any number can be laid onto another if it agrees with the numeric direction.

I.E. Caravan is a 2, then a 3, then a 5, giving a total of 10. Once you have laid down the 5, you may then lay down any number <u>BIGGER</u> than 5, but you cannot lay down another 5.

It is also worth noting the suits of your cards because it is possible to play a same-suited card regardless of numeric direction.

Face Cards/Jokers
Face cards work a little differently than the basic cards, each having it's own special property.

Jacks: Jacks get rid of any card you lay it on. Good for getting rid of cards laid in bad spots or ones that would otherwise make it impossible to lay a card down without going over the 27-point limit.

Queens: Queens change the numeric direction of any Caravan it is placed on. For instance: You need one caravan to win, and the Caravan consists of a 8,5, and 3, making a total of 16 and making your direction descending. In your hand you have all cards higher than a 3 and one queen. If you place the queen on the 3 in this Caravan, any number now BIGGER than 3 can be used, instead of smaller.

Kings: Kings have the most practical and straight-forward use. Any card you play a King on will add the value of the card it is placed on. Lets say your caravan starts with a 10, then you play a 6 onto it. After that, you may place the King on either the 10 or the 6 (you can play the King on ANY card in ANY Caravan) which will make your Caravan go up in points to either 22 or 26, 26 obviously being more desirable.

Jokers: Jokers are sneaky cards. They have two different uses, depending on the card they are played on.
<U>If played on an ACE</u>: If you play your Joker on an ace, it will get rid of all cards of the corresponding suit of that ace.
<u>If played on a card 2-10</u>: If you play a Joker on a card 2-10, the Joker will get rid of all cards of the same value. (I.E. all 3, 2,7, ect.)

Keep in mind: ALL FACE CARDS CAN BE USED ON YOUR OPPONENTS CARAVANS AS WELL Keeping this in mind can save you from sure defeat. Sending your opponent over the 26 point limit making him/her restart their Caravan can be a devastating tactic, and should not be underestimated. Getting rid of high-point cards with Jacks can also be hard to deal with, as well.

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Wow, you're such a smart gfaqser. You should consider complete global saturation. -thedude22
#2The_Final_Cut(Topic Creator)Posted 10/19/2010 11:59:39 PM
To Win
To win a game of Caravan, it seems that you need to out-number your opponent by 2 Caravans. In the event that you both get two Caravans it seems that the player with the high valued Caravans wins, but it's a little sketchy. I think that if the opponents Caravan that is directly across from yours is tied or higher than yours they cancel each other out or he has the upper hand if his is larger. I am not 100% on how it works yet, since I've only played about 20-30 games. If anyone figures out how it works exactly I will be more than happy to know, and many thanks in advance.

Caravan Strategy
Now, let me start off by saying this is the not definite way to play Caravan and win, this is just my prefered deck style/custom set-up.

Typically, when setting up your deck you want to put some thought into it. Having a good amount of face cards is a must, but I personally feel that Kings are more valuable than Jacks or Queens. Personally I do not play with Jokers, because in my experience with them they have the potential to do more harm than good. Plus, Jacks do the same thing, only more accurately.

As for the 2-10s and aces, I normally get rid of enough cards to get my deck down to 45 cards. Too many cards in your deck will load your hand up with useless cards and cause you to lose. Ask any old Yu-gi-oh player about deck numbers.

When getting rid of cards, I tend to get rid of the same suit (including face cards) because of being able to follow suit instead of doing numerical directions.

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Wow, you're such a smart gfaqser. You should consider complete global saturation. -thedude22
#3The_Final_Cut(Topic Creator)Posted 10/20/2010 12:01:08 AM
I hope this helps those of you having a hard time understanding this game. Also, feel free to post your own deck strategies.
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Wow, you're such a smart gfaqser. You should consider complete global saturation. -thedude22
#4thatbamaguy2288Posted 10/20/2010 12:13:19 AM
You help me a ton! Thanks! Just won my first hand!
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Gamertag: Luckyshot2288
PSN: Luckyshot2288
#5thatbamaguy2288Posted 10/20/2010 12:14:03 AM
helped... they should have added an edit button too...
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Gamertag: Luckyshot2288
PSN: Luckyshot2288
#6smizmaruPosted 10/20/2010 12:19:37 AM
Facepalm for obsidian for not putting a tutorial for the caravan game
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smizmar
#7PsyKattyPosted 10/20/2010 12:24:03 AM
Thank you sooooooooo much :)

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XBL Gamertag: KittenHoarder
Adding me makes me feel warm 'n fuzzy inside =3
#8The_Final_Cut(Topic Creator)Posted 10/20/2010 12:24:06 AM
There is a in-game tutorial, it's in your notes section of your Pip-Boy.
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Wow, you're such a smart gfaqser. You should consider complete global saturation. -thedude22
#9PsyKattyPosted 10/20/2010 12:25:24 AM
I'm going to request a sticky for this, I encourage everyone else to do the same! This is a very helpful guide.

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XBL Gamertag: KittenHoarder
Adding me makes me feel warm 'n fuzzy inside =3
#10beans_pleasePosted 10/20/2010 1:04:38 AM
thanks lets keep this bumped.... very helpful.... i would request sticky but i am too low of level x_x