Ever wanted to get into someone's head? Then this is the game for you. In this riveting game you will have to read the other person's thoughts and anticipate their next play while protecting your mind from being read. Get ready to practise Psychological Jujitsu!
Psychic is entirely a game of psychology. There is very little luck involved in the game, and it's not a game where excessive thought or speed will help you. Simply put, in order to win, you must figure out what your opponent is thinking.
The diamonds in the deck are set aside and shuffled. Each player receives a full set of cards, comprising A, 2, 3, ..., K; these represent the numbers 1 through 13.
Psychic consists of thirteen rounds. On each round, the top diamond card appears and is auctioned off. Players choose secretly which of the cards in their hand they are playing, and simultaneously reveal their choices. These are bids for the current card; the highest-ranked card played wins the auctioned diamond card, which is worth a number of points equal to its rank (ace being 1, jack 11, queen 12, king 13, and all other cards their numeric value.) If multiple players tie, the card is thrown out. In any case, all cards played to that round are discarded. Each player starts with thirteen cards, and there are thirteen rounds, so each player will submit each bid exactly once over the course of a hand. When a player wins a card, that card is placed face-up in front of the player.
At the end of a hand, each player's score is the total of the ranks of the cards they have won. There are 91 points in all.
The best strategy is to always play one rank higher than your opponent, except that when he plays 13, you play 1. This will allow you to win 12 of the 13 cards, and even if your opponent takes the king, you will win by the potent margin of 78 to 13.
Unfortunately, employing this strategy requires figuring out what your opponent is going to play. Clearly it makes more sense to play high cards on the cards that are worth more, but there is no specific strategy that can work, since your opponent can always play the above strategy to dominate you. Playing a card one higher than the card up for bids is good, since the natural correlation is to play a card about equal to the one up for bids, but by the same token playing a card two higher is also good, since your opponent is likely to play a card one higher. And so forth. There's obviously a breaking point to this argument, since by playing a card two higher you are essentially conceding the two highest cards, and this will eventually result in a loss.
Don't be afraid to play very low cards when very high ones are up for bid. You'll lose, but your opponent will have expended a much higher card in the process, leaving you with a significant advantage for the remainder of the game. In general, you want to try to lose by a lot when you lose and win by only a little when you win. In psychic, the optimal strategy is obviously highly dependent on what your opponent is doing.
Finally, keep track of what your opponent has played; it's important when you're trying to figure out their decision process.