These Rules of Thumb are normally discovered in the first few games of Dominion someone plays. Almost all of them have exceptions, which I don’t try to list. I avoided any Rules for specific Kingdom cards.
- Always play your Kingdom cards that give you more actions first.
- When discarding because of actions (examples: Militia or Cellar), discard Victory cards first.
- Usually no more that 1/5th of your deck should be Kingdom cards that don’t have +actions. Kingdom cards that do give +actions are exempt from this rule, especially if they also give +cards, because they allow you to play 2 or more Kingdom cards on your turn.
- You don’t always have to spend all of your coins.
- If you have 2 coins and there are no 2 cost Kingdom cards you want to buy, don’t.
- If you have 3 or 4 coins and there are no 3 or 4 cost Kingdom cards you want, buy a Silver (2 coin) card instead. As long as you have more Copper (1 coin) cards than Gold (3 coin) cards in your deck, adding a Silver card will increase the average coin total of your future hands.
- Later in the game, if you have 5 coins and there are no 5 cost Kingdom cards you want, consider buying a Duchy (3 VP) card. The closer it is to the end of the game, the more you should consider Duchy cards. Early Duchy cards can clog your deck though, so your first few 5 coin buys should be Kingdom cards.
- If you have 6 or 7 coins, you usually buy a Gold (3 coin) card.
- If you have 8 or more coins, you usually buy a Province (6 VP) card.
- Seldom buy a Copper (1 coin) or an Estate (1 VP) card.
- If you think the game is going to end before you will shuffle your discard pile again, only buy Victory cards even if it means buying an Estate (1 VP) card.
Unless the Best strategy on the board with 4 players involves about 4 Villages.
My favorite is Village, Council Room, Cellar and Militia and all 4 players see it right away.
This is my favorite deck and for it to work (Where you draw your whole deck every time) you need about 4-5 Villages, 2 Councils Rooms, 1 or 2 Cellars, and only 1 Militia. (You also need about 2 Gold and 1 Silver, to get to the buy 2 Provinces a turn state)
In a 4 Player game there's plenty of cards to go around except for Villages (if there's no Festival on the board). If I know I'm building this deck I will buy Villages early and often, there is no detriment to drawing them early even if you don't have other Action to go with them yet as they're "free" to play.