Basic Strategy for Macao
- In the first part of the game, being first really helps
- Make sure you always have cubes in all your positions.
- Get a mix of colors and numbers.
- Be the first person to pick cards if it counts.
- Cheap cards will allow you to get them out of your holding and onto your mat. This will prevent penalty points form accruing.
- If people are fighting for first position (the wall) then focus on shipping.
- Conversion cards and Jokers from the city help you convert one or two unneeded cubes to another color. This gives you great flexibility.
- Near the end, there is a focus on shipping, so make sure you have sets of goods from the early part of the game.
In short, in the beginning of the game you will feel the effects of randomness. Going first helps you to minimize the effect from cards and die rolls. After you start getting card, they act as tools to change cubes and your situation around.