3) Be Flexible!
After going over those first two rules, one thing we need to discuss as the third is to be flexible. Sure, a player may have made an early alliance, but that alliance doesn’t have to last the whole game. A key strategic point is one that belongs in big, bold, red, highlighted letters:
You cannot simply tie yourself to one alliance and hope that it survives!
Yes, some alliances “to the end” actually do make it to the end. But that doesn’t mean you make only one alliance and hope you all make it. You need to work for it. If you’re in a big alliance, you need sub alliances, because I guarantee others in that alliance will have them. You need side alliances with people outside your big alliance. You need to be able to play the game on your own terms and you know that mega-alliance isn’t going to last the whole way through.
This rule may be even more important on Big Brother than on Survivor because Big Brother is a game filled with twists that will shake up the game and, in the process, all your intended strategies. Big Brother players plan and producers laugh. So you can’t just expect the unexpected – you have to plan for the unexpected. How do you do that? By planning ahead and giving yourself multiple different options. You’re the HOH and you wanted to target a specific player, but suddenly they got a magic power voted on by America? You should have a backup target. You were waiting for the perfect opportunity to take out your enemy but it hasn’t come up? Use a good opportunity rather than hoping for a better one. Double-eviction night rolls around? I sure hope you weren’t waiting til the last minute to ensure your allies’ loyalty. Players need to look at what’s going on around them and judge the proper way to proceed. Sometimes that even means doing a 180 on your plans, such as if you were throwing competitions to appear weak but realize the other players will be taking comp wins into account in their voting.
A lot of this depends on your ability to have good reads on your fellow houseguests and having your finger on the pulse of every member of the house. It’s not easy. You need to figure out who’s telling you the truth, how much is the truth, and when they switch to lying. But you have to know when there is a shift. If you see that the majority or the HOH is leaning a new way, make sure you’re part of that majority!
Sometimes, the best play is to not play. Just stay out of the way and let the battling powers eliminate one another. Insisting on being the center of attention is a sure way to be eliminated quickly. Know when to stay cool and when to heat things up.
I should mention that this rule applies to non-strategy situations too. Are you aligned with a bunch of bros who like to work out? Then work out with them. They like to play pool? Play pool – just don’t try to cheat. Are you a smoker? If you have a bunch of anti-smokers in the house, you’ll want to do your best to stop. But if you’re aligned with a bunch of people who smoke, then feel free to light up like a chimney. You’ll need the money you win to pay your medical bills anyway. Just try to fit in and keep a low profile. Don’t argue about stupid things because that will make you stick out, and sticking out early is a good way to get voted out early. Follow the path of Derrick, who changed the way he dressed and acted over time to blend in with others in the house.