There is a great deal of ritual in the game. With two players, there is no rest from the shuffling (from the original rules I learned). V actually calls it "the shuffling game". The past dealer shuffles, the new dealer shuffles, the past dealer cuts, the new dealer deals - two to the old dealer, two to the table, two to themself and again. The first deal is the only deal that includes the table.
Casino is a game of strategy. You capture cards. You build to win cards. You add on builds to win cards. You double to win cards. You pair to win cards. You trail.
The cards are of varying value, and there is strategy in when to throw, what to trail, what to hold, what to leave, what to build and sweeps (when you clear the table).
A maldon is a term from another card game I know and love - Maltese Rummy - and it basically means "bad deal" - where, by slip or slight or just grabbing up the wrong cards you wipe out the whole game.
But that is all beside the point. Somehow, for 40 something days of marriage (and 2 something years previous of unmarriage) we had always found something or other else to occupy our hands and minds without a deck of cards.
But then the passion for cards (combined with babysitting in a house not ours and lack of access to the internet or television) came back with a vengence and I created a new convert.
After a trepiditious start, learning the main rules and a few strategic pointers V really got into the swing of things,
He saw that as portentous, however I see it as a chance to stop going softly with my beloved. I have been known to be quite competitive (despite rumours to the contrary I can lose graciously, I just don't like doing it) and V also has this capacity.
He has already learned how to use the Maldon to his advantage. I have other assets of the non-card variety to throw him off his game.
Who knows what stories the score sheets will tell over the years, but its a nice addition to an already very nice thing we have going here.
So - are you a card player? Your favourite game? Have you mingled it with relationships? And what are the pitfalls...