Sunday, January 04, 2009

Maldons, sweeps and the secrets to a happy marriage

So many of my friends of old would be shocked to know that I have only recently taught V to play Casino. My habit for years was to carry this card game amongst friends and addict convert them to the code.

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, wiping the floor with me graciously accepting my defeat as we saw the New Year in.

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...


Jayne said...

Used to be a demon at 7 card stud poker and have been asked to teach the future son-in-law how to play lol.

BB said...

As you know I am a hopeless card player... too easily distracted! And hate losing... not a good combo. Mind you, I'm a hot Pictionary player... must try that one with Mr Incredible...


Debby said...

I'm not much good at cards. I liked rummy. My parents tried to teach me pinochle once. I was hopeless. I'm just not much interested in spending a lot of time learning something that doesn't 'do' anything for me. Of course, you play a game that involves assets of a non-card variety. I'm thinking even Tim would go for a game like that...

Kari said...

I love playing cards and it is especially useful to a couple who has children because even card games where you need more than the two of you you can do so with other adults without having to get a sitter. That is a score in and of itself where no matter who wins you are still a winner.

My favorite game is Euchre, which from what I hear is a regional game not many know about, here is a link (not sure how to properly link in comments)

MissyBoo said...

I play a pretty mean game of Canasta. I had never heard of Casino until now though.

I guess now V's addicted and you're itching for a win the two of you will be fairly busy with you deck!

David said...

This is the first I have heard of Casino. I love "Hearts" and Euchre.


Mary O. Paddock said...

Gary and I used to play cards on Friday night with some friends down the street. We women always teamed up against the men and they nearly always lost.

Gary and I prefer word games (We're champion Balderdash players at big family gatherings. They won't let us team up anymore!)

jeanie said...

Jayne - that is a game I have never played. Mind you, I am a shockingly bad poker player!

Bush Babe - goodness, its been years since we played pictionary.

Debby - I know about 4 versions of Rummy. It is a handy stand by.

Kari - I am fairly sure I have come across Euchre a few times! My Auntie Elsie was a card fiend!!!

M+B - I have never learned Canasta, but it sounds so EXOTIC doesn't it?

Dave - do you know the first I played Hearts was on the computer!! I think you would LOVE casino - it is quite strategic.

Mary - its so embarassing for a wordy girl, but I have NEVER played Balderdash!

Maude Lynn said...

I am a lousy card player, and so is my husband!

Woman in a Window said...

Two years ago my husband and I started our weekends out playing Crib. After a year and a half of me pulverizing him we gave up. I kinda miss it though, you know, all that pulverizing.

jeanie said...

Mama Zen - I think there are two types of people in the world - those who GET cards, and those who don't. Its okay to be either, and it is blessed to be with someone who get you.

Woman in a Window - see above. Did a little pulver on V last night - have to make sure I keep the balance!