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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New card game

My friends in the magic bar taught me a new card game yesterday. It seemed a bit complicated at first, but it is not that bad once you get used to it. As all games in our magic bar, it is a drinking game.

You have 2 cards in your hand. There is a pile of cards on the table. When you play a card, the value of that card is added to the accumulated value of the pile. The first person to add a card that makes it 50 or higher has to drink half his glass.

The game continues, and the first person to add a card that makes it 102 or more has to drink all of what is in his glass.

After you play a card from your hand, you take one more card from the stack of unused cards, so you always have two cards in your hand. If you forget to take a card and someone points it out, you have to drink half your glass.

If you do not want to play any of the cards you are holding, you can also chose to play from the stack. You then play the top card of the stack, whatever that may be, instead of one of your own cards.

There are lots of special rules:

Anyone playing a card that makes the pile 11, 22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77, 88, or 99, has to drink half his glass.

Anyone holding a joker when someone goes over 101 also has to drink the full contents of his glass (if you go over 101 and still have a joker in your hand, you thus have to drink two glasses).

An ace can count as 1 or as 11, your choice.

An 8 can count as 8 or as 0.

A 9 can count as 9, or count as 0. When playing a 9 as 0, the order between players is reversed (e.g. clockwise becomes anti-clockwise).

A 10 can count as either 10 or -10.

Jacks count as 10.
Queens count as 20.
Kings count as 30.
Jokers count as 50 (thus, if you get a joker the best you can hope for is to drink only half your glass, unless people play lots of -10s).

If you play a card with the value 0 (an 8 or 9) when the value on the pile is for instance 99, it counts as you also having played 99 (i.e. you have to drink half your glass if both digits are the same).

If the value of the stack goes down below 50 again (e.g. someone plays a 10 as -10 when the value is 55), the next person to drive it back up to 50 or higher has to drink half his glass, just as before.

If you play several rounds, the loser of the previous round gets three cards (and always has to have three cards in his hand), thus having a better chance of getting useful cards like 8s, 9s, or 10s (but also a higher chance of getting jokers).

A round starts with the top card of the stack of remaining cards being played, and it counts for its face value (i.e. an 8 counts as 8, not 0). The loser of the previous round goes first.

As an extra special rule, anytime a number that corresponds to your name is played, you have to drink half your glass (even if you did not play it yourself). One of my friends is called "Goro", and "go" is 5 in Japanese, and "ro" is 6. So anytime the stack becomes 56, he has to drink. I am "yo-nasu" in Japanese, which since "yo" is 4 and "na" is 7 means that I had to drink whenever the pile turned to 47. One round it became 47, and stayed 47 for 4 plays (no one wants to go over 50, so lots of 8s and 9s were played), which meant I had to drink 2.5 glasses right there.

Those are the rules. Drunk people tend to make more and more mistakes, getting even drunker. A quite fun game.

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