Monday, August 23, 2004

Shuffle those cards, and deal

The book of family card games has waited patiently for nearly two months of the summer. Tonight was the night. I told the kids we were going to learn card games, and learn we did.

We learned that 7 pm is too late for a 4 1/2 year old to both recognize the Jack and be able to shout "Slapjack!" before his cardshark older brother. Or maybe there is no time of day at which this is possible, and tears are always the result. We moved quickly on to learning "Snap" -- like Slapjack except we look for a match between cards. We learned that this game still does not make a happy 4 1/2 year old when the cards go against him or big brother is lightning quick and gets many of the matches.

Aha! Mom thumbed further into the War chapter and decided to try War for Three. It worked pretty well for a while. Son2 (the 4 1/2 year old) caught on quickly, and happily this game depends completely on the luck of the draw. There were no tears... and then, after initial success, the game began to drag on and on. And on. Or at least that's what Mom forsaw.

Okay, Mom found a reasonable stopping place and pulled out the book again. The three cardplayers finally founnd just the right card game. Not too fast, not too slow; not too hard, not too easy; just right. In fact, Mom thinks we might actually play this again tomorrow.

Go Fish.

"Minnow"-style, with a twist. In Go Fish for Minnows, according to the book, all of the cards are dealt, and the aim is to collect pairs. I changed that to dealing out 9 cards each and having the "fishing" draw pile in the middle. Happy cardplayers! The youngest had fun, the older son began to catch on to some strategy, and Mom enjoyed it too. It is possible we will be able to move from collecting pairs to collecting 3 of a kind and, ultimately, to the book-stated four of a kind. We shall see.

Of course, the kids thought we were going to learn poker, thanks to dear husband's enjoyment of televised poker tournaments lately!

I'd nearly forgotten that dear husband and I used to play Hearts with others, cribbage together and, sometimes, Spades. He enjoys Euchre and taught me once. He plays poker with friends. I used to play Gin Rummy all the time. The kids have no idea!

Now they are long asleep and I'm off to play some actual, physical, non-virtual, non-Microsoft(tm) solitaire before bed.


Julie D. said...

Stick with it on those card games. Our family never has so much fun as when playing Pounce (way too advanced for your kids right now) which is the Davis family game for all family get togethers. We have initiated whole families into addiction. People have forgotten the fun that can be had with a few decks of cards ... on a whole different level than other activities I think.

Zelie said...

LOL, I thought my dh was the only one who is getting hooked on the Poker Olympics or whatever it is on TV. ;-) World Series of Poker? I think that's it. Silly men, lol!

Barbara said...

My husband actually caught your comment before I did, and was muttering, "silly men?!? silly men?!? Hmph!" hehehe

He was flipping between the Olympics and the poker thing last night and I saw a 25-year-old woman staffer at "Maxim" magazine leaving the table. How cool that she was playing at that level! Me, I've always needed a little cheat sheet of the order of good hands. Me lousy poker player.