Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lunch Gaming

So I've been playing cards at lunch for over 4 years now.  I only started logging my plays this year.  I felt bad about inflating them in the past, but then I decided that was silly.

We have a stockpile of just plain decks of playing cards.  We go through them on a semi-regular basis since we play them right after eating on a sometimes grimy table.

So, what games are hits and misses for us?


This is the one we can most agree upon.  It's not quite bridge, but it's still an advanced trick taking game.  It requires accurate bidding and careful play.  It can be hard for newbies to pick up because it is hard to differentiate when you should try to set the other team or when you should just dodge bags.  It's that lovely grey area that makes it such a great game.


This one has really only taken off this year.  I introduced it a little after Christmas.  I had to do it in bits since the whole rules are rather intimidating.  We play without the special cards, but it doesn't lose much IMHO.  It also works passably well as a three player game.

My fellow actuaries still have niggles with bomb priority. We've mostly switched to "bomb on your turn".


Probably the best 5 player game we've come up with.  I'm so-so about it.  There is some strategy.  The bluff on figuring out who the partner is makes up most of the game.  The card play isn't *that* complicated.  It is interesting that some hands you just are going to have high point value cards that can't take any tricks.  For those hands the whole play for you is just figuring out who to give the points to.


No.  Not the 4-player version.  That one's just too simple for our tastes.  The double deck 6-player bidding monstrosity of Euchre.  3 Player teams and whole lots of bluff.  You pretty much have to bid more than you can take and count on your partners for 1 (or 2 or 3).  It's quite a bit of fun.

Oh Hell

Haven't played much of this one in awhile.  Mainly because it's everyone for themselves.  Much more fun to be on teams like all of the above games.  (Even with shifting teams like sheepshead.)  Still, it is a challenge and always fun when you play down to 1 card.

We've played a few more in our day.  Such as Big Three, Cribbage etc.  The only one we haven't tried that I'd like to give a go would be:


A game firmly in the "fishing" family of card games.  But this one is tailored for a standard deck of playing cards.  It also works well with partners.  Hrm hrm hrm.


  1. If you're planning to play a partnership fishing game, I'd recommend Scopone over Casino. Scopone is Scopa but with all of the cards dealt out at the beginning of the game rather than in batches of 3. This gives players a better sense of control and can better enable setting up your partner for "Scopas" (sweeping all of the cards from the center of the table). If you're interested in the "build" mechanism from Casino, you might want to look into Zwickern which allows for building upward (like Casino) as well as downward (unlike Casino). So, again, more opportunity for control.

  2. Thanks for the heads up Sean. Ironically you posted exactly an hour after we finished up trying out a 3-player game of Casino.

    Overall, it was intriguing. I enjoyed some of the fishing style. There definitely wasn't a tone of room for skilled play with 4 card hands. I do like the idea of the fishing games where the whole hand is dealt out up front. I will definitely have to give one of those a go. But I liked the building in Casino.

    Hrm hrm.


Behave. Your mamma could read this.