Monday, December 7, 2009

Ghosts in the Rules

Played a little Rook last night.  The whole concept of Rook gives me the giggles for the most part.  It's a deck of cards, with all the faces removed, so some religious nut can go to bed at night and not feel guilty for playing cards.

Now, I realize these days it has actually evolved past that.  But that was the original purpose of the game.  I'm also annoying that they left in "Aces are high" since when removing the face cards they mapped the face cards to "1".  Riiight.

It got me to thinking about other card games with oddball rules left over.  I think my most recent example was refreshing myself with house rules for Double Sheepshead.  I haven't played this since an exchange student in high school taught it to us.  Here are some of the oddballs:

1. If you capture an Ace♦ played by your opponents, score a point.  (Doesn't sound odd until you learn you don't actually know who your opponents are until they are revealed at some unknown point in time.)

2. If you capture the last trick with a Jack♣, score a point.

3. If you capture an opponent's Jack♣ on the last trick, score a point.  (I actually think the above two rules are pretty cute.  But really, who thought them up?)

4. If you win a trick worth 40+ value, score a point.  (Basically has to be all aces and 10s.  Happens occasionally on an off-suit, but weird ass rule to have.)

5. 10♥ is highest trump, or not, depending on house rules.  (Very odd rule since the other option is for the 10♥ to just be an off suit)

Anyway, I'm always fascinated by history of card games.  I actually geeked out my hosts last night mentioning all the names of "Oh Hell" I could remember.

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Behave. Your mamma could read this.