Monday, February 17, 2014

2014 New Things #3: Gin

The card game, not the alcoholic beverage. Mike's grandma came up with the idea of having a family gin tournament, guys versus girls. I had never played gin before, but it's pretty easy to pick up on. Basically you have 10 cards in your hand and you try to make sets of 3 or 4 of a kind or runs of 3 or more sequential cards in the same suit (for example, 3 sevens or Jack + Queen + King of spades). Each turn, you can either pick up the card your opponent discarded or pick up a new card from the face-down stockpile, then you discard a card (from your hand if you want to keep the new card or the one you just picked up if you don't want it). The object is to get gin, where all 10 of your cards can be made into sets or runs. You can "knock" whenever the sum of your leftover (non-matched up) cards is 10 or less. Then both players show their hands and add up the points scored. You score 20 points for getting gin, plus the sum of your opponents' leftover cards (face cards count as 10 points). If you knock, you score the difference in points between the sum of your opponent's leftover cards and your leftover cards. If you were the one to knock but your opponent has a lower sum of leftover cards than you do, your opponent gets 10 points plus the difference in the sum of both players' leftover cards. If neither player has gin, the person who didn't knock can play off the knocker's sets/runs to reduce his/her leftover pile (for example, if your opponent knocked and one of his sets is three Queens and you have a Queen in your leftover pile, you can play your Queen on his set of Queens, thereby reducing the sum of your leftover pile by 10 points).

I think I'm getting that right. It's easier to play the game than to describe it.

Euchre is still my favorite, but gin night was definitely a good time. And I hope I grow up to be the kind of octogenarian who's organizing card game nights.

Lyric of the moment: "I remember thinking, sometimes we walk, sometimes we run away. But no matter how fast we are running, somehow we keep, somehow we keep up with each other..." (Because we were in the car Valentine's night, driving to the movie theater and this happened:
Me: What are some of your favorite love songs? Like good ones, not cheesy ones. I like Dave Matthews' I'll Back You Up.
Mike: I don't know, Rump Shaker?
And then we both tried to remember the words to Rump Shaker and mostly failed.)

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