Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Card Game: Egyptian Rat Fink

Number of Players: 2 or more

Object: Win everyone else's cards

Deal: Deal cards one at a time to each player face down in a pile.


  1. Player to left of dealer goes first.
  2. Hold deck face down and flip top card into middle of table.
  3. Other players follow clockwise.
  4. If a high card (11, 12, 13, or 14; Jack, Queen, King, or Ace) is played the next player has 1, 2, 3, or 4 tries (respectively) to flip over an 11-14 or Jack-Ace; if they fail the person who initially played the high card adds the cards in the middle to the bottom of their stack (face down), and leads the next round.
  5. Play continues until one player has collected all the cards.
Variation: You can add a rule that any time a certain number (e.g., 2) is flipped into the middle of the table, the first person to slap the pile wins the cards and starts the next round. If you want to play forever you can also allow people who are out to "slap in" at these times.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dark Knight and Ultra-Portable PC's

The above have nothing in common, I just felt like I occasionally need something other than religion and politics in my blog.

I've probably watched all of The Dark Knight movie trailers several times over. I read a good part of the articles and reviews on the movie and cannot wait to get to the theater to see it. I don't know what it is about Batman that fascinates me, I've never even read a single Batman comic book. It probably has something to do with the fact that Batman is very mortal. He has no supernatural powers, unless you consider wealth such a power, and he takes justice into his own hands. Whether or not this is "right" is debatable, but what else do you do when no one else seems to care about making a change for the good?

There has been quite a bit of hype about the joker and how Mr. Ledger is deserving of an Oscar for his role, but I could honestly care less about the Oscars. It's just a bunch of people with weird perceptions on what makes a good movie or actor. They never consult "the people," at least I never got a ballot. That's why I'd like to take movie critiquing into my own hands.

The other thing that has grabbed my attention is the new line of ultra-portable laptops that various tech companies (Asus, Acer, HP, etc.) have come out with. I'm trying to rationalize the need for one, but I'm not quite convinced that it's the wisest purchase right now. The specs keep getting better with each new model of the EeePC. Acer came out with a cheaper option with a better processor. HP's is more of a standard laptop in a smaller case (regular hard drive) and seems to be pointed more towards business travelling needs, and is pricier.

I think I'll wait another month or two to see what type of price drops will be happening with the back to school crowd and see if other laptop makers will be jumping in on this end of the portable PC market. Lenovo, Vaio, and Mac are kind of out of the question as they decided to charge close to $2000 for their versions.

Most of these come with a webcam, linux, a decently sized hard drive that is shock proof (can be dropped from several feet with no damage to the insides), nice size screen for the overall size, long battery life (developments are under way to make this even better), etc... enough to make any techie drool.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Relevance of Church Leader's Counsel on Face Cards

Both my wife and I grew up in homes where we were not permitted to play with face cards. We were told that the prophet had counseled us to stay away from them. I was curious as to who and when it was said and found the following quotes from a search of "playing cards" at
  • Elder Oaks, in 1972, stated: "One type of gambling that has been vigorously criticized by our leaders is card playing. Cards may, of course, be played without playing for money, but the relationship between card playing and gambling is so close and the practice of card playing itself partakes of so many of the disadvantages of gambling that card playing has come under condemnation regardless of whether or not gambling is involved."
  • Elder Widtsoe's comments in 1943 could clarify this, if Elder Oak's opinion doesn't override it: “It must be added that relaxation from the regular duties of the day is desirable and necessary for human well-being. Wholesome games of recreation are advocated by all right-minded people. Moreover, the … objections [to card playing] are not directed against the many and various card games on the market not employing the usual ‘playing cards.’ Most of these furnish innocent and wholesome recreation, and many are really instructive. It is true that they may be played to excess, but in fact it seldom happens. This is true even when such cards are used in games imitating those with ‘playing cards.’ It is true that such cards may be used for gambling purposes, but in fact it is almost never done. The pall of evil seems to rest upon the ‘playing cards’ handed down to us from antiquity” (Evidences and Reconciliations, Murray & Gee, 1943, pp. 218–19).
  • Pres. Spencer W. Kimball, in Nov. 1974, said: "We hope faithful Latter-day Saints will not use the playing cards which are used for gambling, either with or without the gambling."
What I get from these quotes is that the decks of cards used for playing poker (your regular Bicycle deck of 52 cards) shouldn't be used at all. From Elder Widtsoe's quote, card games in general are not bad (I'm assuming this includes games like Phase 10, Rook, Mille Bornes, Uno, etc.). Games that use imitation face cards (I'm assuming this could be games like Sequence...though I've never played it or Canasta that is sold as cards specifically made for the game) are OK.

What do you all think of this? President Hinckley talked about gambling about 3 years ago in a Priesthood session of conference but didn't mention whether or not face cards could/shouldn't be used.

These other quotes are over 30 years old. Are they still valid today? Or is this a topic that shouldn't even be brought up. Please respond in the comments and poll.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Card Game: Club 7

A card game I learned on a 50 mile hike in New Mexico. These rules apply to playing with Rook cards as well.

Number of players: 4

Object: Be the first to get rid of all your cards.

Deal: Deal out all of the cards equally. Person with the black 7 plays first and must put that card down on the table. Play then continues clock-wise.

Play: Cards will be placed on the table in four rows, each row its own suit (black, red, green, yellow). In order to play, cards must be played in this order:
  1. After the black 7 is played, all the other 7's must be played next
  2. 6's must be played next (in no particular color order)
  3. 8's may be played after all of the 6's are down
  4. Once the 6, 7, and 8 of each color are down for any suit, cards may be placed either up or down in no particular order for that suit.
If on your turn you are unable to follow these steps, the person on your left gives you a card of their choosing from their hand. The first player to get rid of his/her hands wins.