We’re continuing with our Wicked Wednesday game theme. (Our original theme for April, schemes and scams, was judged Too Depressing for the Current Situation by the Board of Directors of Wicked Authors, Limited.) Today, card games.
What is your happiest childhood memory of a card game? Who did you play with?
Jessie: When I was a child, my mother and grandmother both were Rummy enthusiasts and played against each other often. At one time my grandmother was on a losing streak. She told me she would pay me a dollar if I could beat my mum and break her winning streak. I was surprised and delighted when I did and was a fan of the game ever after.
Edith/Maddie: Jessie, I have so many fond memories of playing cards with my mom and my older sisters, including Rummy! My mom tried to teach us Canasta, but it never stuck. We four played cutthroat quadruple Solitaire games (all aces are common) and I still love playing with others. As a child, I could beat any of them at Concentration.
Sherry: We played lots of Spades and Whist growing up. My sister and I played a game called Spit that required two decks of cards and lot of slapping them over. I don’t remember any of the other rules. And even though you didn’t ask I’m going to add the game that I didn’t like. My older sister made me promise to play whatever card game she chose. After I agreed she threw all the cards up in the air and yelled fifty-two card pickup and yes I had to pick them all up. I guess I’m still not over it!
Liz: There is a card game that is very popular in a tiny little corner of Massachusetts called 45s. My grandparents played this game ALL THE TIME – it was a whole thing where they would get together with their friends on weekend nights. It was very serious. And of course, they taught us. I remember playing it with my grandpa – holidays just weren’t complete with a good, competitive round of 45s.
Julie: I played cards a lot as a kid. Gin Rummy or Rummy with my best friend Holly. Crazy 8’s with my sisters. War. Cribbage with my grandfather. Liz, you have to teach me 45!
Barb: I have lots of happy memories of playing cards, but the one that sticks is my brother and me playing War on the front porch of my grandparents’ house at the beach.
What is your favorite card game as an adult?
Jessie: I still like Rummy! But I also like a game called Timeline which is not a traditional game with a deck of playing cards but rather one of inventions or events etc… in history that you guess where they occurred in comparison with the cards in the other players’ hands.
Edith/Maddie: My young friends have taught us No Way (otherwise known as BS), a fun bluffing game.
Sherry: We play a lot of rummy — I think my family has our own set of rules. My husband and I play. If I’m with my mom and sister we play.
Liz: I don’t play cards much anymore – but I think it would still be 45s if anyone I knew could play!
Julie: I don’t play cribbage that often, but would happily play anytime. I play Uno with the nieces and nephews, which is a lot of fun though not played with a traditional deck.
Barb: I played bridge in college but I’ve forgotten too much. My protagonist Jane Darrowfield plays bridge and I had to have a bridge-playing friend review the bridge scenes for me. But my best card-playing moments these days are of not playing, but listening to my extended family members play poker while I read on the other side of the room. The sounds make me so happy.
What do you think is the most unusual card game your family plays–the one maybe the rest of us don’t know?
Jessie: My husband is Brazilian and has brought a Rummy-style game from his boyhood, called Pif to our family. In fact, we played it on Monday evening and had a great time!
Edith/Maddie: My grandfather taught me a version of solitaire called Idle Year. It’s very hard to win!
Sherry: Shanghai rummy is a fun game that you play with at least four people and two decks of cards. I have lovely memories of playing it with my Aunt Pat and Uncle John who were my parent’s dear friends from college.
Liz: I think I’ve already answered this one inadvertently. I don’t think I realized when I was younger how much of a “Mingya Valley” (a fond nickname for where I grew up) thing this game was until I started asking people at college if they knew it and got a lot of blank stares.
Julie: Back to cribbage–my grandfather loved me, and didn’t take the points I didn’t count. With a lot of games we morphed rules into what worked for us all and kept the peace. Isn’t that the true success of family game night, making up new rules?
Barb: My mother-in-law played a game called Kaluki. I played it just infrequently enough that I could never remember the rules, but my kids learned it well.
Readers: How about you? Favorite card games then and now.