Monday, November 27, 2006

Kings, etc.

We learned a new card game this weekend.

Thanksgiving was good. We went to my wife's parents' house (someone please double-check the grammar of those possessives there) and had a grand old time. I may have mentioned it before.

Friday was calmer. My wife went shopping and got some Christmas stuff for the boys, including their annual Christmas Eve Pajamas from the Disney Store (we wouldn't think of getting them anywhere else, dear Expatriate).

After she got back, a friend took me up to the Gwinnett Varsity for lunch and to pick up the new (to us) car.

On Saturday an old friend came by with his kids for the afternoon (he's not old, we've been friends a long time and I can't think of a simple phrase that says that; long friend? sounds Kerry-esque; longtime friend? sounds Prairie Home Companion-ish; anyway 28 years and counting). His wife was out of town and our kids hadn't played together in a while, so he came over.

The kids played video games. Okay, we played too. Then we left the kids and went and sat for awhile in another room. Man, what fun. It's another milestone, like letting the kids sit at their own table at a restaurant. They were in one place, we were in another. Any moment now, they'll all hop in a car and head off somewhere, leaving us old folks to sit around and wish they would stay. Not now, though.

So we played cards, and my friend taught us a new game called Kings In The Corner (I think). We had never played it before, and my friend dealt the cards and said "It's like solitaire." At that point, my wife said, "Ah," and didn't need more explanation. I, who don't know how to play solitaire, did need more, so he explained. Lots of fun.

Here's how it goes:
  1. Shuffle the cards. Deal 7 cards to each player.
  2. Place remaining cards face-down on the table and lay out the top 4 in a cross around the deck. These start your "lines" (that's what we called them; I'm sure there are official names but I'm not looking them up; so there)
  3. The player to the left of the dealer goes first. Cards are laid out of his hand onto the lines in descending order, alternating colors. So if a red 8 was laid down, the next card would have to be a black 7, then a red 6, etc. Aces are low.
  4. If the player's hand has a King, it can be put at a 45-degree angle between two existing lines and becomes its own, new line.
  5. Lines can be picked up en masse and placed onto another line (so long as the combined line continues the proper order). This clears up a new space for the player to create another line from their own hand.
  6. At the end of their turn, if he has any cards remaining, the player draws the top card from the central deck.
  7. The player on his left begins their turn.
  8. The first person to lay down all of his cards wins.
My friend said that his two boys like to play, so I tried to teach it to my guys last night. They got it very quickly (except Jonah, who doesn't like cards, and Sam, who doesn't like to sit at the table). We played several hands. Timothy won twice; my wife, Stephen, and I each won once.

We'll probably add this to the game repertoire, but with Chess, Stratego, and Battleship coming for Christmas, King In The Corner will most likely become a camping game.


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