Know when to hold ’em by (1 Story)

Prompted By Toys & Games

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Deck of cards Kenny Rogers hadn’t sung that song when I was introduced to the fun you can have with a deck of cards.

In our neck of the woods, we didn’t have board games. I don’t think I saw a Monopoly Board until I was in High School and by then my thoughts had turned to more lively pastimes.

There were always multiple decks of cards in the house. As far back as  I can remember there were games that kids and parents played together. You learned how to win and lose at an early age. And I don’t mean namby-pamby games like Go Fish. I’m talkin’ go get your penny bank if you want to play in this game junior.

Tough lessons sometimes but you learned how to read people figure out their tells and most importantly who you could trust to deal with you straight up not just as a kid.

We played Rummy Games like Michigan when we had a crowd in residence. I remember games with six of us around the table from 7 or 8 years old up to 70. Canasta was hoot for the adults. They laughed at us trying to hang on to huge fists full of cards in that double deck game.

One of my aunts taught me Gin. Talk about a painful learning curve.

Then in the teen age years Poker became the rage. Real poker like five card draw and seven card stud, although there were a couple of idiots that got into things like Night Baseball with a slew of wild cards. By then it was just the teenagers at the table. Truth be told I think we were afraid our fathers would clean us out because if you came to play you were all treated the same.

Those 52 bits of pasteboard were the entertainment when TV had a screen smaller than an I Pad and was in black and white. There were no computers or digital anything in our corner of the world. So we’d get  out a deck of cards and make a party.

I look back on that as a simpler time but it wasn’t. We were learning about relationships and reality at the same time math skills and manual dexterity were being practiced around the table.

I found an old deck the other day while cleaning out a drawer. Couldn’t resist a couple hands of Solitaire.

Yeah, I kept the deck. You never know when you might want to have some cheap fun.

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  1. Patricia says:

    I loved canasta! Learned it at a very young age just by watching my extended family play it every summer at the lake. There was no TV, so reading and games were the entertainment. You’re right about the handful of cards!

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    I’m with you on this one. I played a lot of Solitaire as a kid, gin rummy with my grandfather, bridge and hearts in college. Sometimes we played hearts with two decks of cards while stoned in college. Nothing quite like having the Queen of Spades dropped on you while you are stoned! Never really got into poker, though my husband (who was a math major and a very good card player) tells me he nearly flunked out freshman year due to lots of prolonged poker playing. Cards really were fun. I keep urging my husband to give up so much TV and take out a deck, even now.

  3. Susan says:

    My dad and his friends played cards, and I wish wish wish he had included me in that rarefied circle. One night he came home with a chihuahua he had won in a game. There *may* have been alcohol involved..

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