Friday, December 16, 2011

Traditions and Rituals - Card Games

I was listening to @JeffMarek on the Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast, which if you're a hockey fan you need to listen to, and Jeff Marek made a Euchre reference. I love it, because Euchre is one of those games that I've played for so long that I can pick it up and get back into the game without missing a beat. The rules aren't really something I know as much as they are ingrained into my very being.

Part of that is ritual. The Rituals in games are always interesting to me, because what I learned aren't the same as what you've learned. However, no matter where I've gone and played the game the rituals are never such that you're left scratching your head wondering where they came from. They may not be my rituals, but they are all part of the larger tapestry of playing cards.

The Pick-up
My favourite ritual in cards is that you don't pick up the cards until everyone has been dealt their hand. I remember being a child and wanting to pick up every single card as they came to me, so the anticipation could build with each card. It didn't take too long before this behaviour was corrected in my eight year old self.

I was told a variety of reasons why this was important. It was polite to make sure everyone had the same chance to look at their cards. It was a luck thing, and looking at the cards early was bad luck. Some people would organize their cards in a neat little pile, I will admit I'm one of those. Other people refuse to touch the cards at all until they've all been dealt.

No matter the reason, this little card ritual is something I find pretty fascinating. I'm going to go over a bunch of them as I think of them. If you've got any rituals that you do when playing cards, let me know and let's talk about them.

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