You’re set to play poker (or Scrabble or something else . . .) with a group of four. Write a story set during this game. Or, describe the ideal match: the players, the relationships — and the hidden rivalries.
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Give the kids a good cartoon to what when mum is busy shopping in the supermarket and you have no problems. They are happy and content and mum does her work with no problems.
If you play a game at home, it can be that problems arise, due to short tempers, lack of understanding and wanting to know it all.
Dad arrived from London some years ago to stay a few weeks with the family. The kids were smaller and we had a good time until ….. OK, we still had a good time. It was evening, dad does not understand so much television, everything being in German or French (or Italian or Romantsch) so to break the boredom a pack of cards was produced.
Dad taught me all I knew about card games when I was growing up. No poker, but a lot of others. Crib, Whist, Pontoon etc. I am sure you have perhaps only heard of one or two of these games. Anyhow I had a good teacher and could always join in England. There was a problem with dad joining in Switzerland, he did not know the games. However, him being a player (gambler not so much with the cards, that was more with the horses) we gave him a quick lesson on how to play Jass. This is a Swiss game played in all restaurants, homes and there are even Jass contests and a programme on the television. The camera team travel to various villages in Switzerland during the summer. The games are played outside and they are televised. It needs four people, usually played in partner style: that means two against two, the partners always seated crosswise to each other.
Dad caught on quite well and so we begun.
“My turn, I call hearts as trump” and so I played the first card, a high unbeatable trump the Jack. Dad was my partner.
“You can’t do that, save your trumps for last” said dad
“No dad, that will no work. The others have to follows suit and we draw their trumps out as we have enough.”
“You might have enough, but I don’t”
“Doesn’t matter dad, just follow me.”
“But you have put another trump down and I do not have any more.”
“OK, dad, the others do not have to know that, just throw a useless card down. Trust me.”
“But if we were playing whist that would be stupid. You never throw your best cards out.”
We continued. I played a card to lead, because I won the last trick.
Dad now played an ace.
Mr. Swiss played a trump and won the trick.
“How comes he trumps that. You are not allowed to just pull a trump in Whist. You have to follow suit. An Ace is the highest card, unbeatable.”
“No dad, not in Jass, it is a game of strategy.”
Dad: “Oh, I see, but……”
Mr. Swiss was now leading and pulled a King.
“Trump that” said dad to me.
“No dad, it is not worth it: just a King and a bundle of rubbish. We have to score points.”
“But if you play whist, the points don’t count, it is the tricks you win.”
“I know dad, but the Swiss game of Jass is different. We have to count.”
“How comes you won everything with the first trick, you only played a Jack.”
“Dad it was the trump Jack, the highest card in the game with 20 points, it beats all.”
“Then why play it first of all, in Whist you save your best cards until the end.”
“Dad this is Jass, a game played for years in Switzerland and there are certain things you do not do.”
“I don’t care about that, I find it a silly game. Whist is much better.”
After ten minutes of playing Jass with dad, and learning that it was a stupid game in comparison to Whist, Mr. Swiss had the best idea of all.
“They are showing Casablanca on the television with Humphrey Bogart in two channel tone, English and German.”
“Now that is a good film” said dad.
“Do you want to play Jass or watch the film?”
“I would watch that one any time.”
Oh and the result of this terrific exciting Jass game. Dad and I won, in spite of the fact that the rules were all wrong. I just happened to have a hand full of trumps with the Jack 20 points and the second best, the Nell (Nine) 14 points which beats all. Dad did have a problem understanding that the Nine of trumps was the second highest card (after all a nine is worthless in Whist), but that is another story.
He returned home to London as probably one of the only English citizens that knew how to play the Swiss card game of Jass. We even gave him, as a present, a pack of Jass cards (36 cards – that was another problem). I am sure he just hid them away somewhere and never dared to explain the game to his colleagues; after all whist is much better.
For those who find this a little confusing, I found an English site on Internet explaining the rules Swiss Jass. I even found a YouTube explanation in English, so here we go.
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