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  • Writer's pictureAmy Trudell

Amy's Angle>

Let's Chat About...Card Playing

Have you ever really thought about the value of a deck of cards? There are so many different games that can be played, either with others or by yourself. Solitaire is one of my favorites! I think with modern technology, playing cards is becoming a lost pastime which was once a common form of entertainment. I believe it's important to introduce playing cards to children at a young age. There are very basic options such as "War" which teaches numerical value concepts or even "Slap Jack" which emphasizes focus and concentration. Even the skill of shuffling is something everyone should learn to do!

Original Meaning of a Deck of Cards:

  • 52 Cards = 52 Weeks in a Year

  • 2 Colors (Red & Black) = Day & Night

  • 4 Suits (Hearts, Diamonds, Spades & Clubs) = 4 Seasons

  • 13 Cards per Suit (Ace through King) = 13 Weeks per Season

  • 12 Court Cards (4 Jacks, 4 Queens, 4 Kings) = 12 Months per Year

  • If you add all the cards (Ace + Ace + Ace + Ace + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 3's + 4's...ect.) = 364 Days per Year

  • The deck of cards is an agricultural calendar that tells us about the weeks and the seasons.

  • Jokers were used in Leap Years.

Tex Ritter wrote this song in the 1940's called "Deck of Cards". This tune is about a Soldier who used a deck of cards as an Almanac, a Calendar and a Bible.

Shuffling cards is a skill that requires some practice to master. I think it's important that everyone learns how to shuffle cards, you just never know when you will need it! Here are some examples of shuffling techniques:

  1. The Overhand Shuffle (The most commonly used. It consists of peeling small chunks of cards off the top of the deck and shuffling them to the back. Although this is simple in technique, it is not the most effective form of mixing up the cards.)

  2. The Riffle Shuffle (This is my favorite! It is most commonly used by poker dealers since there is less chance of the cards being exposed. This form consists of splitting the deck in 2 and weaving the cards together at the ends. It can also be followed up with the "bridge" which straightens the cards after they have been bent.)

  3. The Hindu Shuffle (This is most commonly used in Asian Countries. It's similar to the Overhand Shuffle, except the cards move along the long end rather than the short.)

  4. The Faro Shuffle (This one is probably the most difficult to master. It involves splitting the deck in 2 halves and weaving the corners of the cards together. When performed properly, the cards will slide together like a zipper. This is the most precise form of shuffling.)

  5. The Granny Shuffle (This consists of laying all of the cards face down on the table and mixing them up in a "washing motion".)

  6. The Pile Shuffle (This form of shuffling involves placing random cards in different piles and then joining them together.)

  7. The False Shuffle (This is when the cards appear to be shuffled, but they actually maintain their original order of sequence.)

To learn more about Shuffling Techniques, click the link below:

The wonderful thing about a deck of cards is the vast number of games that can be played! There are over 70 variations of games that can be played with just one deck. These are the games that I am familiar with, but there are many more:

  1. 7up

  2. Black Jack

  3. Canasta

  4. Crazy 8

  5. Cribbage

  6. Garbage

  7. Go Fish

  8. Golf

  9. Hand & Foot

  10. Hearts

  11. Kings Corner

  12. Nertz

  13. Old Maid

  14. Poker

  15. Presidents & Losers

  16. Pinochle

  17. Rummy

  18. Shang-Hi

  19. Smear

  20. Solitaire

  21. Spades

  22. Spoons

  23. Ten's

  24. Texas Hold 'Em

  25. Up & Down the River

  26. Wist

Playing cards brings back a lot of good memories from my childhood. My Grandparents would get together with friends and family to play "Smear". They would even have tournaments occasionally! If I were to choose my favorite card game, it would have to be smear, especially with partners. It's more a game of skill than chance and I love the challenge. A few great games to get children started are War, Go Fish, Crazy 8 and Old Maid. When they get a little older, Kings Corner, Garbage, and 7up are a lot of fun! I try to play these games with my Grandkids, Nieces and Nephews whenever I can. Not only are they educational, but it removes the technology piece while creating wonderful memories!!

Randy and I like to go out to the Cabin in the Woods at RedTail Ranch and play cards! It is so peaceful and with the woodstove going, it gives it an extra special ambiance. There is nothing like peace, quiet and the feeling of security, like the hustle and bustle of life can just wait.

I actually like playing card so much that I created a local women's card playing group called "Lady Card Sharks"! If you are in the area and would like to get involved, please reach out to the Facebook link below.

Please share with us some of your card playing memories or favorite games in the comments below.

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