Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What's Black and Trump All Over?

Day 34 - Rook
Designed by George and Grace Parker

No, we are not talking about the castle in Chess. We are talking bird, similar to Edgar Allan Poe's "Nevermore" black Raven. Rook is a game that I grew up playing all of the time with my family. It was famous for keeping us up late into the night saying to ourselves "Just one more round." We didn't play to a certain value back then and we had our own house rules. Another common phrase in the household was "We can quit after I get a good hand" (this was usually said by father, and subsequently we would end up playing many many rounds). The fact is, Rook is an amazing trick and trump card game for 2 to 6 players. Players get dealt certain cards and determine what they think they will be able to take (how many points) during that round. Usually the game is played with 4 players and players are partners with the person across from them. The game consists of 4 colors with cards ranging from 1-14 with a Rook card (because the cards have no-face cards or suits from a standard deck of cards, it is a popular game played by religious groups who object to the standard deck of cards). The person with the highest bid gets to a set aside set of cards to add to his hand, and then he chooses trump and takes out the same number of extra cards and sets them aside face down in what is called The Nest (the player who takes the last trick gets these cards as well). Players take turns playing cards (the lead color must be played if the player has it, and high card takes the trick or trump (or high trump) with the Rook being the highest trump). The 14s and 10s are worth 10 points, and the 5s are worth 5 points. The rook is worth 20 points. The game has some luck to it, but it also has some good strategy. I love this card game. I even won tonight. If you don't own this classic game, I suggest you go get one and that is How Lou Sees It.

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