Chess in the Park, Denver

  
Looking for an al fresco chess spot in Denver, Colorado?  Then come to the 16th Street Mall, between Arapahoe Street and Curtis Street.  Artists Doug Eichelberger and Susan Wick  created this group of tables with two ceramic tiled chess boards separated by a mosaic sculpture. It’s a great spot to find a pick up game and do some people watching.
 

Game Cafe in Qubec City

  
While visiting Québec City I found La Ravanche,  a great place to play games. On 585 Boulevard Charest E. La Revanche  is not just a game cafe, but a game pub complete with draft beers and cocktails. 

Players can sip the beverage of their choice and choose a game from an impressive collection of games–mostly in French. If your French is a little rusty, the staff clad in bright yellow t-shirts will teach you the rules of the games you picked.

Bonne chance!
  

  

A Game Player’s  Pilgramage 

  
I was daydreaming about traveling around the world when an idea hit me. I would like to put together list of awesome places to play games. It could include places where a historic game was played. It could have locations that possess outstanding game equipment to play on. It could also include a location where there are lots of other players to be found. 

If any readers have suggestions on locations that should be included please share them in the comments.

Twenty Five



With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner I thougt it time to feature a game from Ireland. Twenty Five is a fast trick taking  card game that  I am told is still popular In  Irish pubs.  After learning the ranking of the cards, you will find Twenty Five is a great game for when you have a large group a friends at your table. Sláinte!

Players 3-9

With an even number of players, players can be split into pairs. Each pair is a team and sits opposite of each other. With odd number of players each players plays as a individual.

Equipment

Standard 52 card deck 

How to play

The photo below  shows the ranking order of cards if the truump suit was spades.





Ranking order of trump cards

5, J ,A (of hearts),A,K, Q, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (When spades or clubs are trump)

5, J, A ,K, Q,10, 9, 8, 7, 6,4, 3, 2 (when hearts are trump)

5, J, A (of hearts), A,K, Q, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 ( when diamonds are trumps)

Ranking order of non-trump cards

K, Q, J, A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (spades and clubs)

 K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 (hearts)

 K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A (diamonds)


The dealer deals five cards to each player two at a time followed by three at a time.

The top card of the remaining stack of cards  is flipped over. The suit of this turned card is trumps for the hand. 

If a player has  the ace of trumps he or she may take the trump card turned up by the dealer. This is called robbing the trump.  Robbing the trump  must be done before he or she  plays a card to a trick. The player places a unwanted card from his or her  hand face down beside the undealt part of the deck. The trump card may then either be  taken into  his or her hand or left on the table but still used as though it were one of the cards in their hand. 

If the turned up card is the ace, the dealer may rob the trump.

The player to dealer’s left leads to the first trick. The highest card of the suit led wins unless a trump is played, in which case the highest trump wins. The winner of each trick leads to the next.

When a card of a non-trump suit is led, players who have cards of this suit must either play a card of the suit that was led or play a trump. If a player has neither a card from the suit led or trump they may play and card the chose.

When a trump is led, the other players must play trumps if possible, with the exception of the top three trumps (which are the 5, the Jack and the Ace of hearts). These three cards have the privilege of reneging A player can only be forced to play any of the three top trumps when the first  player leads a better trump than any of the top three trumps the player  holds. If a player holds no trumps or only the trumps allowed to reneg, he or she may play any card they chose. 

Each trick is worth five points to the team or player that wins it. As soon as a player reaches 25 points the game is over and that player or team is the winner. This can occur before the hand being played is complete. 

If no player has reached 25 at the end of the hand, the next dealer shuffles, the cards are cut, and a new hand is dealt and played.

When played for stakes some people play  that the winner is paid after each game. However , when the game is played between two teams it is common to play the team who won best out of five games wins the stake.

A score of 25 to zero is often considered winning two games or double the stake.


Koi Koi

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Koi Koi is a card game played with a Hanafuda deck. Players try to collect cards that make point earning combinations called Yaku. When a player makes a Yaku they can stop the game and collect the points. However, if keep going they have an opportunity to earn more points. The danger is if their opponent makes a Yaku, the opponent can stop the game and earn double the points while the other player earns nothing.

Players 2

Equipment
Hanafuda deck
Score keeper

How to play

Koi Koi is played with a Hanafuda deck. The deck has twelve suits( named for the flower on the card )with four cards in a suit. In the photos below the cards called the brights are in the far left column. The next column is the animal cards followed by the Ribbon cards, and the Junk cards. Notice that some suits do not contain every type of card.

Pine, Plum, and Cherry

Pine, Plum, and Cherry

Wisteria, Iris, Peony,

Wisteria, Iris,  and ,Peony

Bush clover, Pampas Grass, chrysanthemum

Bush clover, Pampas Grass, Chrysanthemum

Maple, Paulownia, Willow

Maple, Paulownia, and Willow

The first dealer of the game is decided in a random manner of the player’s choosing. The  dealers deals 8 cards 4 at a time to each player. The dealer then puts eight cards face up on the table. The remaining cards form the draw pile.

There are two ways to win the hand instantly. If a player is dealt all four cards of a suit he or she earns six points and a new hand is dealt. If a player is dealt four pairs he or she earns six points and a new hand is dealt.

The dealer begins play.

On the player’s turn, he or she may match a card from his or her hand with one on the table of the same suit and collect them into their point pile. If the card from his or her hand does  not match a card on the table, it is  left  face up on to the table with the other cards.

After matching or discarding a card, the player then draws one card from the draw pile and places it face up on the playing area. If the card matchs the suit of a card already on the table the player collects both cards. If the draw card can not match a card on the table, it is left face up on the table with the other cards.

If there are two cards that can be matched on the table the player may chose the card he or she wants to match. Three cards of the same suit on the table are formed in a stack and are collected when the player plays the fourth card.

At the end of a player’s turn the cards collected may have formed a point earning combination called a Yaku. After a player forms a  Yaku or improves an existing Yaku he or she must call “shobu”or “koi koi”. If he or she calls shobu this ends the hand. The caller adds the value of the yaku to his or her point total. Only the player who calls shobu earns any points.  The player can also choose to continue playing by calling koi koi. Calling Koi koi allows the player to collect more points but, if his or her opponent is able to call shobu before the first caller forms another Yaku or improves an existing one, the opponent gains double his or her score and the first caller earns nothing.

If a player has yaku totaling 7 or more points when the hand ends, that player earns twice that value. If a player earns  7 or more points and his opponent had called koi-koi, he gets both doubling bonuses for a total of four times his or score.

Should the players run out of cards to play without having formed a yaku on the last play, no points are awarded to either player, and the next hand begins with the same dealer.

The winner of the hand deals the next hand.

There are 12 hands to a game , but the players may agree to play for a different number of hands  at the beginning of the game. The player with most points after the agreed upon rounds wins the game.

Yaku

Gokō (五光) 10 points for collecting All five bright cards.

Gokō (五光) 10 points for collecting All five bright cards.

Shikō (四光) 8 points for collecting the four brights which exclude the Rainman (Willow's bright card).

Shikō (四光) 8 points for collecting the four brights which exclude the Rainman (Willow’s bright card).

Ame-Shikō (雨四光) 7 points for collecting any four Bright cards including the Rainman (Willow's bright card).

Ame-Shikō (雨四光) 7 points for collecting any four Bright cards including the Rainman (Willow’s bright card).

Sankō (三光) 5 points for collecting any three bright cards excluding the Rainman (Willow's bright card)

Sankō (三光) 5 points for collecting any three bright cards excluding the Rainman (Willow’s bright card)

Inoshikachō (猪鹿蝶) 5 points for collecting the Boar, the Deer, and the Butterflies (the animal cards from Clover, Maple, and Peony. One additional point is awarded for every additional animal card.

Inoshikachō (猪鹿蝶) 5 points for collecting the Boar, the Deer, and the Butterflies (the animal cards from Clover, Maple, and Peony. One extra point is awarded for every additional animal card.

Tane (タネ) 1 point for collecting any five animal cards, One additional point is awarded for every additional animal card.

Tane (タネ) 1 point for collecting any five animal cards, One extra point is awarded for every additional animal card.

Akatan (赤短) 5 points for collecting all 3 Red Poetry Ribbons (found in Pine, Ume, and Sakura). One additional point is awarded for every additional ribbon card.

Akatan (赤短) 5 points for collecting all 3 Red Poetry Ribbons (found in Pine, Ume, and Sakura). One extra point is awarded for every additional ribbon card.

Aotan (青短) 5 points for collecting all 3 Purple/Blue Ribbons (found in Peony, Chrysanthemum, and Maple). One additional point is awarded for every additional ribbon card.

Aotan (青短) 5 points for collecting all 3 Purple/Blue Ribbons (found in Peony, Chrysanthemum, and Maple). One extra point is awarded for every additional ribbon card.

Akatan, Aotan no Chōfuku (赤短・青短の重複) 10 points for collecting all 3 Red Poetry Ribbons and all 3 Purple/Blue Ribbons: the combination of Aka-tan and Ao-tan. One additional point is awarded for every additional ribbon card.

Akatan, Aotan no Chōfuku (赤短・青短の重複) 10 points for collecting all 3 Red Poetry Ribbons and all 3 Purple/Blue Ribbons: the combination of Aka-tan and Ao-tan. One extra point is awarded for every additional ribbon card.

Tanzaku (短冊) 1 point for collecting any five ribbon cards. One extra point is awarded for every additional ribbon card

Tanzaku (短冊) 1 point for collecting any five ribbon cards. One extra point is awarded for every additional ribbon card

Hanami-zake (花見酒) 5 points for collecting the Sakura Curtain and the Sake Cup (Sakura's bright card and Chrysanthemums' animal card ). Cumulative with Tsukimi-bake

Hanami-zake (花見酒) 5 points for collecting the Sakura Curtain and the Sake Cup (Sakura’s bright card and Chrysanthemums’ animal card ). Cumulative with Tsukimi-bake

Tsukimi-zake (月見酒) 5 points for collecting the Moon and the Sake Cup (Pampas' bright card and Chrysanthemums' animal . Cumulative with Hanami-zake

Tsukimi-zake (月見酒) 5 points for collecting the Moon and the Sake Cup (Pampas’ bright card and Chrysanthemums’ animal . Cumulative with Hanami-zake

Pakkeleg

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Here is a game from Denmark to liven up your office Christmas party. So break out the dice and start grabbing gifts!

Players 5 or more
Equipment
1 dice
A watch
A small wrapped gift from each player
How to play

Each player brings a small wrapped gift, and all gifts are placed in the middle of the table.
Players take turns rolling the die. When a player rolls a six he or she choose a gift from the table. This continues until every gift has been taken from the table.

One player is chosen as time keeper. The players now take one turn rolling the dice as many times as he or she choses in a given amount of time agreed on before hand. When a player rolls a six he or she steas a gift from another player.

After each player has had a timed turned the gifts can be unwrapped