Poker face

Many years ago my husband bought the kids a joint present for Christmas. A poker set. I thought “WTF? They are six and seven! A little early to introduce gambling, they really need to learn to hold their liquor first.”

But it was a great idea.

Five card draw was their first game and it taught them many lessons. How part of the game is luck, but a good part is skill, as are most things in life.

They have learned to be good losers (and good winners), how to take turns, how to help someone out when they are “down.” (When someone runs out of chips we all hand some over.)

Tallying up the chips was a good way to practice math. At first adding and subtracting, later multiplication. They learned strategy while having fun.

At thirteen and fourteen they can play a number of variations, Texas hold’em, five card stud, strip.

Poker has been a tremendous bonding experience for the kids and their dad. Most of their games take place when I am otherwise indisposed. (Wow, that sounds like I’m passed out somewhere; however, usually I’m at work, volunteering, or out with friends. And only one of those occasions tends to coincide with overindulging. Sorry boss!)

Therefore, I am the Poker novice in the family. For example, I can’t seem to stop calling two cards with the same number “doubles,” three cards with the same number “triples.” That makes more sense to me (and is way less wordy than “two of a kind”).

Oh, and the clover shaped symbols, well I call them “clovers.” I mean, really, “clubs?” WTF is up with that? And I can never remember the hierarchy of what makes a really good hand. Thus I play a highly unnuanced game, seeking only pairs or an occasion triple.

I’m also fond of betting. I rarely drop out of the game, betting even if my highest card is a single eight.

However, my knowledge of my family is keen. Playing poker with them recently, and knowing they know about my lack of ability, I’ve taken to asking questions, at fortuitous moments in the game, such as: “Okay, so what’s it called when all your cards match up with the same little symbol?”

They drop like flies!

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8 Responses to “Poker face”

  1. East Bluff Barbie Says:

    My husband’s friend calls “clubs” “puppy’s feet”. We all love to play poker. My middle son is extremely good at Texas Hold’em. He loves it when he beats adults.

  2. mostprepossessing Says:

    I find it to be quite interesting that you mention your young teenagers’ ability to play STRIP poker.

  3. mortonmalaise Says:

    I picked up on the strip poker thing, too. Some families are a lot more open than mine I guess.

    By the way, “Trips” IS an acceptable term for three of a kind, so you’re close.

  4. jenjw4 Says:

    Yes, I threw the strip thing in wondering how closely people read… of course, we don’t play strip poker. That would, in fact, be quite disturbing!
    Jennifer

  5. mortonmalaise Says:

    A bit pretentious to make sure people are paying attention to your own blog, don’t ya think? 😉

  6. jenjw4 Says:

    or maybe it’s the opposite, lack of self esteem.. as in “why would they read me?”

  7. mortonmalaise Says:

    So you’re being passive-aggressive then. This gets back to the whole “women are crazy” theme.

  8. Ms. PH Says:

    OK – I throw in things in my posts all the time to see if people are really reading my blog closely. I’m just that type of person – I would give pop quizes if I could.

    I think poker is a great games for kids. My grandmother taught me how to play gin and gin rummy when I was a kid and it really did help with my math skills, as well as problem solving.

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