Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Funny name, serious game

When we got home Sunday night from our Thanksgiving trip, I was tired. Monday I had to take a nap.

Why? Because of a card game called Pinochle.

Pinochle can be played in any number of ways. Of course, the only right way to play is the way I learned from my parents and my Mamma and Papa (maternal grandparents.) The right type of pinochle is played with four people (two teams.) Beyond that, it gets too complicated to explain in a blog post...though I will tell you that pinochle decks are made up of 9s, 10s, jacks, queens, kings, and aces (two of each card in each suit), and if you're playing the right way, you'll use two decks, with the 9s removed. I guess the 9s are only there for people who play in one of the wrong ways. (I know this sounds terribly closed-minded, but this is pinochle--I can't be open-minded about something so important!)

As you can tell, I'm passionate about pinochle. It's a game that requires a lot of strategy, but there's also a whole lot of luck involved. That's one reason I enjoy it. I've been playing for about 20 years, and I feel like I'm finally getting better at the strategy part of it...but the game has always been fun, because being dealt a great hand is thrilling whether or not you're good at strategy. And having a partner makes winning more fun...and losing more bearable.

I don't get to play pinochle very often. Our way (the right way, remember?) requires four people, and because most people don't know how to play, so I usually play when I'm spending time with my mom's side of the family. We were staying at my great-aunt's house Friday through Sunday, and my grandparents were there too. So both nights, my aunt, grandparents, and I stayed up until after midnight both nights, playing this game. I got home tired...but oh, it was worth it!

I think it's time for me to find some friends here in town who want to learn the right way to play pinochle. I found myself quickly addicted again this weekend, and I don't want to go into recovery! I'd prefer to share the addiction with others. (Local readers...let me know if you're intereste


Rachel Cotterill said...

I play a lot of cards, and am always looking for new games to learn (though I'm too far away to play with you, obviously!). Can you tell me if these are the rules you play by? That site belongs to one of my friends in London.

Crazy Mo said...

I'm a Euchre girl. I never understood how to play Pinochle, although my parents play all the time. It's probably because there's too much match involved! The bidding always confused me. How can bid when you don't know how many points you're going to make? I realize this isn't that different from Euchre, but somehow Euchre makes more sense to me.

Having said all that, if you happen to find yourself in Northern Ontario one day, drop in and play a few games with my parents ... they'd love to have you!

beckiwithani said...

D and I plan on playing a TON with Mom and Dad when we go home for the holidays! I miss Pinochle when I'm not with family. D and I need to teach it to our one pair of friends who are as into games as we are here in Boston.

Rachel, those rules are almost identical to the ones we use in our family. We count a triple Pinochle as 90 (have never seen a quadruple Pinochle!) but everything else looks the same.

Mellodee said...

When I was first married, my guy tried to teach me how to play Pinochle and Cribbage. I never could figure out either one! All I remember about Pinochle is that you have to remember what has been played. My mind just doesn't work that way. So, although I love playing cards and games and such Pinochle just appears to be beyond me. On the other hand if you ever want to take up Canasta, I'm your gal!!

2Wired2Tired said...

I have never played pinochle but it sounds like a blast! I will have to learn to play someday.

2cats said...

Pinocle confuses me. There are too many names for things.
I remember growing up and all the grown ups playing either bridge or pinocle.
I used to play rummy 500. That was a fun game.
Now we play hand and foot. It is sort of like canasta only totally different.

Jyoti said...

Never played Pinochle. Though it sounds interesting.
Strategy games always interest me.
Would love to play someday :-)

Anonymous said...

I grew up playing canasta and when I started dating Hubby I was introduced to the local favorite, Euchre. I LOVE card games. But, I don't remember ever playing pinochle. Sorry I don't live closer -- I'd be right there joining your group. :)