Celebrating one year of blogging

At the end of last April, we posted for the first time on our brand-spanking-new blog, sharing the rules to Thirteen. Over the past year, we’ve been pretty busy—we’ve posted the rules to 48 different card games! You can find a list of them on our new Game Rules Index page, which you can access at any time from the link on the blog’s right sidebar.

Here’s to another year of blogging!

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The gambler’s fallacy

A roulette wheelThe gambler’s fallacy is the mistaken belief that after a series of random events occur, a certain outcome is “due” to happen, so that the series of outcomes is corrected to better match the odds of each outcome.

The simplest example is a coin flip. A perfectly fair coin will have a 50% chance of landing on heads and a 50% chance of landing on tails. It is unlikely, but possible, for the coin to land on heads five or even ten times in a row. If a coin lands on heads ten times in a row, what are the odds for the eleventh flip? Someone operating under the gambler’s fallacy would say that tails is almost certain to come up—but the odds are exactly the same; 50% for tails and 50% for an eleventh heads.

Another place where it’s easy to see the gambler’s fallacy is on the roulette wheel. A modern roulette wheel has eighteen red spaces, eighteen black spaces, and two green spaces. The odds are approximately 47% for red, 47% for black, and 5% for green. In 1913, an incident occurred at the Monte Carlo Casino where the ball landed on a black space twenty-six times in a row. Gamblers rushed to bet millions of francs on red, believing a bet on red to be almost a sure thing after such a long string of spins landing on black. Most of this money was lost to the casino.

Keep in mind that the gambler’s fallacy only really applies when each trial (a spin, a coin flip, and hand of cards, etc.) is an independent event. This is not always true in card games; the odds will vary as cards are distributed from the deck. In Blackjack, for instance, as aces are dealt from the shoe and discarded, blackjacks become progressively less likely. But it remains true that you are not “due” a win after any number of losing hands, meaning that betting systems that rely on this, like the martingale, are fundamentally flawed.

Another caveat is that the fallacy only applies in situations that are truly random. In the case of something like the stock market, there are human factors at play, meaning that outcomes are not based purely on probability alone.

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President

White-house-1941-northPresident (also known under a number of colorful titles, such as Bum, Scumbag, and Asshole) is a game of Asian origin, bearing some similarity to Thirteen. Like Thirteen, the object of the game is to get rid of all of your cards, and play progresses with each player playing progressively higher ranks of cards (some group them together as climbing games). President has the novel feature of assigning each player a rank based on how well they did in the last round and having them rearrange themselves according to the ranking.

President is best for three to seven players.

Object of President

The object of President is to avoid being the last player to hold cards.

Setup

President uses the standard 52-card deck. You can use any deck of cards, but if you use Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, you’ll definitely appear a lot more presidential.

You will need to establish a rank system, with one rank for each player. The top rank is something suitably impressive or positive and the last rank is typically something derogatory. One example for a six-player game would be President, Vice President, Governor, Lt. Governor, Citizen, Asshole. You could also use military ranks, ranks of nobility, job titles from your workplace—use your imagination. For the purposes of illustration, we will use the ranks just mentioned whenever the ranking system comes up.

You also need to establish chairs for each rank. The President should have the nicest and most comfortable chair, with the next-nicest sitting to the left and being occupied by the Vice President, and so on around the table to the Asshole, whose chair is to the President’s right and is the most unpleasant seat available—like a wooden crate, a backless stool, or the like. Some players also prefer to have silly hats that the holder of each rank is required to wear.

Shuffle and deal the cards as far as they will go. Some players may receive more cards than others. They’ll just have to deal with that, though.

Card ranking

President uses the same unconventional card ranking that Thirteen does. Aces rank high, but twos rank even higher than the ace. That means that the lowest card in play is the three, giving us a rank progression of (high) 2, A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 (low). Unlike in Thirteen, however, suits do not matter.

Game play

The player with the 3♠ goes first. That player plays it face up to the table, either singly, or with any number of additional threes. The next player to the left plays the same number of cards of a higher rank (e.g. if the first player laid down a pair of 3s, the next player would have to lay down a pair of 4s or higher). The number of cards must match exactly with what the first player set down (so a pair must be followed by a pair, and not three of a kind, etc.). If a player cannot or doesn’t want to play on a particular turn, they pass, although they can still elect to play the next time it’s their turn.

Each player continues playing cards of ascending rank until all players pass except the last person to play. This player is then permitted to lead off, playing any number of cards of the same rank that they choose to.

The game continues in this manner until one player runs out of cards. This player is declared to be President, and play continues with the player to the left, as normal. This President-elect takes no further part in the hand. As more and more players run out of cards, they too receive titles and sit out of the game. Finally, the last player to run out of cards gets the last good rank, and the player stuck with cards becomes the Asshole.

Players now “take office” for the next hand, rearranging themselves to sit in the seats assigned to their new rank. The Asshole is required to perform the game-running duties for the next hand, including clearing the cards away from the last hand, shuffling, and dealing. The Asshole is also required to surrender their highest-ranked card to the President, who chooses any card they wish from their hand and passes it back to the Asshole. The next round begins, with the President playing first, leading with any card they wish.

See also

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Now on Instagram!

Denexa Games is now on Instagram! Come follow us at @denexagames!

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Chip counting exercises

So you know the basics of how to count chips...but now you just need practice! Here are five chip counting problems to solve. How quickly can you get the correct totals?

You can click the images to zoom in. Each stack shown contains the same number of chips as the stack splashed next to it. The chips use the standard denominations:

  • Yellow—50¢
  • White—$1
  • Red—$5
  • Green—$25
  • Black—$100
  • Purple—$500

Exercises

chips-20150407-4

 Answers

  1. 8 × 100 = 800, 8 × 25 = 200, 6 × 5 = 30, 3 × 1 = 3. 800 + 200 + 30 + 3 = 1033.
  2. 2 × 500 = 1000, 6 × 100 = 600, 1 × 25 = 25, 4 × 5 = 20. 1000 + 600 + 25 + 20 = 1645.
  3. 3 × 100 = 300, 2 × 5 = 10, 2 × 1 = 2, 3 × 50¢ = 1.50. 300 + 10 + 2 + 1.50 = 313.50.
  4. 5 × 25 = 125, 3 × 5 = 15, 9 × 1 = 9. 25 + 15 + 9 = 149.
  5. 13 × 100 = 1300, 5 × 25 = 125, 4 × 5 = 20, 1 × 1 = 1. 1300 + 125 + 20 + 1 = 1446.

See also

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Tumblr giveaway

Do you have an account on Tumblr? We are running a giveaway on our blog over there from now until April 30! You could win a free set of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, a set of cut cards, and, if you follow us on Tumblr, one of our Mini Chip Count Boards!

All you have to do to enter is reblog this post on your Tumblr account! Good luck!

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