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Worldbuilding

Tri-blitz: a Mid-hades card game

Posted Over 12 Years ago by Riven

[unparsed]Tri-blitz is a card game played widely in Mid-Hades. It's a game of speed, manual dexterity, but also one of sharp perceptions and lightning-fast strategy.

[b:80a63cec6e]A note about playing cards in Mid-Hades[/b:80a63cec6e]

There are no factories in Mid-Hades. Playing cards are hand-made and usually have a lot of detail put into them by cardmakers. Playing cards are very popular among the mayhemillos, and their leader is even named the Ace of Hearts.

The standard deck for a Mid-Hades card game uses three of the four suits. The three main suits have evolved into different icons (ex, some use swords or guns instead of clubs), however the unplayed suit is always hearts.

Hearts are given the most detail by a cardmaker. In card games, they are used as ante, regardless of whatever else may be betted. Thus, a deck can have more than 52 cards, or less.

In mayhemillo circles, it is a kind of unspoken rule that hearts must ALWAYS be a part of the betting. And there must always be betting. If you don't bet with even a 2 of hearts, almost all mayhemillos will simply refuse to play you.

The Ace of Hearts has a special role. In a deck, the Ace of Hearts is the most detailed by the cardmaker. They have a lot of trading value, so players don't use them unless they are absolutely desperate. There are stories of people that are about to be killed winning their lives back by betting an Ace of Hearts.

[b:80a63cec6e]The game itself[/b:80a63cec6e]

The game is played with:

  • The standard deck of three non-hearts suits.

  • A "hand" of 27 cards, those being the 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 from each suit.

  • four "magic cards" which are chosen from the J,Q,K,A of the suits. (You could have three jacks and a king, two aces and two queens, one of each kind, etc)

  • Each player uses their own deck.

    [b:80a63cec6e]Setup[/b:80a63cec6e]

    The four "magic cards" are setup somewhere on the playing field, face-down. Both players shuffle their decks, and cut each others'. With the cards remaining invisible to both themselves and the other player, they arrange their hand how they like.

    A hand has 27 cards, and the game moves very fast and there are penalties for dropping cards, so there are a number of techniques for setting up cards:

  • One approach is to hold the deck in one hand like people on earth would hold a hand, except have it curve down and around, so more cards can be seen at once.

  • Those skilled in the one-handed technique will often put cards in both hands. For novices to this technique, it's harder to pick cards, but it can still be useful initally because you can see more cards at once initially, so if your mind is sharp enough you'll remember where everything is when you put it back into one hand.

  • Those with strong finger strength will put a certain number of cards between each finger of a hand. This technique is hard to do and keep cards obscured initially, but if your fingers are up to the task of holding them there, it pays off by being like the two-handed technique but with easy picking. The only real downside to it is difficulty in reshuffling.

  • Another technique is to stretch one hand out and have cards all along it and support the hand against the chest. This technique tends to be much like the in-between-fingers technique, except easier to shuffle. The downside is that it requires moving the supporting hand when picking for the sake of speed, and because one has to stare straight down (unless they're female), they'll lose some visual acuity, especially with regards to the other player's actions.

    A well-balanced player will be versed in many of the above techniques and variants, and using magic cards against techniques to their advantage.

    [b:80a63cec6e]Playing[/b:80a63cec6e]

    The rules of actually playing are very simple. Just lay down three cards that are the same number, one after another. You can play magic cards at any time, which have special effects. Whichever player runs out of cards in their hand first wins the game.

    However, for each "actual game" there are five "games" played, with magic cards being activated or unactivated for the entire time. Players that are unfamiliar with one another will hold back their magic cards for a couple games, in case they give away hints towards their overall strategy.

    At the end of every "game", the laid-down cards of both players are condensed into a stack and handed to the opponent to make sure there was no cheating.

    [b:80a63cec6e]Penalties[/b:80a63cec6e]

    Cards do not have to be played neatly, however because they have to be condensed at the end, if they're too far apart they won't condense together right. If the other player detects that (emphasis on "detects" -- some cardmakers deliberately obscure their cards so the other player will be tricked into thinking a set is right) the cards are wrong, then the cheating player loses that game. If both detect cheating, then they have to play an additional game.

    Cards that aren't played yet or being played are never allowed to stop touching a hand or become visible to the opponent. If it's detected (usually in-game), the player who did so loses that game, provided the other player detects it and calls it out.

    This is usually a mistake made by novice players, however it can work to some players' advantage if they sense that their opponent is occupied with their own hand. One technique is to use Ace magic, and near the end of the five second period, make "practical mistakes", since it's easier to manage a hand with fewer cards in it. Hopefully the other player will be too preoccupied rearranging their hand to notice.

    If a player calls out cheating, and no cheating is done, they lose that current game.

    [b:80a63cec6e]Magic cards[/b:80a63cec6e]

    As I said, you can choose any four of three sets of four cards (jack, queen, king, ace). You can play them at any time by turning them top-up and saying "magic". Sometimes shorter versions like /m{d/ or /dZIk/ are accepted as well. "Jick" (the latter) has actually become a slang word with similar usage to "pwned".

    Magic cards do the following:

  • Jack - The other player has to play their next set (or current set) one-handed. That means their supporting hand and their picking hand have to be the same one.

  • Queen -- repairs a detected mistake.

  • King -- forces the other player to shuffle their hand. Quick shuffling means condensing it together, seperating it in two, and pushing the cards together. I believe it's called a faro shuffle. It's only done once, but can seriously mess up a player.

  • Ace -- When an ace is played, the game is stopped. Both players then have five seconds to rearrange their hands, again following the rules of penalties above. Rearranging mid-game is usually very impractical, but if the player is quick enough, they can turn their hand into groups and then when the five seconds is up, play the groups one after another.

    [b:80a63cec6e]Cardmaking that appeals to winning Tri-blitz[/b:80a63cec6e]

    I mentioned above that some decks are made to deliberately make the other player not detect cheating. There are other techniques that cardmakers use:

  • The "dazzle" deck has optical illusions on it that distract the other player. They can also have bright alternating colors, interesting pictures, pornography, etc. Advanced players are used to any such tricks, but a simple dazzle deck can often keep inexperienced players from "beginner's luck" and the like.

    Some dazzle decks will have holes cut into them and suits/numbers displayed openly, so if played right, the holes will show something else below and trick the other player into thinking that they've cheated.

  • Novice players often learn with "Rainbow Decks" that are completely color-coded by number, ex one number is red, one is green, one is zebra-striped, etc. These kinds of decks can be useful for playing styles that suffer from visual acuity, for example the curve-down-and-around position or the hand-against-chest position.

  • "Braille decks" have small holes cut in them, or small ridges/bumps along the bottom. They allow a player who can read them to get a grasp of what cards are in their hand before they even start playing. Braille decks are the reason most games set a time limit on setup.

    [b:80a63cec6e]Conclusion[/b:80a63cec6e]

    The game is simple enough, but the strategies required make it the most popular card game in Mid-Hades. It requires a lot of finger strength, dexterity, and mental acuity. Like poker, it can require players to read one another and gain advantages. But overall, it's fun to play, and since betting is required, winning is usually worth it.

    I'll leave you with a popular love song among mayhemillos:

    [i:80a63cec6e]Girl, I'll give you my heart forever, but let's play and I might win yours.
    I'll make you my queen but you've got to fix us,
    I'm stuck with one-handed jacks without you babe[/i:80a63cec6e]

  • There are 2 Replies


    [unparsed]8) :o :D
    BTW in RL "pitch" there is a card called "the Jick". Once trumps is determined, the other Jack the same color as the trumps' Jack is called "the Jick" and counts as a trump. (I think it's either just under or just over the Jack.)
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitch_%28card_game%29#Scoring_variants

    Over 12 Years ago
    chiarizio
     

    @Riven:
    How’d this turn out?

    2 Weeks ago
    chiarizio
     

    Reply to: Tri-blitz: a Mid-hades card game

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