Archive for July 20th, 2012

This brief conversation took place yesterday evening when my daughter reached home from school :-

Daughter: Mom, I’ve a news for you and it’s quite silly, hope you won’t get mad, okay?

Mom: Yes, what’s it, dear?

Daughter: This afternoon, my school’s principal announced that the whole of next month ( August) will be declared as “Bulan Merdeka” or “Independence Month.”

Mom: So, what’s the big deal?

Daughter: She said each and every student have to wear a special badge on the collar of our uniforms to show our love and pride for this country. We have to wear it every day from 1st until 31st August.

Mom: So, will your school provide these badges?

Daughter: No, we have to buy them ourselves. It cost RM2.50 each.

Mom: That means all mommies and daddies in Malaysia will have to pay RM2.50 to enable their children to show their love and pride for the country, is that right?

Daughter: Yes, something like that and it’s compulsory too.

Mom: Can you imagine how many school children there are in this country? Millions and millions of them. If each student pays RM2.50, how much money will this comes to?

Some monkey out there will definitely get rich from this project. An instant millionaire will be born from this trivial.

Malaysia is such a rich country. We produces so much petroleum and our leaders are leading such lavish lifestyles; yet we, the poor, ordinary and downtrodden citizens have to dig deep into our pockets for our kids to display their love and pride for the nation!

It’s not a matter of money (after all, today, what can RM2.50 buy?) but the logic is simply outrageous! I’m not sure how many schools in the country are involved but I can bet it won’t be few. Are your school going children involved too? What’s wrong with us, huh?

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In the Game of Bluff, your aim is to pass all the cards in your hand to the player left of you (by convention) until you have no more cards left.  Then you become the winner.  The game can be played with a minimum of 2 people but it is much more fun played with more people.  With one deck of cards of 52, you can have up to 8 players, each dealt with a minimum of 6 cards.  With a larger crowd, you can have 2 decks of cards.  Ideally, each player should have about 8 cards to star with.  The game played with 52 cards is described here.

Definition:  The “declarant” is the player who starts first by putting the card/s face down and declares what they are.  Only singles, pairs, triplets or quads can be declared.  No straights (as in Poker) are allowed.  The player left of the declarant is the “responder” and this player makes a decision on the declared cards whether they are true or false.

When a declarant is chosen, he/she deals the cards to all players evenly.  In some variation the declarant keeps the rest of the cards when there is leftover after dealing.  Or, they become dead cards put face down in the centre.  When you receive your cards, you arrange them in order, singles, pairs, triplets or quads.  Sometimes you pretend to arrange them so that the other players would not guess whether you have pairs, triplets or quads.

When all the cards are dealt, the declarant puts down one or more cards and makes a statement or declaration about the cards.  For example, by putting one card face down, the declarant can say one “7” and the card can be a “7” or something else.  With two cards or more face down, the declarant can say two ‘7s”, three “7s” or four “7s”. The cards declared can be real or a bluff.

The adjacent player on the left is the responder and he/she had to make a decision whether the declarant is telling the truth or not.

If the responder thinks the declarant is bluffing, the cards can be turned up for everyone to see.  If the card reflects the truth, the responder picks up the card and keeps it (getting more cards in hand is not so good).  If the cards reflect that the declarant is bluffing, the declarant takes back the card/s and the responder becomes the new declarant.

In a second option the responder believes it is a true declaration and he/she decided not to do anything else but says “pass”.   In this case, the next player on the left becomes the new responder whilst the first player remains the declarant.  When the player sitting to the right the declarant says “pass” the stack is now moved to the centre and becomes dead cards, face down.  Nobody can see what these cards were.  The declarant then retains his right as the current declarant and starts a new declaration…

In a third scenario, the responder can add cards to the stack and makes a declaration about his/her card/s contribution.  When this option is taken, the responder becomes the new and current declarant and the player on the left becomes the new responder.  It is not unusual to see the number of cards in the stack greater than 4.and this means that one or more players have lied about his/her declaration.

Any responder can add on cards and makes a new declaration in order to increase the stack of cards and hoping some poor sod falls into a trap and pick up all the cards in the stack.  The status of declarant changes when a responder puts more card/s in the stack and thus become the new declarant.  The stack goes into the dead pile only when the player on the right of the current declarant passes.

The more devious you are, the better you play the game.  It is a combination of mental recall, poker face and cunningness that wins the game.,  If one player collect a lot of cards, he could truthfully get rid of 4 of a kind first and then 3 of a kind.  By simply telling the truth when the opportunity arises, he/she passes the cards along and it will finally end up as dead cards.

One of the trade secrets in this game is to keep your opponents guessing whether you are bluffing or not.  Hence you vary your truthfulness and lies.

The end game can vary.  The player who discarded all his/her cards can be the winner.  Alternatively, the last player who has cards in his/her hand loses.

This card game separates the man (woman) from the boys (girls).  You can tell who is the cunning devil or good gambler among your friends…  It is another good childhood game that cost next to nothing and yet it is a lot of fun. It also encourages bonding among friends.  It is good to play this game when it is raining outside.  My neighbour used to host this game because they had a wooden platform-cum-bed that can take 12 kids sitting in a circle.

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