Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Confessions of a Card Shark

I love the Queen of Spades.  Back in the day, when we got together to play cards with friends, the Queen of Spades was called "The Bitch".  In a game of Hearts, she is worth 13 points ~ and you don't want her.

I haven't played Hearts in a really long time. I don't know if I know anyone who plays Spades or Hearts these days.  With computer technology, we don't seem to do much of those face to face things like we used to.  I woke up thinking about cards this morning.

When I lived in Juneau, Alaska and was married to someone else, we had some close neighbors, Wayne & Tammy, in a little 4-plex where we lived.  When we moved to Anchorage, they got transferred to Soldotna so we got to see them pretty often. We'd take turns traveling back & forth to each other's place for the weekend.  Playing Spades & Hearts became the center of our Friday nights. Training and showing Rottweilers was what we did by day. Add in some fishing, bbq's and chasing kids around and we always packed in a lot of fun over a 2-day weekend. Playing cards was mandatory.

I don't know why, but when we paired up to play cards, it was always the men against the women. In all the many years of playing cards together, I don't believe Tammy & I ever won a hand against the guys.  If I could live my life over, I'd change that stupid, unwritten rule. 

We always played Spades first. No table talk allowed. I had to rely on Tammy to  watch what I played but she'd start to get silly and be talking and not pay attention to what we were doing.  Her husband, another "card shark", would look at me and I know he could read my mind and he'd just start laughing at me.  You see, I'm polite when I play cards.  I don't want to be polite, but I can't help it.  But inside, I'm just dying to stand up and scream "PAY ATTENTION!!  WE'RE LOSING HERE!!!"  And, he knew that.  If Wayne and I had ever paired up to play, we would have kicked ass and taken names every hand. But that's not how it went down.

So, when the "ass kicking" of us women was over,  we would switch to playing Hearts.  I secretly couldn't wait to get the losing over with and get on with a game where I didn't have to rely on a partner to win.  Now that I'm 51 years old and probably won't ever play Hearts again, I'll share my secret to winning.  Hang on to "The Bitch".  My philosophy is that if you are dealt the Queen of Spades and you are short in another suit, hang on to her.  I'd much rather know where she is residing than pass her, especially if Wayne was who I would be passing to.  If he was passing to me, I always made sure I didn't short myself in a suit. He was a cunning card player.  Takes one to know one!

Moral of This Story:  Know when to hold 'em, know when to pass 'em.  

 love, susan 



  1. You know I play cards on line and go to play in person ever year with my group. Well besides pinochle we play spades, hearts, doms, and many other games. So LETS PLAY NEXT TIME we get the games going.

  2. Only if you and I can partner up! Now you know my card secrets! Do you have any card secrets?

  3. i was a card shark in high school. my game of destruction was Canasta. my adopted grandmother was my opponent and we took no prisoners, believe me!! it was so much fun and i love playing canasta but haven't found a worthy opponent since then.


Catching Up: A July Life List

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks. We were in Alaska last week for 8 days and before that I can't even tell you what happened.  T...