Of all the things I did not expect to do on Easter, we learned how to play poker. I thought it was sacrilegious, but on second thought, it's perfect. We weigh the odds and hedge our bets in spring. I planted my cold weather crops in early April and have yet to see a pea or loose leaf lettuce spout. Maybe I should have waited, holding those seeds a little longer. No matter; I also subscribed to a food co-op, so there's a good chance I'll have local greens anyway. We put away snow blowers only to have snow last week (The last snow? Care to bet on it?). At church, we had a roomful of people, some of whom I have never seen before. Why show up only on Easter-- to make sure the message is still the same? I'll bet.
How did we go from coloring eggs to the dealing cards?
For the token system we are using to motivate the kids, we needed a currency. Poker chips seemed the best idea. Meijer doesn't sell just chips, so we bought a whole poker kit. Since our Sundays are "screen free" (no computer, gaming systems or TV), I suggested Rob teach the kids how to play. He hesitated at first, but given the choice between yard work and "card work," he chose the game.
My husband and kids sat at the table for a solid hour, dealing and laying down cards (five card draw, I think). The kids loved it: triumphing over each other--and their Dad-- with a mere handful of laminated paper. They didn't bet at all; it was just about which hand beats which, and the strategy of when to hold cards and when to go to the deck for a chance at a better hand.
They got to practice again yesterday. The kids love to go to my Thursday job because the client plays with them like no other adult. She gives them her full attention, listening to them like the most patient friend or teacher. Usually they play Monopoly or Bananagrams, but this time Nate suggested they play poker. The three of them sat around the table with chips, and she taught them how to "ante up" and "call."
Rob was working with me, so he witnessed this tutelage. He smiled and shook his head as he overheard our little card sharks celebrating their wins with whoops and yelps.
"At least they're building a skill," I said.
They have found something new to do that doesn't require electricity, it's an illustration of probability (math lesson!), and they can play with anyone able to hold a hand of cards. It's a sure thing.
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