It is commonly known that certain crows gather shiny objects and hoard them in their nests. There are plenty of theories, but nobody knows exactly why they do this. Maybe the crows don’t even know. Personally, I think it’s because crows are so damned smart that they accomplish all the daily work necessary for survival by the early afternoon, so they figure out little games to divert them for the rest of the day. I’ll bet that somewhere there’s a crow bragging to the other crows about his shiny dime from 1940, and another one aspires to bring home the moon one day.
WHAT YOU NEED
A deck of poker cards, with the jokers removed
A copious quantity (at least 14) of small, shiny objects. Coins, marbles, bits of jewelry, etc. You could use poker chips or something instead, but that would be lame.
Place all the shiny objects in a heap in the center of the table.
Shuffle the cards, then deal them all out the players in turn, one card at a time. Each player should end up with 13 cards. Play begins with the player to the dealer’s left.
PLAYING THE GAME
On your turn, choose a card from your hand to “lead” the trick. Place it face up on the table. The other players must now follow, in turn to the left. They must each play one card of a suit matching the leading card, unless they do not have any cards of that suit in their hand, in which case they may play any card.
The highest-ranking card played in the leading suit “takes the trick.” The player who took the trick must now perform certain actions indicated by the suits of the cards:
• For every spade, take one shiny object from the pile and place it in your nest (i.e. directly in front of you).
• For every club, take one shiny object from any other player’s nest and place it in your own. If nobody else has any shiny objects in their nest, then clubs have no effect.
• For every diamond, take a shiny object from your own nest and return it to the pile. If your nest is empty, diamonds have no effect.
• For every heart, take a shiny object from your own nest and place it in any other player’s nest. If your nest is empty, hearts have no effect.
Take the cards from that trick and place them in a discard pile. The player who took the trick must now lead for the next one.
Continue in this manner for a total of 13 tricks, after which all cards will have been played. The player with the most shiny objects in his nest is the winner.
If you wish, you can re-shuffle the deck and play another hand (that is, another 13 tricks), and continue that process as many times as you wish before ending the game and declaring a winner.