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President/Diplomat

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    2 Reviews
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      20.05.2001 20:26
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      Well this is a good card game although I must admit I did not think so when I first encountered it.I walked into a room,my friend handed me the cards and walked out.My friend was the peasant in the game,at that time it was "king","lord"..etc.There were around 12 of us playing so at the start of each hand I had to give all my cards to the king. In the first hand all players are neutral.Play commences with one player dropping any number of cards of one number that he/she wishes-e.g one 3,three 5s etc.(I will refer to numbers involoving cards like this 3,5,9 so as to get rid of confusion)Next person must put down the same no. of cards,e.g one card,three cards,of the same number or higher,e.g 4 6 8,if the 4 of diamonds is played.Play keeps going until you get so high that no one can play any more cards(that sentance can be taken two ways,I know).Then you begin again.2s can be played at any time to end play,and the person who played the 2 begins again.However you do not have to play the same number of 2s as already played one will suffice in all situations. After all cards have been dropped the ranking takes place.If you have an odd no. of players then one is neutral,if you have an even no. then all are ranked.The person to drop all cards first is President,the next is whatever all the way down to Filth,or whatever you wish to call the loser.Anyway President takes the no. of players,divides by two,rounding DOWN,and gets that amount off the filth.The catch is that they must be the filth's BEST cards.The president then gives the corresponding no. of his WORST cards back.Play again commences as before. Remember,if you get dealt a bad hand at the start you are more than likely going to spend a long time on the bottom.Int his way the game reflects life.

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      12.05.2001 00:35
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      President (sometimes known as Diplomat) is a trumps based game that needs at least three players, but is better played in groups of 5 or more. I believe the game originated in South Africa and was taught to a friend of mine whilst he was travelling in Durban. The first round is slightly different to the others as this round determines your position for the next round. Essentially there are five main positions: The President (top of the shop) The Vice President The Middle Man The Vice *Oops and The * Oops * Oops - Now traditionally these positions use a rather unpleasant word referring to a part of the bottom. As the audience is diverse here I will use Oops instead as it matters little to the nature of the game. I have also taught this game to my family calling it the idiot or loser so do use a word appropriate to the people you are playing with. If there are more players, in an odd number, you simply increase the number of vices although the do have a lower level e.g. vice vice-president. If there are an even number of players you have an extra middle man. For example in a game with 8 players you would have The President, The Vice-President, The Vice-Vice-President, Middle Man 1, Middle Man 2, The Vice-Vice-Oops, The Vice-Oops and The Oops. *Round One* All the cards are dealt out evenly between the players. The person to the left of the dealer goes first in the initial round. It is best to organise your cards from low to high (Ace is high) as you want to get rid of your lower cards first. However, the 2 is a special card so hang on to that for now. As you only play with one pack of cards, there are four options of play: singles, doubles, triples or quadruples. You may have guessed that this relates to the number of cards that are played. You must always stay within the option so if the person who starts play plays trebles you must all play trebles. Let's say that player one h
      as laid a pair of threes, thus making the game doubles. This is quite a common first play as it is difficult to get rid of low cards further into the game and the idea is to get rid of all your cards as quickly as possible to grab the highest position. In the play you can lay the equivalent or higher than the previously laid cards, so you could lay either a pair of threes or higher. If you can't lay a pair of cards in the round you have two options: 1) You can drop out of the round (although you are out until a fresh set of cards is laid) 2) You can use a magic 2! 2's are twice as powerful as other cards so if the game is doubles you need lay only one 2 (a pair of 2's on trebles etc.). Nothing can be played on a 2 except another 2. Play continues until everyone is out then those cards are set aside and the person who laid the last card starts a new round, at which point everyone is back in again. Play continues until you get rid of all your cards. The person to do this first becomes the President and so on through the hierarchy of positions until there is only one player left in the game. They, then become the Oops. *Round Two* One of the punishments for being the Oops is that dealing is your job. Again, all the cards are dealt evenly between the players but this time (and for all subsequent rounds) there is a twist - card swapping! Here come the second punishment for the Oops as he has to give his two best cards to the President. In return the President donates his two worst cards to the Oops. The Vice-President and Vice-Oops also swap cards but only one (that is the Vice-Oops gives the vice-president his one best card and vice versa). The middle men donít exchange cards with anyone. After the card-swapping, which has seriously improved the hands of the upper positions, and destroyed that of the lower, then the round continues as normal except for from here on in, the Oops always gets to go first.
      *Tactics* Twos: Remember that there are only four 2's in the pack. It is often helpful to count how many have gone and assess who holds the remaining cards. It is also useful to hold onto your twoís until later stages in the game. Triples and Quadruples: It is quite unusual to be dealt a triple, and very rare to get a quadruple, so you can often guarantee a win on them. This often works in the advantage of the Oops as they can get rid of three or four cards straight away that no-one else can play on. Out: Sometimes it is better to stay out of a round and hold your cards for when people have got rid of their higher cards. This reduces you chance of getting the Presidency but can prevent you from becoming the Oops. *Add more fun* Seats: A great twist to the game is to have seats that reflect your positions. For example a comfortable armchair with cushions for the president whereas the Oops has to sit on a bare floor. This is fun as everyone swaps seats at the end of a round. Drinks runner duties: When I play this with my friends the Oops is often the drinks runner, and has to fetch a drink as soon as any other player asks. Itís annoying to be a dogsbody but it makes you try harder to win! Overall it's a really good fun game, and it surprises you how competitive everyone gets. You can happily play for hours though as soon as some alcohol is involved you do tend to get cheats collaborating and unofficially swapping cards. Give it a go!

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