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September 20, 2003

Get Out Your Wallets

I used to think that investing money was boring because people invest money in popular, wholesome and profitable companies, like Disney, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft.

Me, I like to drink and gamble. But then I had an idea... Perhaps investing in gambling, alcohol, tabacco, and aerospace and defense industries would be more fun than investing in apple pie.

The good folks at Mutuals.com heard my cries and the cries of those like me. And they created a special mutual fund: the VICE FUND. And it's hot.

June 19, 2003

Insensitivity Poker, Part 5


cards.gif Hey, it's Thursday, and you know what that means! Right! Not a goddamn thing, unless it's today, in which case it means more poker variants!

1) ABORTION. Seven-card stud. Like pretty much all these games. After each round of face-up cards is dealt, prior to betting, any player who was dealt a card numbered 2 through 9 may choose to "abort" it for a small fee, depending on the card's trimester: 2s-3s cost one chip, 4s-6s cost two chips, and 7s-9s cost three chips. An "aborted" card is discarded, and the player draws a new card from the deck to replace it. Any player dealt a face card from the Hearts suit, representing a pro-life lobbyist, may counter one abortion attempt occurring that round by paying the same fee as the aborting player. (Note that, should this happen, the aborting player's fee is not refunded.) Queens, representing single mothers, are wild, but only if played in a final hand containing no Kings. Finally, any player who a) successfully aborts all four face-up cards, and b) does not fold, receives a small stipend from stem-cell research and may take twelve chips from the pot before it is handed over to the winner.

2) GIRLS GONE WILD. Seven-card stud again, with the usual slight modification: this time, three cards are dealt face-down, followed by three face-up and a final face-down. Queens and 8s are wild, as in Strip Club; however, if any player receives a 2 among his face-up cards, indicating last call, any Queens in his possession cease to be wild. Finally, all Diamonds represent beads; any player receiving a Diamond among his face-ups can use it to coerce another player to show one previously hidden card to everyone at the table. Whoooo! Show 'em, baby!

3) BELTWAY SNIPER. Oh, it's not topical anymore? Well, we weren't playing poker last fall, so the hell with you. Anyway. Standard seven-card stud, with two cards dealt face-down, four up, and the last one down. Twos and threes, representing the .223 rifle used by the snipers, are wild. After six cards have been dealt, however, the dealer lays out one more card face-up on the table, plus one additional one for each black Jack (John Allan Muhammad) or black 10 (Lee Boyd Malvo) that has been dealt face-up over the course of the game. Any face-up cards in any player's hand that match one of these cards ... say, 2s, or Aces ... have been randomly shot and are discarded. Black Kings, representing Police Chief Charles Moose, cannot be shot; additionally, any player showing one of them may, if he so chooses, prevent one shooting. After the shootings, a seventh card is dealt face-down and players assemble a five-card final hand, as usual.

4) BREAKFAST WITH SATAN. The rare game that isn't some variation on seven-card stud, this one's your basic garden-variety five-card draw, except that the best possible hand is three sixes. Sevens are wild; however, sevens cannot substitute for sixes under any circumstances, and any player holding three sevens at the end of the game automatically loses. Finally, the winner, in addition to claiming the pot, eventually goes on to burn in hell for all eternity, subject to dealer approval.

posted by whitey at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

May 28, 2003

Insensitivity Poker, Part 4


cards.gif Yeee-haw! Get out the pitchfork, Pa, 'cause it's poking time again!

1) STRIP CLUB. Standard seven-card stud. Eights are wild, for reasons that will become clear if you tilt one about 90 degrees, and should a Queen land face-up in any player's hand, he must throw another four chips into the pot. Should a Jack land in any player's hand, however, he is assumed to have wandered into that other strip club across the street for a little "experimentation". He must throw in four chips for that and all subsequent Jacks; and for him, eights are no longer wild, replaced by sevens. Lastly, any player running afoul of the Black King has been "bounced" and is out of the game.

2) CONSERVATIVE CORRUPTION. Standard seven-card stud, and if you're sensing a trend here, you're not wrong. Fours are wild. After the first six cards are dealt, the player with the best hand showing is crowned the Corporate CEO and the player with the worst hand showing is declared the Bible Thumper. Before the seventh and last card is dealt, each does what he does best: the Corporate CEO "steals" two cards of his choice from any player at the table, swapping them for two from his own hand, and the Bible Thumper "exerts influence" by a) declaring one additional card to be wild or b) declaring fours to no longer be wild.

3) WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. Vaguely similar to five-card draw, except for the part where there's no standard draw and the part where all clubs are wild. After five cards have been dealt to each player and opening bets have been placed, each player initiates "inspections" by drawing two cards from the hand of the player to his immediate left and, without looking at them, placing them face-down on the table. Once all players have been "inspected", each player may look at the cards he drew. If either card is a club, the player may declare that weapons of mass destruction have been found in the country of the player who originally held those cards, forcing him out of the game; or, keeping in mind that clubs are wild, he may keep them for himself. Any player who forces another out of the game must surrender both cards he drew from the other player and draw two more from the deck; additionally, for him, clubs are no longer wild. When inspections conclude, surviving players engage in a final round of betting before the hand is called.

4) MURDER-SUICIDE. Much like an actual murder-suicide, this is a good game to save until the end of the night, since it has the potential to last fucking forever. Note also that it requires an even number of players to work as described, although the rules could probably be tweaked to do it some other way. Anyway. Standard seven-card stud, with wilds (if any) determined by the dealer. As per the rules for "NRA", 3s and 8s represent the .38 handgun; any player who is dealt either a 3 or an 8 face-up must immediately "kill" the player across the table from him before turning the gun on himself, forcing them both out of the game. If and when all players are killed, cards are re-dealt and the game starts over again, pot intact.

OPTIONAL VARIANT: Replace 3s and 8s with all red face cards to play "Jonestown."

posted by whitey at 11:58 AM | Comments (1)

April 21, 2003

Insensitivity Poker, Part 3


cards.gif Hey. You. Do you like apples?
Well, tough shit, Jack! All we got here is some brand spankin' new poker variants!

1) WORLD TRADE CENTER. Standard seven-card stud. Before the cards are dealt, however, four cards are laid face-up in the table in "twin towers" formation. Red Jacks, black Kings (see below) and duplicate cards are shuffled back into the deck so that all four cards are unique. These four cards are all considered wild. However, should a 10, representing a planeload of hijackers, be dealt face-up to any player, he may choose to destroy either one of the towers, thereby rendering those cards no longer wild. If, at the time the 10 is dealt, another player already has an 8 face-up ... representing the flight that was shot down by F-18s forced down by heroic passengers over Pennsylvania ... he may, if he so chooses, prevent the tower from being hit and destroyed. The only cards which are always wild are the Red Jack, representing John Walker Lindh, and the Black King, representing Colin Powell.

2) SICILIAN. Similar to Italian, with a couple of key differences. First, the Sicilian is the player with either the highest Ace or the most Aces showing after the fourth face-up card is dealt. (If no Aces are showing, there is no Sicilian.) Second, the Sicilian, once he has chosen a player to trade cards with, may "make him an offer": that is, give him a choice between taking the cards the Sicilian offers and paying the Sicilian between one and twenty chips (as decided by the Sicilian) to refuse the trade. Finally, if the Sicilian does trade cards with another player, but does not have him whacked by slipping him a face card, the other player "owes him a favor" and, should he win, must give half the pot to the Sicilian.

3) PIGFUCKER. Standard five-card draw: two bets, one draw. However, anyone with anything at all in his hand -- even a pair of deuces -- cannot fold. If, after the draw takes place, one player folds and none of the others can do the same, the folding player wins the pot. If it turns out that more than one player can fold, the second player to fold wins the pot. If nobody can fold, the game reverts to standard five-card draw: whoever has the best hand wins the pot.

4) NRA. This game can be played as either a five-card draw or seven-card stud game. All usual rules of what-beats-what apply. However, better than any standard hand (even, yes, a royal flush) are the following, in order of value: the .38 (a 3 and an 8), .45 (4 and a 5), .22, .44, .357, and, finally, the AK-47 (Ace, King, 4 and 7.) Any two guns will beat any other single gun, with the exception of the AK-47, which can be beaten only by a player who has both a gun (of any kind) and a knife (represented by the Suicidal King.) Why? Hell if I know, but it's bad-action-movie canon, so there ya go.

posted by whitey at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2003

Insensitivity Poker, Part 2


cards.gif Hey, kids! It's time for more potentially inflammatory poker variants!

1) IRISHMAN. Standard seven-card stud until the sixth (fourth face-up) card is dealt. At this point, the player with the most "shamrocks" (clubs) showing is declared the Irishman. The Irishman, if he so chooses, may "blow up" up to two cards held by anyone showing a face card, representing the British monarchy; these two cards are removed from the player's hand and discarded. However, if this privilege is exercised, the British player may respond by swapping any one of his remaining cards for one of the Irishman's first two, face-down cards.

OPTIONAL VARIANT: Replace face cards with Jacks and clubs with diamonds to play "Palestinian."

2) HOMOPHOBIA. Standard five-card draw. Kings and Queens are wild. Note, however, that these Kings and Queens only go for their own kind; that is, Kings can only substitute for odd-numbered cards (including Jacks and Aces) and Queens can only substitute for even-numbered cards. The lowest possible hand in the game is a Straight.

3) RED SCARE. Standard seven-card stud, with a twist. Red cards are deadly; that is, any player dealt a red card face-up is temporarily out of the game and cannot bet or raise. He is, however, dealt a new card at the beginning of each succeeding round, and can participate again if he receives a black card. Thus, any player whose fourth face-up card turns up red is out for good. The only exception is a player who has been dealt four red cards face-up; should this happen, he is not only revived, but may "name names" to force any other player out of the game. Jacks are wild. The highest possible hand is a Full House.

Edited 4/21/03: By unanimous decision, it has been agreed that, when using a deck of cards provided by a particular fine establishment, the "Scarlett" card will also be counted as a Red.

4) CAPITALISM. Standard five-card draw. After the initial deal, each player is dealt a sixth card face-up, which cannot be used as part of the hand. Whoever has the highest card showing gets to look at his cards and then declare one card (i.e., 4s, Kings, etc.) to be wild. Oh, and the player with the lowest card cannot fold.

OPTIONAL VARIANT: "Socialism". It's like capitalism, except the player with the lowest card showing gets to choose the wild. And cannot fold. Sound good, in theory? Right. Try it.

posted by whitey at 05:52 PM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2003

Insensitivity Poker, Part 1


cards.gif Everybody loves poker. Everybody loves making offensive racial generalizations. Why not combine the two?

1) MEXICAN. Five-card draw, with twos and threes wild. Prior to the first round of betting, each player is dealt a sixth card, face up. The player with the lowest card is the Mexican and may "steal" up to three cards from any other player (read: exchange three unwanted cards from his own hand for three from someone else; neither player gets to look at what they're being given until the trade is complete.) The game proceeds normally from there, with two rounds of betting and one draw. Players may, if they choose, include their face-up cards in their final (five-card) hands.

2) ITALIAN. Much as Mexicans are best known for stealing, Italians are best known for murdering one another. Italian is played more or less like Mexican, with a twist: only twos are wild, the Italian is the player with the highest sixth card, and if the Italian chooses to trade cards with someone, he can "murder" them by slipping them a face card, instantly forcing them out of the game. This, incidentally, works both ways. If you guessed that this almost always results in both the Italian and his business partner getting whacked, you'd be right.

3) CAJUN. As Mexicans are known for stealing and Italians known for murdering, so are the Cajuns known for being rejected by both France and Canada, ultimately deciding to just give up and settle in a swamp. Cajun starts out like Mexican and Italian, with a few modifications: first, twos and fours and wild. Second, whoever is dealt the highest sixth card is France. France, if it has a face card in its hand, can swap that face card for the card on the table, instantly rendering all other players' wild cards null and void. Twos and fours in France's hand still count as wilds. Note that France cannot count the sixth card as part of its final hand, whether or not it performs a swap or not; the other players, as per the Mexican and Italian rules, can.

4) LIMEY. I forget how this game worked. Not unlike the English themselves, it was kind of bland and unremarkable.

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