When I was in high school, we played a lot of cards. During lunch and after school. The game we played most was that Vietnamese game, at least I think it’s Vietnamese. My Vietnamese friend introduced it to us. We called it 13. Other people call it Big 2 or VC or Posoi Dos. Whatever, we played it all the time.

The way we played, it must be played with 4 players max (it was called 13 because everyone had 13 cards. So can’t have more than 4 players. If only 3, you set 13 cards aside.) and since a lot of people played, we’d have several tables going, with a ranking system. So, like, if you won a game at your table, you moved on to the next table the next game. If you finished in last place (we didn’t stop when someone won, we kept playing until all the places were established), you had to move down a table for the next game. The middle two stayed where they were. I dunno, it was pretty fun.

The thing is, we played differently than anyone else I know. I dunno, maybe it was Vietnamese rules or something. But in my opinion, our game was a lot more fun. Let me explain how we played.

So, to lead a round, you can play a single card, a pair, 3 of a kind, 4 of a kind, or any run of cards (straight) from 3 to 13. So if someone plays a run of 7 consecutive cards, you must beat it with a run of 7 higher consecutive cards. You have the match the number of cards played on the run. No full houses, no flushes. Interesting, right? There’s more strategy I think. Like, say you have a run of 9, someone plays a run of 5. Do you split up your run? Or wait to play it? Interesting nuances.

There were other rules also. If you had a “triple-double”, that is 3 consecutive pairs (like 4-4, 5-5, 6-6), then that beats any pair. A quadruple-double beat any triple. However, they can’t be played on their own, like you can’t lead off with a triple-double, you can only use it to beat a pair. Again, a little nuance that made things more interesting. Like, a 4-4, 5-5, 6-6 is super powerful if a pair is played, but if you’re left with it at the end, it’s almost useless. You’re forced to play 3 weak pairs.

Also, a 4 of a kind could beat any 2 (the high card). So like, 4 5s could beat a 2 of hearts. The thing is, they could *only* beat a single 2, they can’t beat any other card. Can’t beat an Ace. Can’t beat any pair or anything. Just a single played 2. But unlike the triple-double, you can lead off a round with a quadruple. So yeah, lots of interesting nuances and strategy.

I dunno, I’ve played a lot of Big 2 games since college and I still think our rules were the most fun. It’s worth a try if anyone’s interested. Which is probably no one. Did even Karen read this post? Unlikely.

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