I’m still a kid at heart and I love playing with my kids. I’ve been waiting a long time for the second coming of my childhood.
The other day I was teaching my kids to play poker. The night before, we started with only one card and they learned the basics of folding, calling, raising and betting. This evening we played with three cards so they were introduced to the concept of a pair beating any high card and three of a kind beating any pair. My kids are Cassidy, David and Kristen, ages 8, 6, and 3 respectively. Of course, they are kinda young but kids can enjoy adult games at their own level. I like to set high expectations. Besides, Poker and Monopoly are a lot more fun for me to play then Chutes and Ladders and Candyland. I even have a hard time playing Sorry or Uno. So the sooner they get introduced to adult games, the better it will be for me (it’s all about me after all).
When I was growing up I was the the only boy and second oldest of five kids. Lily was a year and a half older than me. Cindy was five years younger and Kerry and Amy, twins, were six years younger. I treated my three younger sisters as if they were brothers. I did everything with them that I would have done with brothers. We went fishing in the creek behind our house, climbed trees, played football, wrestled, played adult board games, had backyard campfires, the whole works. When I was in high-school they were able to beat most of my friends in ping-pong.
One evening I was playing MASTERMIND with Cindy. For those that aren’t familiar with the game, the object is to guess a code of four colors out of six colors. After each guess you are told which ones are the right color and which ones are in the right position. The odds of guessing on the first try are 1 in 1296 and wouldn’t you know, that night, Cindy guessed my code on the first try! That’s not even the most amazing part. I bet Cindy $10 (which was a bunch of money for me in High School) that she couldn’t do it again, and lo and behold she did it again!
I mention that story because this enigmatic luck has visited me over my lifetime and it visited me again while teaching my kids to play poker.
Anyway, the second night of teaching my kids poker, I had dealt three cards. I held a pair of queens and I bet first. Kristen went next. She called and wanted to raise me. I was frequently asking them if they had a good hand before raising because David and Kristen liked to stay in the hand no matter what they held. She said yes so we continued. The pot had grown large and everyone stayed in after several raises. Turns out Cassidy and David each had an Ace High. I laid down my pair of queens with some confidence and asked Kristen what she had. She laid down a pair of Kings! What a fun hand that was. Couldn’t have been scripted better for drama.
As I dealt the next hand, David asked me what beat a pair of Kings and said a pair of Aces or three of a kind. He then asked what was the best hand he could get . We didn’t get to play the hand being dealt because I soon as I responded “3-Aces”, Kristen laid her hand down and said “like this”! Kristen was killing all of us that night and her ear to ear smile that night was priceless.