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Poetry as an exercise in concise language, explaining my favorite card game.

Two pairs of partners play
a four-person trump game.
The deck consists of 24 cards:
A, K, Q, J, 10, and 9
in each of four suits:
Spades, Hearts, Clubs, and Diamonds.

First player dealt a black Jack is the dealer.
Offer a cut to the right,
and drop what’s left over on top.
Each partner gets a hand of five,
doled out in two rounds going clockwise:
The four-card “kitty” is placed
face-down in front of the dealer,
who turns up the card on the top.

Let the bidding begin to the left;
players can pass or tell the dealer to
“pick it up,” or ‘order up trump.’
If the dealer gets a bid,
they can decide to pick it up,
put the card in their hand,
and discard a card to the kitty.

If the dealer picks up,
its suit is called “trump”
and is now the strongest suit in the round;
except, for the two cards of highest rank,
all that matters is color.
Two Jacks,
red or black,
have become the right and left bowers.
For example:

Call a Jack of Spades a Spade,
unless the trump suit is Clubs.

Now, the cards’ rank takes effect:
J and J of the color of trump, then
A, K, Q, J, 10, and 9
in descending order of power.

Let the trick-taking start to the left
of the player who named trump.
How will they lead?
No table-talk.

by Kailey Ann

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