In fourth grade, I had an assignment to write a limerick. Here's what I came up with:
There once was an ugly old joker
Who played at a dumb game of poker
He tried to be funny and lost all his money
And came out a little bit broker
And now another kind of joker...
My in-laws have a board game called Joker. It involves drawing standard playing cards and moving marbles around a board. The strategy is to keep track of the number of spaces between marbles and desired locations and try to keep as many options open based on probabilities of cards being drawn. My wife's brother-in-law, Greg Gonsalves, made a board for me. Greg has always been handy with tools and led the maker movement long before its recent blossoming.
- There are 2 teams of 2 players each.
- Use 2 decks of cards with 2 jokers each.
- 5 marbles start in their T-shaped homes.
Object of the Game
- The object of the game is to move marbles around the board to their castle.
- The first team to have both players with all of their marbles in their castles wins.
- When one player has all of his marbles in his castle, he continues to play but moves his partner’s marbles.
- Deal 5 cards to each player.
- Player on left plays first by drawing a card and discarding a card. He moves his marble based on the discarded card.
- To make a first play or “come out” requires a discard of a face card or an ace.
- If a player has a play, he must take it.
- If a player cannot play, he must pass but still discard a card.
- A player can jump over an opponent’s marble but not his own.
- A joker moves a marble clockwise and can bump a partner’s marble to the partner’s castle entry gate or an opponent’s marble back to the opponent’s home spot.
- The joker cannot move a marble clockwise beyond the marble’s castle.
- If a marble lands on a partner’s marble, this sends the marble back to the partner’s castle entry gate.
- If a marble lands on an opponents’ marble, this sends the marble back to the opponent’s home.
- Ace - 1 or 11 spaces or come out
- Two through Six, Nine, or Ten - spaces matching the value of the card
- Seven - 7 spaces or can be split two ways forward
- Eight - 8 spaces back
- Jack, Queen, King - come out or 10 spaces
- Joker - bump partner or opponent
Have you ever played this game? Though we have played it at family gatherings for years, other than my in-laws, I knew of no one else who had it. Thanks to Greg, I now have it too.
Gamesmanship is alive in the lab.