I don’t generally cover traditional card games here. By “traditional”, I mean card games that are played with a standard 52 card deck. I leave that kind of coverage to bigger sites like Pagat.com.
I have a cousin who lives in Texas, though, and he’s always been fascinated by horse racing. In fact, he took me to Lone Star Park not long ago, and I found some interesting stuff about horse racing on the Web. For one thing, you can learn about the best horse racing betting sites, which is an endlessly fascinating subject. For another, there’s a drinking game played with cards called Horserace, and that’s what I’m going to write about here today.
Instead of betting money on horses and how they’ll place, players of Horserace bet on each of the four aces. One player is the announcer. She takes the ace of each suit out of the deck. These represent the horses. They’re laid face up at one end of the table, which represents the gates.
The rest of the cards are shuffled and placed face down along one of the edges of the table. These cards represent the links. If that’s hard to picture, just imagine an L shape, with the short end of the L being made up of the line of four aces.
The players make bets on their horse. For example, they might place a bet on the nine of spades. Some of these bets can mirror the bets that are made in an actual horse race, but it depends on who you’re playing with and how well they understand these kinds of bets.
Some players just pick a single horse. Depending on who’s playing, the winner might be awarded drinks, or the winners might be immune from having to take a drink, while all the other players have to drink.
The race happens after all the bets are placed. The announcer flips over the face down cards (the links). The suit of each card that is flipped over determines which ace moves forward on the track. Generally speaking, since this is a drinking game usually played by a lot of young and enthusiastic partiers, the people involved are cheering on their horses and getting excited by the action. A good announcer will really get into her role and ham it up.
You can read more about the Horserace drinking game at DrinkingGames.com. I should also point out that I’m not encouraging anyone to play drinking games or even to drink alcohol at all. If you do decide to enjoy alcohol, you should do so responsibly, and that means not driving.
I guess I just thought it was interesting to see what kinds of interesting and unusual card games are available out there that aren’t designed by professional card game designers like Donald X. Vaccarino or Reiner Knizia. You might consider these to be folk card games.