I volunteer at the retirement village where my grandmother, an avid devotee of Hand and Foot, resides. When I ran into her one morning outside the cafe, our conversation naturally turned to cards.
"My friends and I are developing a new card game."
"Is it fun?" she wanted to know.
This is the lovely sort of woman who cares for the ill, coos over babies and attends religious services every Sunday. But when it comes to cards she's a fierce competitor.
"It lets you mess with your neighbors," I offered.
"Goooood," She smiled broadly, a menacing, almost hungry gleam in her eye.
All or Nothing is a trick taking game with no trump suit. Each deck of 48 cards has four suits, each numbered 1 through 10, four All cards, which are generally high, and four Nothing cards, which are generally low. Each All or Nothing card, however, can be flipped opposite by exactly two other cards in the deck. These flip cards are the 1, 2, 9 and 10 of each suit. The 2s and 10s flip Alls to Nothings while the 1s and 9s flip Nothings to Alls.
It may seem like a lot of complications to remember, but fear not. These powerful cards are indicated by suit symbols colored gold. Also, each All or Nothing card has its nemesis cards indicated on it. We giggle when the entire table leans in to read an All card together. Who can flip it? Who can turn their neighbor's strategy to dust? Or maybe, your flipping of the card is their strategy?
I think my grandma is going to like it.