Pulling out a deck of cards after dinner or making a social evening of large-scale games-of-chance has long been a social stimulator for Sky Valley and Caliente Springs residents. It’s a chance for folks to mix and mingle, test math and memory, and even acquire some bragging rights. New to this card-gaming community? Here’s a helpful who, when and where of Sky Valley Resorts’ active card players. You’ll learn what’s at stake and who raises the stakes. So get ready—we’re about to deal you in.
PRACTICE MAKES PINOCHLE
Use this summer to learn Pinochle, a game for two players or more. The Pinochle Club meets weekly during the November–March season at the clubhouse, but you should be able to find some home players to practice with over the summer. At the club, advanced players help new players learn the ropes by leading a table of newbies each week. In brief, players accrue points by putting down the highest card in the chosen trump suit in each round. When all of the cards have been played, each person counts up points and a winner is declared.
TWO CENTURIES OF EUCHRE
A game with its origins in the Napoleonic era, Euchre is still a favorite for four-player groups, with teams of two battling it out to win at least three of five rounds by laying down the highest card of a trump suit. The game is known for introducing the Joker to standard packs of cards, and you’ll find it’s a very important card in the game.
Euchre and Sheepshead, another trick-taking game in which collecting high scores spells victory, are both played by Lil Rowe’s club during the November–March season at Caliente Springs. Bring a stockpile of quarters, which are used instead of chips, in this game.
If bidding, winking and bluffing are part of your card-playing repertoire, Poker Club might be right up your alley. Standard Poker and Texas Hold'em offer two varieties on the classic game of skill, chance and deception. Clubs at Sky Valley and Caliente Springs meet weekly, year-round, to test each other’s wits at the table. Check in with the group leaders in both resorts to find out the minimum bid.
ROLL THE DICE
Not sure where you fit in? Roll the dice on a group game and get to know some of your fellow card mavens. With games like Bingo and Bunco, it’s not about how you play the game—it’s just about making new friends!
Everyone contributes to the pot with an entry fee at weekly Bunco nights during the November–March season. Tables of six roll the dice looking for the number of the round (ex: during round two, you need twos on the nice; in round three, you want to roll threes). Players keep on rolling until the team has scored a total of 21 points; then, players disperse and form new teams for a new round. All the players with the highest number of “buncos” at the end of six rounds become winners, splitting the pot.
Bingo players, who chip in for their Bingo card to create the “pot,” each receive a card with 24 numbers, somewhere between 1 and 75, order in a grid. As the caller selects numbers, each player marks the number on his or her card, hoping for a lucky streak of five numbers, so he or she can call “BINGO!” to the room.
Whether you’re a lifetime card player or a newbie, you’ll find plenty of ways to exercise your brain with a deck of cards at Sky Valley and Caliente Springs. While some games go out of fashion and others gain steam, what brings players together is the satisfaction of stimulating your brain. Bids are open, so let’s get started.