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When I’m in what is referred to by Michiganders as “Up North,” card games are everything. As a teen, getting invited to play at the Euchre table was a rite of passage. In Michigan, if you don’t know how to play Euchre you might as well not make the trip to the cottage where you’re supposed to be staying.
Euchre is a game of skill, but it’s also a game of deception (and sometimes cheating, if you can get away with it). It’s a great way to pass the time while you watch the waves roll in onto your beach overlooking Lake Michigan, the sun gently dipping deeper into that vast expanse of water while you get drunker with each sip from your YETI tumbler.
It’s a four-person game that can take anywhere from five to ten minutes per hand, and you can literally play all night as the time tends to get away from you when you’re with friends and family Up North. A situation like this one is all-too-appropriate for a rousing game of cards. The feeling that I get playing Euchre is magical – sitting next to a bonfire wearing a sweatshirt and a pair of beer-stained Patagonia baggies on a Saturday night is a fucking vibe.
And it doesn’t have to be Euchre. You could be playing WAR for all I care. Card games were made for cottages and visits with the elderly.
They were not, however, made for a pregame or house party before everyone inevitably decides to hit a bar. That goes for all card games, too. Not just euchre, UNO, or hearts. It includes Cards Against Humanity (C.A.H.) as well. Allow me for a second to absolutely go off on C.A.H.
No game in the history of games is more overrated than C.A.H. It’s not quirky or funny in any way to read out what you think is some dirty sentence. Whenever that game gets pulled out, I feel like a high school senior drinking in my parents’ basement and hoping I don’t get caught. Do you understand what I mean by that? The game feels naughty to a certain subset of people who think that a hard night of drinking is having four beers.
You’re the lamest lame in the history of lames if you think C.A.H. is a fun card game. When I think of a group playing C.A.H., all I see is a few couples in a living room giggling shyly because they just used “hymen” in a sentence. Wow. So edgy. But it isn’t just C.A.H.
Can’t we just play drink the beer and talk shit about people who aren’t in the living room? Whatever happened to stimulating conversation?
The “Card Guy,” as I’ll refer to him, is always trying to get a few people to play a quick game of cards. At a pregame, I’m drinking to get drunk. There’s no time for cards, and even if Card Guy does get people to play they’re going to half-ass it, and half-assing a game of Euchre should be punishable by death.
Much like “guy who wants to show you a funny YouTube video,” Card Guy gets a power rush from explaining how to play his preferred game. I usually stop paying attention to Card Guy’s instructions thirty seconds after he begins explaining them to me because I just don’t care to play.
Anyone suggesting that the whole room plays a card game is clearly trying to liven things up. And if a card game is what you think is going to get the collective mood up you are sorely mistaken. Pack up and go home if somebody suggests playing cards because the night is over, my friend. Unless, of course, you’re Up North. .