GAMES – THEY CAN GET BLOODTHIRSTY AND GO ON FOR DAYS. Like those poker games that show up in the movies every so often.
Poker, Blackjack, Farkle, they’re all the same.
We are here on the Northwestern coast of Ireland along the “Wild Atlantic Way.” So what are we doing?
We are playing Farkle. And we are doing it until we are seeing spots in our eyes and losing the ability to do Third Grade Math.
For those of you unfamiliar with the noble game of Farkle – let me give you a thumbnail sketch so you can fully appreciate it, or understand what you’ve gotten yourself into.
Farkle – AKA “The Classic Dice-Rolling, Risk-Taking Game.” – is, at once, both the simplest and the most complex game available. You can teach it to an uninterested three year old and you can drive a college educated person into contemplation of serious crimes.
Roll the damn dice and see what you’ve got. That’s it. There is a small piece of paper that comes along with the game that gives the point values of the dice throws. You can probably memorize all of that in fifteen minutes, but I was never good with numbers so I keep it handy. Roll the dice, see what you’ve got. Count your points. That’s it.
There is no real skill involved. If you can add simple numbers and write them down you have this game licked. The makers of Farkle call it a “Risk-Taking” game. I think that’s pushing it a bit. True, you must make a decision about whether or not to roll the dice or not, but I wouldn’t really call that “Risk-Taking.” It might earn that badge of “Risk-Taking” if, when you have to decide your next move you have to do it while holding onto a venomous snake. Other than that – No – “Risk-Taking” is hyperbole.
Theoretically, any number of people can play the game with you. It is as good a game with three people as it would be with 237 people crowded around the dining room table. Snacks and beverages might become an issue, but not the game itself. It is you against the dice. What the other players do doesn’t really matter until you get near the end of the game. We always set the game limit at 10,000 points, and until someone gets close to that score, I’m more interested in keeping the snacks coming.
We are here in Ireland playing Farkle because it is cold and rainy outside. We are not playing poker because, while we have two decks of cards, nobody has any chips or coins to toss into the pot. We do have Euro coins but nobody can easily tell them apart. That would slow down the game and get our fingers dirty and nobody wants to dip their dirty fingers into the snack bowl. We are civilized after all.
Tomorrow we will get out and behave like real tourists. We will go somewhere and see something and maybe buy some souvenirs.