Swamped Chapter 4 Page 13

“Suit,” you say hopefully. Lisa shakes her head, and you toss over an Ace of Leaves. She then draws the Three of Stones, glances at you, and says “Pass.”

She has no trouble reading your face, you realize. You must have looked relieved when a completely different card went down.

It’s your turn again, and you draw a Three of Blades. Well, you already know that’s not the suit, so you might as well go for rank this time.

“Rank,” you say.

This time, Lisa nods. She hands over a Three of Leaves from her hand… and realization slowly dawns on you as you take it.

“But that means your card is…”

“Well, you’ve already used your turn. You can make a direct guess next turn, but I’ve got one to go.”

“Oh. And I suppose you’re taking it?”

“No harm in it from my point of view. If I guess wrong, I lose anyhow, right?”

You have to agree with that.

“Not even a lot of point in flipping over a card, since I’m guessing directly,” Lisa says, shoving the deck aside. “So let me see… how about… the Six of Wings?”

Your eyes widen as you flip up the card.

“How did you…”

“Well, it wasn’t as much of a guess as it first seemed. You’ve probably realized that you were giving yourself away on my draw, but you also let a few things slip on your own. I was pretty sure it wasn’t Blades or Stones because of that, so that cut down half the deck already. I was also fairly sure it wasn’t a face card, because you probably would have looked closer at the card if you had one. That already takes me down to eighteen cards, since I knew it wasn’t a three. And you tossed me the Ace of Leaves. I took a guess that you’re not good enough to rein in your impulses, and the impulse of a lot of new players is not to hand over cards that match theirs. So, that leaves me thinking that you’ve got a Wings card and it’s not an ace, face, or three. That’s just eight cards.”

Lisa puts down her hand.

“Now, that’s before I look at my own hand. Wouldn’t you know it, every card I drew, except the Three of Leaves, was Wings. And not a face card or an ace in the lot. That’s five more cards I can rule out, not counting the Three of Wings I picked out. So I’ve got a one in three chance, unless you’re better at hiding your reactions than I think.”

“But you needed a lot of luck to draw that many Wings,” you note.

“I did. More likely I’d get odds of one in six or so, since it’s not that unlikely I’ll get a Wings card that rules some possibilities out. Still worth the risk if I’m sure to lose next turn.”

“But you didn’t have to give me your Three of Leaves.”

“Well, yeah. But I’m not one to shy away from taking risks in a game. If you ask me, it’s no fun to play it safe. Maybe I just say that because I keep winning, though.”

She smiles.

“Thanks for the game, Marshall. Third would have laughed so hard at that if he were here.”

“I’m glad you’re feeling better.”

“Yeah, but I’m afraid my break’s just about over. Good luck with your training, and maybe think about learning to bluff for next game.” She chuckles a bit. “Or perhaps you shouldn’t. Maybe it’s good that you present your real feelings to the world.”

You wave goodbye and gather up the cards. You’ll be eating in about an hour, but before that, how will you use your time?

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Maybe we should practice reading

visit john medic… maybe you can become an assistant there?