Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gin and Poker

I taught my daughter how to play two card games the other day: gin rummy and five-card draw poker. I also taught her the basics of wagering - and therefore bluffing - in poker. I'd never thought about it before, but in gin you're playing the cards, in poker you're playing the people.

At some point, I'm sure I'll use poker as a metaphor to explain a life situation to her. For example, some day when she finds herself in a poor situation, I'll point out that although she may be holding a lot of low cards, she can do things to cause people to react in ways that create a more favourable situation for her because they don't know what cards she has. Or I might talk to her about how to recognize people's tells, and how that can inform her decision making.

That's not a particularly healthy way for us to interact as a family. Neither of us gain much from competing with each other on what amount to questions of our honesty and transparency with each other. Not a great way to define our relationship.

Fortunately, she prefers playing the cards. For now, anyway.