The IOU game

Have you ever played UNO? Its an interesting game of cards that provided countless ours of fun when I was a child.

The game is played with a special deck of cards, each with a number and color. There are also some special cards that change the flow of the game when played. Reverse, skip, wildcard , draw two et al.

What i find so interesting about the game is that it’s the goal is to end up with nothing. The one who plays all his cards and is left with an empty hand is the winner.

Allow me to introduce you to a different game, a game called IOU that adults often play.

In this game the cards are IOU’s created by the players. The game starts out with each player creating as many IOU or ‘promise’ cards as possible.

These cards are usually larger than normal playing cards measuring 8.5 x 11, sometimes as large as ‘legal’ size paper.

Each card can be as simple or complex as each player agrees, but must be signed by the other player.

A crafty player will collect as many IOU’s as they can while giving out as little as they can.

This first part of the game can sometimes take a while, but after all the IOU’s are created comes the fun part.

Once all the players are satisfied and all the cards are created, the one with the most IOU’s goes first. The cards are stacked in the deck and then shuffled.

After being shuffled, they are shuffled again by the opposing player. After being shuffled twice all the cards are played out on the table for each player to admire their handiwork.

The first player then gathers up all his IOU’s and shuffles again. Now the second does the same, gather the IOU’s then shuffle again.

Once again each player lays out each of his IOU’s on the table for everyone to admire… And the shuffling begins again.

The steps are repeated until one player gets bored and declares their intention to end the game. Very often this declaration leaves the other player scrambling to play all their IOU’s on the table.

A crafty player will then invoke the att-orney rule in an attempt to compel the other player to keep playing.

Its countless hours of ‘fun’, well… If you enjoy that sort of thing. Personally I prefer UNO, there is something liberating about playing all your cards.  It leaves your hands free to do something else.


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