Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Abu Shreek: Trix Till Dawn

Endless nights around cards tables.

Abu Shreek makes a conscious effort to avoid regret. Every moment, incident and decision is considered “a part of the experience”, which is practically a survival skill necessary to deal with the over-confident, typical-Arab, proven-to-fail attitude of “Abu Shreek knows best”. However the “Trix era” is worth revisiting.

Trix is a very popular cards game in Jordan. It fits into the “evasion trick-taking” category in the same mold of “Hearts”, except that the Hearts in Trix are the Diamonds and the Queen of Spades is either the four Queens or the King of Hearts (say what?). Aside from the details, the game consists of four rounds, each round consists of five hands, which means that every game takes anywhere between an hour to three hours (unless Beesso (a notoriously slow player and one who was experimenting with mIRC cyber sex as early as 1995) is playing, then the minimum becomes three hours).

No group was ever satisfied after a single game. Endless hours, on daily basis, and over more than three years. Weekdays, weekends, final exams, semester breaks. Endless combinations and variations: Complex, inverse, doubling, five players, complex-inverse, partners, six games, complex-partners. Coffee shops, apartments, pavements, and hours.

Abu Shreek managed to squeeze in other occasional activities that catered to his interests and quasi-hobbies, but in general it was scattered around the main event. Even his official “day-off” on Wednesday nights, when he participates in a mediocre intramural athletic activity, was usually faced with the scrutiny and discomfort of other “Trixers”, for being a traitor and a sellout! When the government announced a day off on the occasion of the solar eclipse (thanks again), playing lasted for 14 straight hours; a record that was soon to be shattered upon the death of king Hussein, when the games went on continuously for three straight days.

It seized to be a matter of tossing cards and elevated to a personal level. Counting every card, reading faces and reactions, mounting tensions, and naturally lots of cussing, swearing and trash talking. Abu Shreek vividly recalls that night when he went to bed after one of those “marathonic” weekends, and upon closing his eyes, he saw the shadows of the ten of spades floating, while he was subconsciously counting clubs and mumbling: “where is the ace you bastards?”. The false sense of accomplishment after winning and the pointless state of concern and irritation when losing. The habit of losing any sense of time. Tobacco use is practically a prerequisite of the setting. The feelings of guilt and unproductively on the way home.
Not good times.

However, it made for a great social activity. It was an environment for meeting different people and a chance to make countless acquaintances and eventually life-long friends. Also keep in mind, that it provided good mentally-challenging (not as in retarded, but as in requiring a mental effort) entertainment value for a very little financial investment. (Mitthatt used to get completely ignored when he came begging for a second round of orders after three hours of occupying the coffee shop table). It is not exactly a chess-like mental effort, but it definitely beats mindless TV watching, or playing video games. As students in a completely dull and unchallenging college system, the Trixers had a lot of free time to fill, and despite the fact that they did not fully or productively utilize it, there could have been worse options that they avoided. (Tangent alert: A friend just graduated on top of his class from JU with a 3.7+ GPA. He literally dozed off during the classes he occasionally attended, seriously inquired if the school offered a degree by correspondence, since he was basically home-schooling himself, played for an athletic national team, played video games, and he still had a ton of time on his hands. And, he was an electrical engineering student).

Now whether this is a justification attempt or a guilt trip, the bottom line remains that the return on the time investment was practically ZERO. Aside from some bragging rights at the end of the night (which are meaningless and irrelevant since (a) after all it is cards (i.e. LUCK) and (b) you can get a Jordanian guy to admit that he is a bad driver before you can get him to admit that he is a bad cards player, even if you just beat him in ten consecutive games), and aside from the free cup of coffee (if you won and you happened to be playing for the orders), that was time flushed down the drain.

Abu Shreek is confident that if he invested a fraction of that time running, he will be the Jordanian record holder for a number of short, middle and long distances. If he invested a fraction of the time in knitting, half of Amman will be wearing his sweaters. But since Abu Shreek values “entertainment” and “leisure time” as much as hard work, and since we know by now that he is a half-glass-full kind of person, he just wonders what would have happened if for every ten hours he spent playing cards, he would have dedicated one hour to doing anything else.
On the bright side, NOBODY can even reach close to his level or challenge his Trix superiority.

14 comments:

Mala2e6 said...

ya rafe3 rasna ya abu shreek..dammer 7a6em kasser
but tell me
are you one of those trixers who hold back the jacks ? I hate that i hate it alot since i am the one who always end up with most of the 2..

I also hate ending up with the king of hearts..long time since I got the chance to play for real..i only play it on the PC

Abu Shreek said...

Malagett,
Since you want to get technical on me, here are your answers:

1.Holding the jacks is a legitimate and even a preferred technique (unless you are playing partners without the showing of the 2s it becomes risky). The complaining and swearing surrounding such a strategy from the other players is an essential part of the game, but that does not mean it is a dirty strategy at all.

2.A good player will never shy away from holding the king of hearts in his/her hand and should welcome it, especially if there is doubling in the game, since he/she will be in charge of the situation and “dress it” to the main competitor. If you meant you end up (bal3a il sheikh) every time, I will refer you to the basic rule (If any player ends up winning more than two kings out of possible four in any one trix game, he/she has no business playing trix in the first place).

jameed said...

3atheem 3atheem...

and malaqet: the trix version i had on my PC 10 years ago was ridiculous. all the "tricks" and game instructions set were cracked by the first day

Jano said...

hehehehe this is nice wallah,, i love playing trix, and dont think i would let anyone win cuz im "just" a girl!

Basem said...

While others tend to find it odd that the "fourth" player will be a bearded thug (e.g. Sheikh, ‎that'll be me); I usually end up 3rd.

Mostly due to the fact that during what I assume was the golden ‎age of Trix, I was in England playing with newbies (and the odd greek friend who tend to ‎know an equivalent Greek card game) barely mastering the "counting trick"!

Back in ‎Jordan however, Trix development seemed to have sprung many other variants: doubling, ‎partnering & "Jewish" beside the "Complix" which was the only one I knew of before I left!‎

I long for a proper Trix night out, but four "kingdoms" is all I can handle... Nice alternative read ‎Abu-Shreek, despite the over emphasis on the game & the egoistic positioning of your good ‎self!‎

Abu Shreek said...

Jano, (also malagett)
Not to sound like a girls-hater or anything (an opening that always leads to trouble), but given the environment surrounding Trix and the perfect conditions it should be played under, the idea of a coed Trix game cannot and should not exist, and in the rare case such a blasphemous thing occurred, all the records, results and the game itself are void and are not recognized by any official Trix body. However, an all-girl Trix game that could evolve to a cat-fight, sounds really appealing.

Bassem,
Shoo over emphasis on the game!
I had to take out a paragraph that describes what a great idea it was to score the last two (L6oosh (tricks in the collections game) ) as – 55 and -75 other than the regular 15 to prevent some people from playing (mish osool) and saving all their high cards till the end (by the way the extra -130 are made up for by a (tarneeb)- like round that counts each trick as +10). Let alone the other paragraphs describing in details my numerous hall of fame performances.

Anonymous said...

i made the trix game before....
if u want a copy of it, email me.
smadi.a@gmail.com
my name is ALI SMADI
google me... haha

ALI SMADI said...

Do you want to get the Trix with Double feature Double king and queens!...

click here to visit SmadiSoftwares to cehck latest news or download it.


Also you click here for the direct download link (.msi) file (Windows Safe installer).

Thanks.

You need .NET frame 1.1 to make it work.


Its all FREE!

Anonymous said...

You should check out the TRIX for the iPhone... http://www.lulutoo.com/trix

Ahmed Ashraf said...

رئيسية الموقع :
مصر اليوم
اخر مواضيع منتديات مصر اليوم :
ترددات قنوات النايل سات الجديدة
اسعار السيارات فى مصر 2012 بالصور

اسعار السيارات فى مصر 2012

مشاركة ارباح ادسنس

اهلا بكم , اضع لكم موقعى لتتطلعوا عليه

منتديات مصر اليوم هى منتديات عامة تهتم بالكثير من الاشياء المصرية . منتديات مصر اليوم هى منتديات عربية عموما مصرية خصوصا و هى منتديات عامة تهتم بكل ما يهتم به الشباب المصرى من الحوار او النقاش او اخر الاخبار او جديد الصور و الاغانى و الالبومات و الكليبات و الافلام و النكت و الفيديوهات و الموبايلات و تحتوى على اقسام مميزة مثل قسم اللغة الانجليزية و قسم اصحاب المواقع و المنتديات و قسم البرامج و القسم الاسلامى و قسم المرأة و قسم الرومانسية و الرياضة المصرية و الكثير ....
شاهد اقسام المنتدى :
اخبار مصر صور نكت مصرية اغانى قنوات و ترددات اخبار الرياضة المصرية مشاهدة مباريات بث مباشر اسعار السيارات

Anonymous said...

Роst writing is also a ехcіtеment, if уοu be familіar with afterward
yοu cаn write if not it is cоmplicateԁ to wгіte.


Here is my homepage buy toys today

Anonymous said...

I hope the helps, because it is basically the approach we take to do it this is a and how most people watch for prices to be at the lowest [url=http://www.llplongtermloans.co.uk/]1 year loans[/url] 12 month loans Internet Banking is a system associated with individuals to handle loan, each kind bankruptcy, difficulties for buying a Bad Credit Unprotected Loan http://www.llplongtermloans.co.uk/

Anonymous said...

The lending company will look credit previous to they will agree to your application [url=http://www.ukbunnyloans.co.uk/]payday loans uk[/url] payday loans One requirement that most people be concerned about is a credit check http://www.ytrpaydayloans.co.uk/

Anonymous said...

That's because the term 'urban', as far as the men were concerned, it was quite a shocking experience and he always kept tight lipped about what he has seen. When she called me yesterday, I told her how long I have imagined having a show there, so we do look a little younger then we are. fashion belts are considered to be a talentless clothes horse? Many different places are willing to invest time and money in the" face" or front of your store then you preferably want to set up.

my web blog - thoi trang cong so *http://e-learning.stjohn.org.au/user/view.php?id=160611&course=1*