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ObamaCare’s Trillion-Dollar Pot

September 24th, 2013 - 10:30 am

Bourré (boo-ray) is without a doubt my favorite card game, because it can make you sweat just like Texas Hold’em — but even faster. It’s one of those deceptively simple trick-collection games like Hearts, but you don’t play for points. And unlike poker, there’s no betting, but just a simple 25¢ ante. It’s best played with seven or more players, and you’ll understand why in a moment.

First, of course, everybody antes up.

Before the cards are dealt, the dealer shows one out of the middle to reveal the trump suit. (The deal rotates each hand.) The player to the left of the dealer starts the first trick, playing any card in his hand, so long as it isn’t trump. The rest of the players follow in order, with the high card of the lead suit taking the trick. If the first card is the eight of hearts, the high heart takes it — assuming nobody plays a card of the trump suit. In case multiple trump cards come out, the highest trump card wins.

You must play suit if you have it, and you can’t lead trump until trump is broken. The winner of the current trick begins the following trick, again using any card he chooses (provided trump has been broken).

Non-lead-suit, non-trump cards may not take any tricks.

When all cards have been played, the player with the most tricks takes the pot — if they’ve collected a minimum of three tricks. If nobody collects three tricks, then the pot stays, the deal rotates to the next player, and another hand is dealt.

But here’s what makes Bourré so sweaty.

If a player doesn’t collect at least one trick each hand, then they must match the pot. So if you have seven players, there will be seven tricks per hand, and it becomes almost a sure thing that at least one person is going to match the pot at the end of each and every hand. And with every pot-winning hand, a minimum of two people are going to have to match the pot. To be clear: Matching doesn’t mean you have to match the initial pot of a buck-fiddy or two dollars. You have to match the current sum total.

The initial pot of just $1.75 (seven players putting in 25¢ each) will grow geometrically, especially since it usually takes three or four hands before anybody manages to collect three tricks and win the pot. If you really want to turn up the heat, get eight people to sit down and play. Fewer tricks dealt out over more players means the pot grows faster and that it’s likely to take even more hands before there’s a winner. I’ve seen a two dollar pot shoot up to 50 or 100 or more in pretty short order.

Oftentimes it’s just one player, with a couple of losing hands in a row, putting in half of the money. The good news is, you may fold before any new hand is dealt. The bad news is, you can’t get dealt back in until the pot is won and everything starts anew.

You may find yourself in a place where you can’t afford to match the pot again, but you also can’t afford to fold because you have so much of your own money already sitting on the table.

This is the point where you become what is called “pot committed.” You can’t afford to lose, but you can’t afford to fold.

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All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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America officially sucks.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I disagree. Not meaning to be snoty, this is not a card game, a sporting event or politics as a contest moment. This is the future of our country.
The Let It Burm idea assumes we get to put the fire out and rebuild afterwards. We do not get to do that. The oceans no longer give us time and space to regroup. Many of the INTERNAL combatants will seek outside troops. And I mean troops.

We must fight and be seen to fight, winning preferrabley, but win or loose, we must fight. Surrendered ground must be regained.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

That sounds like the pre-assault pep talk given to the Light Brigade.

In military terms, the GOP has charged straight onto a prepared field, covered by interlocking fires and supporting artillery. If they survive, it will be glorious.

I wouldn't bet on that, though.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Beautiful card analogy, but you fail to explain how the strategy can possibly win.

It cannot. The most it can do is shut down the government, for which Republicans WILL get the blame (polls already show it BEFORE the media effort), and distract the spotlight from Obama's string of incompetent bumbling. As a bonus, it helps him reunite his splintering support against a common enemy (us).

Whereas, left alone, the CR enshrines the sequestration cuts into the baseline going forward and gives no new spending.

Not to mention that most Obama-Care spending is by statute or tax code and not subject to budgetary appropriation . . . but you knew that, right? Right? OMG, we are surrounded by idiots.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I answered the survey questions Mr. Green was touting a week or two ago. When I got to the 7th one, about whom I would "blame" for the Government Shutdown, I ended up choosing Obama, but that's only because my *real* answer wasn't there. I wanted to say I would *give credit to* the House Republicans.

My greatest hope is that, if the Senate does put back in Obamacare funding, the House stands firm and refuses to pass it.

As much as I'm a fan of Stephen Green, it's always bothered me that he didn't like Sarah Palin. She and Ted Cruz are my heroes right now.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're preaching to the choir. I've spent the 10-plus months since the election arguing in favor of what I called "Let. It. Burn." That is, let the law go fully into effect -- even if that means passing new statues forcing the President to execute the old one. Because the only way to get the voters to demand repeal is to give them ObamaCare, good and hard, but without giving the Democrats any valid reasons for pinning the blame for ObamaCare's failures on Republicans.

The GOP didn't take that advice, neither Establishment nor Tea Party. So now they find themselves pot committed.

I'm not the one who stayed in this long, losing trick after trick. I don't know that there is a way out of this, one which doesn't result in Obama winning back much of his squandered capital. But I do know that backing down at this point is going to cost the GOP seats next year, because the base wants to see a fight, now that they're finally getting one.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree. Either way this falls it will be glorious: the Israelis at Entebbe or the Spartans at Thermopylae...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obamacare is a pyramid scheme.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's worse than that. It's armed robbery.

Essentially, ObamaCare uses the IRS to stick a gun in the ear of Healthy Youth and make them subsidize through the mandated insurance policies against diabetes, cancer and heart disease, the maladies that afflict the Elderly.

The monies that the victimized youth have to spend on paying for Osteoparotic Granny's 19th test for her 28th prescription are NOT being used to do Stupid Young Person Things...like shack up, get married and have babies.

Obamacare forces us to eat our seed corn...the Young and Fertile.

Without them doing the things that one does when one is young and fertile, there IS no future.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Moreover the young ones at the base of the pyramid are also sponsoring healthcare for the 1%-ers at the top. Hopeandchange is going to screw them royally.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And the youth can't find jobs, so they will end up on medicaid.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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