Did you or do you ever play the card game 500? Man, I used to love that game. I mean, I guess I still do, I just never play it anymore.
I was thinking about the game today because there is a strategy in the game that basically says,
“If you already messed up and can’t be the best, then try to be the worst.”
It’s called Nullo (we always pronounced it “new-low” which may have been wrong but we didn’t care) and if you succeed at being the worst, you get rewarded with a heap of points.
When you play 500 you’re trying to take tricks which sounds way more complicated than it is. To take tricks you need good cards, a good partner, and a strategy for the holes that you can communicate to your partner without saying a word. Ok fine, I take it back, it’s complicated. You “win” by taking the most tricks and/or getting the most points.
When you don’t have one of those key things, you can try NOT to take any tricks. No winning, all losing. TRYING to lose.
I might have mentioned I am kind of a dork and my favorite thing to do on Friday nights from ages 16-18 was participate in card tournaments with my friends from Rax. When I first started dating my ex husband he said, “How about you NOT go to the tournament this Friday?” and I should have known then that it would never work out.
We played for small amounts of coin money but primarily for bragging rights. We had standing teams and partners who got really good playing together. I mastered the Nullo and most often, won by losing versus winning tricks. Who knew I was such a good loser?!
I wish their were more opportunities to win by being the worst.
Like Weight Watchers: CONGRATULATIONS NICHOLE YOU THE WORST DIETER THIS WEEK! Keep up the great work!
Or my FITBIT: Look at you go girl, getting less steps than all your Fitbit friends! Everyone needs to relax sometimes!
Who’s up for the “not calling your mom enough” challenge? Or no vacuum November? (Why stop at November, I can go all winter!)
I could be the best worst at so many things!
(Omg bowling, I could be the worst without even trying!)
In real life, when people who are the worst win we aren’t usually very happy about it. We inherently want to believe that good beats evil, that justice and fairness come out ahead and that always trying your best is better than trying to be the worst. We are shocked and dismayed when it doesn’t work out that way.
Sometimes you get a bad hand. Or a bad partner, or someone messes up the plan/strategy in one fell swoop. What do you do? If you’re playing 500 you could try to be the worst. But if you’re not, you try your best, you play through it, you accept the consequences, and you hope for better the next round.
Because in the long run, on the high road, you really do rise above even the best worst.
Anyone up for a round of 500?