We are heading to Starbase 10 to participate in the Fizzbin Championships.
This is the game devised by Captain Kirk in the 23rd Century. It is now the official card game of the Federation. A few still play Poker, but this is the game to win.
The player we are sending is Data. He is our best player as with his positronic brain, he is the only member of the Enterprise who fully understands the rules.
The Official Rules of Fizzbin are as follows:
+++ The dealer is determined by argument and he goes first, the
play moving counterclockwise around the table.
+++ If the game is being played on the floor, play moves clockwise.
+++ Each player gets six cards, except the dealer and the player
to the dealer's right, who both get seven.
+++ The second card dealt to the dealer and the player to his
right get turned up, except on Tuesdays, when the third card is turned up.
+++ A final card is dealt face up to each additional player.
These form the "discard" piles, one for each person.
+++ There are four kinds of winning hands in fizzbin, each
successively beating the one before it. They are as follows:
*** ONE-HALF FIZZBIN consists of J J, A A, or 7 7 of any suit.
*** FIZZBIN (or FULL FIZZBIN) occurs when a player holds J J, K
and 2 of any suit; A A, K and 2; or 7 7, K and 2 - except at night,
when the 2 is replaced by a 4.
*** THREE-QUARTER is 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 - all red. At night,
however, they must be black cards.
*** ROYAL FIZZBIN is the highest rank. It consists of J J, A A, K,
and 2; or J J, 7 7, K, and 2. At night, the sequence is the same
except Q and 4 replace K and 2, respectively. (The odds of getting a
royal fizzbin have never been calculated.)
+++ At the end of a hand, when the last card is drawn, if one or
more players have attained the same highest rank the game is given
over to the one who first pins his opponent to the floor.
+++ Any Q or 4 that are dealt to a player in daytime must be
immediately thrown out, as they are worth nothing.
+++ All K and 2 are tossed out at night for the same reason.
+++ A player may not replace them but loses the cards he throws away.
+++ After each hand, however, these cards must be reshuffled into
the pack. They serve the important purpose of irritating the players.
+++ In daytime, a player drawing K or 2 from the fresh pack or
discard piles may draw another card. Likewise, another card is
allowed when Q or 4 is drawn at night.Should anyone have in his hand
three cards of a kind at the end of a hand, a "shronk" is declared and
he is disqualified.
The sequence of play is thus:
*** A player draws a card from either the regular pack or one of the
top cards he can see on the discard piles.
*** After arranging his new hand he must leave one card on any of the
discard piles he chooses.
*** If someone draws a card which allows him to take another he
must show that card to all other players (although he need not draw
again at all if he chooses).
+++ It is possible to get several cards in succession in this
manner, but after completion he need only discard one card.
+++ The hand has ended when the last card has been drawn from the
regular deck and no other cards may be taken. At this point a
participant may drop out only if he or she is married and has children.
+++ Each game lasts only one hand unless the winner accepts the
traditional challenge: "Best two out of three?"
Data and I walk in.
"Do you think you can win, Data?" I ask him.
"I shall endeavour to do my best, Captain." he replies.
An Official walks up to us, with a badge marked 'Fizzbin Championships on his chest.
"Ah, you must be Lieutenant Commander Data." he says, "I am the Adjudicator. Let me take you to meet your fellow players."
We go into a waiting room, where there are three individuals sitting around.
"This is Damon Bak" states The Adjudicator, indicating a wiry Ferengi.
"I intend to get all the profit I can." says Bak, "The Laws of Acquisition will be applied thoroughly by me."
"This is Vlargh." the Adjudicator continues, pointing to a fat Klingon, who looks at Data disgustedly.
"So the best that Starfleet can offer is an android?" he sneers. "I shall take great pleasure in beating you."
"This is Syrena." says the Adjudicator, pointing to a beautiful woman with long dark hair.
"Well hello!" she purrs gently to Data, "Shall we get together after the game?"
"I have to tell you that Jennifer Baxter is my girlfriend at the mom..." replies Data.
"You cannot reject me!" interrupts Syrena, "No one rejects Syrena. You will be beaten at Fizzbin for doing so."
"Now that you have got to know each other." says the Adjudicator, "Shall we go into the Main Hall? Everybody is waiting for the contest to begin.
"Good luck, Data." I call out as the four go in.
He may well need it.