Games Guides

How to Play Clue

How to Play Clue

The classic board game Clue was invented in 1944 by an Englishman. Then called “Murder!” the game was designed to be played during air raids, hours-long periods where many English families waited for long boring hours in bomb shelters with nothing to do. Eventually, the game would be published as “Cluedo” and finally simply “Clue.” The game appeared in America in 1949.

Clue is a detective game, where players are presented with clues to try to figure out who “the murderer” is. Played on a board that is a layout of a mansion, containing rooms with clues and secret passageways, Clue is really just a guessing and logic game in which players role dice to walk around the mansion and inspect it for clues before finally making a judgement call about the murder itself.

Clue Rules

To start the game, three cards (one suspect, one weapon, and one room) are chosen at random and put into a secret envelope so that no one can see them. These cards are “the facts” of the murder. The rest of the game cards are handed out equally to the other players.

Players roll the dice and move along the Clue board, entering rooms to make accusations of murderer, weapon, and room.

Since Clue has six characters, six potential murder weapons, and nine different rooms, there are 324 possible outcomes. Guessing isn’t the best course of action.

Players make accusations by saying “Professor Plum, in the Library, with the candlestick.” Other players then show their own evidence to disprove the accusation. Players show cards (or “evidence”) to the person who made the accusation to disprove it.

Clue Instructions

Setting up the Clue board is easy.

Shuffle the 21 game cards in their different groups. Randomly pick one card from each group. Put these cards into the envelope marked “Solution Cards” and place them in the cellar where there’s an “X.” Shuffle the rest of the cards and deal them out clockwise one at a time to each player. How to Play Clue

Place the character pieces on the starting squares marked with their names. Place each “weapon” token randomly in the different rooms.

Clue Strategy

Most of the real strategy behind Clue involves tricking your opponents when it comes time to make accusations. A common trick is to guess three cards you’re holding in your own hand, to confuse the other players into thinking that you must have guessed something right. Altering your opponent’s perceptions of how the game is going by making them think you’ve made a correct guess is the best way to throw them off your lead.

A little known rule of Clue is that no character may enter a door if another character is in that space on the board. This is the best way to “block” an opponent from entering a room and winning the game.

What Is “Cluedo?”

The original name for Clue as it was marketed in England in the 40s was “Cluedo”, a play on the word “Clue” and the word “Ludo”, which is Latin for “I play.” Cluedo isn’t just a different name, though.

The game Cluedo includes many more characters, weapons, and even rooms in the mansion. That game was meant to be played by nine players over a period of a few hours. Since there were more characters and weapons, there were over 1,000 possible combinations so that each game was vastly different from the one before.

Other than that, the main differences between Cluedo and Clue as we know it today were aesthetic. Different names, different weapons, and a different name for the mansion that the game takes place in.

How to Play the Game of Life

How to Play the Game of Life

The Game of Life is a classic Milton Bradley board game in which players go through an entire lifetime–getting married, starting a career, having kids, and earning inheritance and through investments are all part of the game, as are some of the downsides of life, including death.

Players move through the Game of Life as they would move through their normal life, spinning a wheel to determine the course of their life and making important decisions along the way. Decisions about having children, what jobs to take, education to pursue, and how to retire.

You “win” the Game of Life by having the best life you can have, though the real winner is determined by the game based on their retirement. There’s usually no clear “winner”, since different people will be satisfied with different lives. Not everyone wants to retire to a mansion, for instance.

Game of Life Instructions

Set up the board by placing the spinner on the center pole, testing to make sure it spins right. You should also set up the mountains and bridge pieces in the right spaces.

Next, shuffle the Share the Wealth cards and deal them to the players.  Deal one card to each player. The rest of the cards are placed face down on the game board.

The banker should be picked next. Also a player in the game, the banker will handle the game’s money.

Each player should pick a car and a game piece. You can pick to play as either a male or a female. One peg per person, either blue or pink.How to Play the Game of Life

Set-up the other pieces of the board, including houses around the board.

Finally, figure out who will “go” first. Each player spins the spinner, and the highest number is the first to move.

Game of Life Rules

The first player spins the wheel and moves their car that number of spaces. Move the car following the directions on the different squares on the board.

Moving clockwise, each player spins the wheel and follows the instructions. Play continues this way until each player has reached the end of the board. Technically, the player with the highest amount of cash at game’s end is the winner.

Game of Life Strategy

There’s not a ton of strategy to winning The Game of Life. Luck plays a big part in your progression through life, but so does wise use of your money.

Since the goal of the game is to win the most cash, all your decisions should be made with earning the most hard currency. That means buying insurance as often as you can (in case of disaster later), purchasing stock certificates to increase your cash flow later in the game, and making every decision with the almighty dollar in mind.

Any time you land on the Lucky Day spaces, go ahead and gamble for the larger payout. Your odds are 5 to 1 against winning, but if you land on all the Lucky Day spaces, you have a good chance of winning at least once.

The Game of Life is popular for families and among younger children. Not exactly a strategic game, the Game of Life is more of a “time killer” than a really in-depth board game.

How to Play Monopoly

How to Play Monopoly

Parker Brothers classic real estate board game is the most popular board game in history. Millions of copies of Monopoly have been sold since the game first appeared in 1935. Based on neighborhoods the game’s inventor was familiar with from his summers spent on the Jersey shore, Monopoly involves buying and selling commercial and residential real estate.

The game is iconic in every sense. The design of the game has stayed true to the original, though alternate versions of the game appeared nearly as soon as the original. You can still buy the “classic” Monopoly played by people since the time of the second World War.

There’s lots of amazing facts about Monopoly, including the fact that over $100 trillion in Monopoly money is printed every year. For a game with such an interesting history, Monopoly is still evolving, releasing new versions with significant changes to game play on a yearly basis.


The standard game of Monopoly is full of rules–for a complete breakdown of Monopoly rules, you need to read the instructions that came with the game.

Further confusing people trying to learn to play the game is the fact that “house rules” are not just tolerated by actually encouraged by the game’s manufacturer. Your house rules are likely very different from my own, but probably include bonus amounts for different players (using the Free Parking and Go spaces) and rules about buying, selling, and auctioning properties.

Here’s a general look at the rules of Monopoly.

Players take turns rolling dice and moving clockwise around the board. Depending on what square you land on, you could draw a card, buy a piece of property, pay rent, or any number of house rules outcomes.

If a player doesn’t buy a property, the bank auctions it to the highest bidder. If the property you land on is already owned and unmortgaged, you have to pay the owner a specific amount of rent.

Players who roll doubles must rolls again after finishing a turn. Three sets of doubles in a row land the player in jail.

During a turn, players have the chance to develop the properties.

Players move around the board collecting rent from other players as return on their property investments. The winner is the player who either has the most money after a specific period of time or the last player to go bankrupt.

InstructionsHow to Play Monopoly

Setting up the Monopoly board is easy. Each player selects a token to represent themselves. You pile the Community Chest cards in one spot, Chance cards in their spot, and get ready to hand out cash.

The player who will act as the bank should hand out the cash. House rules on cash amounts vary, but the game board calls for $1,500 split up like so:

Two $500

Four $100

One $50

One $20

Two $10

One $5

Five $1


The most commonly used Monopoly strategy is to buy up or trade for all the orange properties. That’s because they are the most commonly landed-on properties, thanks in part to the Chance cards “Go to Jail”, “Advance to St. Charles Place”, “Advance to Reading Railroad” and “Go Back Three Spaces”. Placing a hotel and a bunch of houses on the orange properties nearly guarantees you a win.

Though they’re cheap and easy to develop, avoid the two purple properties after the Go space, “Baltic” and “Mediterranean”. They are the two least landed-on spots on the entire board.

Monopoly has been hugely popular since the game appeared nearly 90 years ago. Every home should have a copy of Monopoly–if nothing else, look into modern variations of the game which attempt to bring the put the simple joy of Monopoly in the hands of people who may not otherwise be interested.

How to Play Canasta

How to Play Canasta

The goal of the game of Canasta is to score more points than your opponent by making melds or “canastas.” The almighty Canasta is a card meld made up of seven cards of the same rank.

Canasta Instructions

Deal 15 cards to each player. Then both players take turns drawing one card from the stock and then discarding one card on the discard pile.

After a player draws a card, they can start to form “melds” if they want to. Cards get melded in columns of at least three–you can form melds of Kings or Fives or whatever. Three Fives in a row is a meld, as if four. Sequential melds don’t exist, so don’t try melding “four-five-six”. Once a card is formed into a meld, it cannot be drawn back into your hand. Discard ends a round of play.

You can choose to take the entire discard pile instead of the face-up card, but only if you can instantly meld the top card.

A hand of Canasta ends when one of the players has no cards left in their hand, or when there are no cards left on the stock pile. Players then compute their score, and begin dealing a new hand. A player can only go “out” when they have at least one Canasta. An entire Canasta match is over when one player reaches 5,000 points.

Canasta Rules

There are lots of specific Canasta rules about melding that have to be picked up as you learn the game. For instance, no game of Canasta is allowed to start with a red three or a wild card. These rules are different from game to game, and picking them up is a matter of repetition.How to Play Canasta

Canasta Points

Here are the point values for scoring in Canasta.

Fours, Fives, Sixes, Sevens, and Black Threes are worth 5 points.

Eights, Nines, Tens, Jacks, Queens, and Kings are worth 10 points.

Deuces and Aces are worth 20 points.

Jokers are worth 50 points.

Red Threes are worth 100 points.

Canasta Bonuses

“Mixed” canastas are worth different bonuses than other Canastas. If a canasta has no wild cards, it is considered natural. If it has some wildcards it is considered mixed. “Mixed” canastas are worth 300 points, “natural” canastas are worth500 points, and a canasta made of nothing but “wild cards” is worth a huge 1,000 points.

The player that first “goes out” earns a bonus of 100 points.

If a player plays all four Red Threes on the table, their score of 400 points is automatically doubled to 800 points.

Canasta Strategy

The most important part of Canasta strategy is basic hand management. That’s why Canasta is a great way to learn more complex games like Bridge. This means known when to hang on to certain cards and when to lay them down to form melds. Because you only draw one card (and discard one card) at a time, managing your hand is super important.

Balancing your melds is important as well. This means not playing a ton of melds as fast as possible, but playing enough to score more than your opponent. This skill really just comes with Canasta experience.

Canasta is not as popular now as it once was, but for fans of heavily strategic card games, it is a great introduction to basic strategy for meld-making games. Difficult to learn and sometimes hard to find a group to play with, Canasta has great rewards for patient card game fans.

How to Play Rummy 500

How to Play Rummy 500

It is important to learn the different kinds of sequences that are in play in Rummy 500. They are typical card game sequences–three of a kind, three consecutive, etc. You can also build on other players sequences to get rid of cards and score points. This is called “playing off” and is an important part of game play and strateg.

Rummy 500 Instructions

Rummy 500 uses an entire deck of cards. You can play Rummy 500 with between two and five players. The goal of Rummy 500 is to be the first player to score 500 points.

You score points in Rummy 500 by playing cards. Different cards and sequences have different values.

Rummy 500 Points

Any cards you play in a round of Rummy 500 is worth a certain number of points.

Next, you count the score of the cards remaining in your hand. Subtract the score of the cards remaining from the score of your cards played total. After you subtract, you have your final score.

Cards numbered 2 through 9 are worth 5 points.

10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings are worth 10 points.

Aces are worth 15 points unless the ace is part of a suit with a 2 and a 3, in which case it plays the part of a numbered card, and is only worth 5 points.How to Play Rummy 500

If an Ace is placed off in a sequence, it is also only worth 5 points.

Your final score can be positive or negative. Negative scores are subtracted from a player’s overall score.

The first person to reach 500 or more points, wins the game. If two people reach 500 during the same hand, the player with the highest score total is the winner.

Rummy 500 Rules

Deal seven cards to each player.

Undealt cards are placed face down on the table for the stock pile. Flip the top stock card face up and start a stack next to the face down card.

Each player takes a turn, either drawing the top card from the stock pile or picking up cards from the discard pile.

That player can then play any of the other cards in his hand that make legal sequences.

Play ends by discarding. Discards have to be made face up so other players have a shot at them. Picked up cards can either be played in a series or among a series that already exists on the table.

A hand of Rummy 500 is finished when the first player discards their final card.

Scores are counted up and added to the previous score totals.

Rummy 500 Strategy

The most commonly used strategy trick in Rummy 500 is to pick up a large stack of cards from the discard pile to form multiple melds and sequences. You can really rack up a lot of points by doing this, if you can go out early enough to not have those cards count too badly against you.

Another great trick is to avoid playing Ace, 2, 3 sequences in favor of using the Ace as a much more valuable part of a face card sequence. By using your Aces when they’re worth triple points, you get to the final score of 500 faster.

Rummy 500 is a popular variation of Rummy that takes little concentration. It’s a great game for playing with drinks or at parties, as you can easily have conversations around the table as you play.

How to Play Euchre

How to Play Euchre

Euchre is a fast paced “trump” game that takes just a second to learn. Trump games are popular all over the world, and since Euchre only requires four players, it is an easy game to play with little set-up.

Euchre, pronounced YOO-kerr, is the game that gave our modern deck of playing cards the Joker. In the traditional American version of Euchre, the wild cards are suited Jacks, and not Joker cards. But in the game as it was originally played, Jokers were wild.

Euchre Instructions

You win a game of Euchre by being the first team to score 10 points.

A Euchre deck is made up of 24 cards — all four nines, tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces. This simplifies game play, making up just six different ranks in four different suits. Modern games of Euchre use a standard poker deck with the Jokers and twos through eights removed.

Cards are dealt two or three at a time to all players. The deal moves from left to right until all four players have five cards. This leaves four cards undealt.

The top card of the undealt four cards is shown face-up as a “proposed trump.” The actual trump is decided during bidding.

If the first bidder wants to make the proposed trump the actual trump, he says “Pick it up” to the dealer. The dealer then must pick up this card and get rid of a card from his hand. The other option is to say “pass” and the trump decision must then be made by the next player. Any time a player says “Pick it up”, the bidding is over and the game begins.

Euchre Rules

The team who declares the trump suit has to win at least the majority of tricks to “score”. The majority of tricks means winning at least three.How to Play Euchre

The team that makes the trump are known as the “makers.” If the makers don’t earn three tricks at least, they’ll lose their bid and score for the other team. Being set is known as being “Euchred”.

Non-trump suits are ranked normally–Aces high then King, Queen, Jack, on down to nine which is the lowest rank. Often the strongest card is the trump-suited Jack, known “Left Bower.” The second highest trump card is the Jack of the same color but a different suit — he’s called the “Left Bower”.

Euchre Strategy

Teams can score two points by winning all five tricks. Winning all five tricks is called a “march”. Euchring a team, meaning you cause them not to meet their bid, scores two points as well. Since it is much easier to set your opponent than it is to go on the march, Euchre is easier to win with good defense than with good offense.

You should consider going “alone” as often as you can in an attempt to score the most points possible in Euchre. Going alone is difficult–it involves playing against both opponents with your hand without the help of your partner–but it is worth four points if you win all five tricks.

Euchre is an easy bidding game that you can learn in a single hand. Euchre is a card game based on defensive strategy, and can teach basic bidding and trick winning strategy. Luck has a hand in the game, as the deal plays a big role in how you play, but a little luck combined with a little strategy makes for fun card gaming.

How to Play Stratego

How to Play Stratego

Stratego is one of those “easy to learn, hard to master” board games that are always popular for a certain segment of the gaming population. Variations of Stratego exist for different brands, things like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Simpsons. Though Stratego is not as popular as it once was, the complex strategy involved in this war game mean it will always have a special place in the world of board games.

Most of the learning part of learning to play Stratego involves simply learning about the different pieces. There are twelve different “units” in the game of Stratego with different properties. They range from the “flag” piece that is the object of the game and doesn’t move to the higher units like the Marshal and the Generals. Learn how each piece moves and how they’re used and you’ve got the basics of Stratego.

Stratego Rules

You start play when you move your pieces in such a way that they interact with your opponent’s pieces. In a conflict, the highest ranking piece always beats the lower ranking piece. Bombs always win unless they are diffused by a miner piece. The spy piece always wins when it attacks, no matter the rank of the other piece. The only piece that doesn’t get killed by the spy is the marshal.

Battle continues until one player located and “captures” the other player’s flag piece. You look for the flag piece by moving through your opponent’s pieces and revealing which space is occupied by which piece.

Stratego Strategy

The strategy of Stratego lies in how to set-up your pieces. For instance, surrounding your flag with bombs will make it harder for the opponent to capture your flag. Only the miner piece can defuse bombs.How to Play Stratego

The spy piece is crucial to your success in Stratego, so learning to use the spy means learning to win. Avoid placing your spy too close to the front line, because your spy will be captured before it does its job. The trick lies in placing the spy piece exactly far back enough to be protected, but close enough to the line to get him in position later in the game.

Another great strategic trick in Stratego is to use “misdirection.” You can “fake” a flag location by sticking two bombs in one of the back corners protecting some useless pawn piece. Your opponent will think your flag is protected by bombs and go after it.

Stratego Instructions

To start a game of Stratego, each player chooses a color or side of the board and starts to set-up their pieces.

Each piece needs to be set-up on your side of the board. The two lake spots on the board are there to “bottleneck” the front line, so use that bottlenecking to your advantage.

Stratego may have fallen a bit by the wayside in light of the rising popularity of more obscure classic games like Carcassone and modern games like Tikal, but the basic strategy you learn playing this classic board game will help you in other strategy-based games. Want to be a better chess player? Learn to play Stratego.

Popular Family Games

Popular Family Games

While just about any board game can be enjoyed by the whole family, some games are just classic “family” oriented games. In general, that means they’re good for a wide range of ages and players.

Here’s the five most popular family games.

5. Boggle

Though Boggle is described as being “for 2 or more players”, we’ve found that more than five or six makes the game very difficult. Boggle is listed as being for ages “8 and up”, though you may find that many children younger than 8 are perfectly capable of playing.

In Boggle, players compete with each other to find as many words as possible in a 4×4 grid of jumbled letters. There’s a three minute time limit, after which point totals are added up based on the number of words you’ve found. The only words that count at words that the other players didn’t find.

Boggle is a fast-paced “word game”, and the easy game play and quick setup make it a repeat play for many families.

Popular Family Games

4. Chutes and Ladders

This is a pretty boring game, especially for people above the age of six. Unfortunately, it is also most kid’s favorite game when they are younger. The reason this appeals to families is because kids demand to play it. They understand the simple way you play the game, they’re drawn to the colors and the drawings, and once kids win a few rounds of this simple “progression” game, they’ll want to play again and again.

Many different versions of Chutes and Ladders exist, but they’re all pretty much the same. Buy this one for the kids, but try to get them into Monopoly as soon as you can.

3. Checkers

Checkers boards are as easy to find as 7-11s. You can buy checkers and chess sets at retail pharmacies, big box stores, and even travel versions at gas stations and truck stops. Checkers is popular because almost everyone knows how to play, and because kids and adults alike both love to “jump” the opponent, form Kings, and dominate a Checkers board.

Part strategy game (similar in many ways to Chess) and part “capture” game, Checkers is playable as young as five years old and is a game the whole family can agree on.

2. Jenga

Jenga is a simple board game involving player’s using their fingers to gently draw blocks out of a pre-fabricated structure. A strange board game, in that it involves more physical and less intellectual skill, Jenga appeals to kids because of the dramatic way in which the Jenga blocks fall to the ground. Older people like Jenga, too–it turns out that there’s plenty of strategy in removing Jenga blocks.

1. Clue

When I was a kid, Clue was my family’s main board game. If you grew up in the 80s, your family may have been the same. Clue is one of the earliest “simulation” type games in which you pretend to be something you’re not, in this case, a detective investigating a murder. The board is unique–a layout of an old mansion complete with secret passageways and murder weapons. Clue is playable as young as 8, and “junior” versions exist if the game is still a bit too “grown up” for your kids.

Popular Card Games

Popular Card Games

Games that use cards instead of boards or other items are called “card games.” This word refers to everything from poker and blackjack to Old Maid and Spit in the Ocean. Card games are as varied as board games, with games for all ages and skill levels.

Here are the five most popular card games, ranked in order of number of players.

5. Spades

Down South, it isn’t a get-together until someone pulls out a deck of cards and starts dealing a game of Spades. Spades is technically a variation of bridge, a simpler version with a shorter duration. There are endless variations of Spades, including the popular “jailhouse rules” which penalize sandbagging, a tactic by which players underbid intentionally. Spades is a game of the middle and lower class in America, but a game that most people know how to play.

4. Whist

Whether you think of Whist as “poor man’s Bridge” or not, you have to admit that it is incredibly popular. There was a time in the 20th century when Whist was the game young people played–these days, it has an older audience. A typical Bridge variation involving bidding and trick-taking, Whist is popular because it is easy to play while distracted.

3. Hearts

Professional poker players are Hearts fanatics, getting together in secret to bet piles of cash on the game. The game of Hearts involves matching and double-crossing, though it isn’t a “bidding” game, making it one of the few really popular card games that don’t involve bidding. Hearts is as much about screwing the guy across the table from you as it is about playing the right card at the right time. A very “social” game, Hearts is a standard inclusion on pre-fabricated computers, pointing to its widespread popularity.

Popular Card Games

2. Texas Hold’em

Yes, Texas Hold’em exploded in popularity over the last ten or fifteen years. Even without the recent Hold’em drama, the story of Texas Hold’em is a unique story in card gaming. First thought up (and eventually popularized by) poker sharks in Texas, Hold’em is the most popular poker variation.  Since the game of poker is one of the most popular card games in the world, it could be said that Texas Hold’em is the most popular card game in the world. The standard card game of the World Series of Poker, Texas Hold’em is the gold standard for card game variations.

1. Bridge

This game is popular everywhere in the world. I wouldn’t be surprised to find Martians playing Bridge.

Bridge is a contract bidding game, and inspired dozens of game variations that themselves became popular card games. You can still find Bridge strategy in the newspaper and all over the Internet. Wherever card games are played, you’ll find a Bridge game gathering. Considered by many to be the hardest card game in the world, Bridge is constantly adding to its massive fanbase, spreading from one generation to another.

Card games have been around for hundreds of years, and even though we’re living in the age of the Internet, when everything is instant and online, physical card games are still very popular.

Popular Board Games

Popular Board Games

Ask any anthropologist–board games have been around pretty much as long as human civilization. Whether we’re talking about the simple game “Go” (played as early as 300 BC) or the more complex modern games like “Settlers of Catan”, board games are popular because they’re fun, they allow for playful competition, and your whole family or group of friends can play together.

Here are the five most popular board games listed by total number of games sold.

5. Risk

Though not as popular now as it was thirty or forty years ago, the game Risk is the classic world domination board game. Though multiple versions of Risk exist, the classic game can take hours or even multiple gaming sessions to complete, and maybe it is this complexity that is hurting the game’s popularity.

4. Scrabble

Though many people think of Scrabble as a “word game”, it is really a game of mathematics and strategy. That’s why mathematic brains almost always beat “word people” at a round of Scrabble.

Played with two to four players, and having inspired an almost religious following among board game fans, Scrabble is enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to new versions of the game and a couple of documentaries centering on Scrabble players.

3. Checkers

Sometimes called “poor man’s chess”, checkers doesn’t get the kind of respect it deserves. The simple game of checkers is nearly as complex as chess, and there are endless variations of checkers to be found online and in gaming books. There are tournaments in checkers, both in America and around the world.

What seems like a simple game of “capture” is full of strategy, and long nights have been punctuated by murmurs of “King me” for hundreds of years.

Popular Board Games

2. Chess

It is difficult to track the sales numbers for games of chess–unlike Monopoly or many other board games, chess boards are manufactured by thousands of different companies. But this game’s popularity can’t be denied. Tournament chess, school chess teams, and the presence of chess in our popular culture establish this as one of the most popular board games in the world.

1. Monopoly

The best-selling board game of all time is still the “go to” board game for many people. Since the game appeared in 1935, more than 80,000,000 units have been sold. Parker Brothers prints more than 181 trillion dollars in Monopoly money every year, more than the total of real money that exists in the world.

Monopoly is unique for two reasons. First of all, it’s a real estate game. Secondly, there are many different versions of Monopoly to choose from. This year saw the release of “U Build Monopoly”, a version in which the game’s board is a little different every time you play.

Board games will always be popular because they bring people together. If you’re looking for a way to kill a few hours, or want to take your friends on in some serious competition, pick up one of these classic board games.

How to Play Craps

Learning how to play craps lets you play the cool game at the casino, where all the people who love the action go. Craps is also a social game and a betters game, because if you make the conventional bets, you and the people to the left and right of you are likely to be making the same bet. When all of you have money riding on the same proposition, it creates camaraderie.

Besides, the craps table is where people go to be seen on a casino floor. Sure, the poker table is full of characters trying to be cocky like Phil Hellmuth and or have their own “look” like Jesus Ferguson, but if you’re amidst a bunch of slot machines and blackjack tables, that big spectacle over at the craps table is going to stand out. It only helps that playing the dice is a lot more fun than counting cards or hitting the spin button.

Guide to Playing Craps

Some new casino gamblers shy away from the craps area, though, because all the casino staff huddled around and all the crazy looking bet options overwhelm them. Craps is easy to learn, though, so read this guide to playing craps and start playing craps at the casino.

Craps Basics

Craps is a dice game played at the casino. Craps players place bets by setting chips in various betting squares that have a variety of names. You’ve probably seen from tv and movies that, in craps, you want a 7 or 11 to start, but if you roll something besides a 7, you need that number again before those numbers come up again.

Rules of Craps

Learning how to play craps is mainly a matter of learning what all the various betting options are. While the names of the bets might sound difficult, they’re actually pretty simple, once you start to list them. After that, craps rules are about “what not to do”, which falls into the craps etiquette category.

With that in mind, let’s look at the craps bets.

Craps Betting

Pass Line Bet – This is the basic bet and the one you’ll probably make most of the time. You bet money on the “pass line” on the original roll, which is called the “come out” roll. When you see a black laminated market saying “off” on the table, you know it is a come out roll.

When the dice come out as 7 or 11, you win even-money. On a 2, 3 or 12, you lose your wager. Any other set of numbers – 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 – is called “the point”. You’ll see the dealer turn the off button over to reveal “on”, and then set that button on a particular number. You and everyone who made the pass line bet know you need that number again, before another 7 is rolled.

The house edge on this wager is one of the least of all craps bets, which is why good gamblers make this wager most of the time.

Don’t Pass Bets – The Don’t Pass bet is the opposite of the Pass Line bet (almost). On come out roll, if you get a 2 or 3, you win. On a 7 or 11, you lose. That leaves the 12, which is a push, like every other total. In Lake Tahoe and Reno, the 12 is a win and the 2 is a push (no idea why).

When you place the “Don’t Pass Bet”, keep in mind you are betting against most of the other people at the table. For this reason, “Don’t Pass” betters are called “wrong betters”. It’s a bit of an unfriendly act and craps etiquette states you shouldn’t really play up these wins, jumping up and down and whatnot, when you get the win (and the rest of the craps players lose).

How to Play Craps

How to Play Craps

The house odds are slightly higher on the Don’t Pass Bet than the Pass Line Bet, so if you want to go with the odds always, bet on the Pass Line.

Come Bets – This is a bet for those who are tired of waiting for the point to be thrown. It’s like the Pass Line bet, but is made on any roll.

Don’t Come Bets – Like the Don’t Pass bet, but made on any roll.

Place Bets – You bet on a particular number to be rolled before 7. The odds tend to be much worse on these bets, especially 5, 9, 4 and 10. 6 and 8 are in the range of the Pass Line bet, but still are worse odds. Though “place bets” pay odds, they are considered sucker bets.

Buy Bets – Same concept as the place bets, where you buy a number to beat 7, but with different payouts. Once again, the house edge hovers around 5%, so these are a bad idea.

Big 6 and 8 Bets – Like place bets, except the payouts are different. The house edge is over 9% on the Big 6 & 8, so bad that it’s illegal for the casino to have these bets in Atlantic City. Las Vegas casinos often have other sucker bets, instead of these, on this part of the felt.

Hard Way Bets – You bet on the “hard way” to roll a positive number, before a 7 or that same number is rolled the easy way. For instance, the hard way to roll 4 is to roll two 2’s. The hard way to roll 6 is two 3’s; 8 is two 4’s; 10 is two 5’s.

Let’s assume you bet on a “hard 6”. The dice need to come up 3-3, before a 4-2, a 5-1 or any combination that makes 7 comes up. You get big payoffs on this bet, but the house edge is absolutely huge. In other words, don’t make the hard way bets.

Lay Bets – You bet the 7 comes up before one of the place numbers (4-6, 8-10). Because this is likely to happen, you give the house odds on this happening. If you want to win a lot, play this bet, but know your payback percentage won’t be the same as a pass line bet.

Put Bets – Pass line bet you make without going through the come-out roll. Casinos offer odds on these bets.

Proposition Bets – These bets are always resolved on the next throw of the dice. You bet on unlikely circumstances to happen, and get odds between 4-to-1 all the way to 33-to-1. Unfortunately, these have among the worst odds at the table, and most knowledgeable craps players never make prop bets.

Field Bets – The gambler bets on the next roll being a 2-4 or 9-12. The odds pays 1-to-1, though the 2 and 12 pays a little more in most places outside Las Vegas and Reno. Decent house edge.

Taking the Odds – After you have made a pass line bet, you can “take the odds” after the point has been made. You can usually bet a multiple of 3-5 times your original bet on taking the odds. This is an additional wager that the point is going to be rolled before 7. You win better than even money when this happens. This is a bet with no house edge (you heard right – no house edge).

Taking the odds doesn’t lower the expectation that you lose, but it does lower the house edge, all things accounted for.

Laying the Odds – The opposite of taking the odds, so you are betting that a 7 is rolled before the point.

Craps Etiquette

It’s essential that you understand craps etiquette if you plan to play at live games, especially in a casino setting. Be sure you follow these tips.

How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube

Anyone can learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. If you missed the 1980’s, the Rubik’s Cube was the six-sided puzzle with nine different colored panels on each of its six sides that you could rotate in any direction. Solving the Rubik’s Cube involves mixing up the colors, then moving the nine panels into place so that the panels on each side contain only one color.

The Rubik’s Cube was invented separately by Erno Rubik of Hungary and Terutoshi Ishige of Japan – both in the mid 1970s. Rubik designed the cube in order to help his students recognize spatial relationships. By the 1980s, the popularity of the cube had spread around the world and had become a legendary puzzle.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be a genius to solve the cube. My knucklehead brother learned to solve the Rubik’s Cube in a minute’s time when he was 14.

Some basic understanding of cube construction and solving strategy will set you on the correct path. Many resources are available that provide specific moves for Rubik’s Cube completion.

Understanding the Rubik’s Cube Construction

The first step in solving a Rubik’s Cube is understanding how it’s constructed and how the pieces move in relation to each other. At first glance, it appears that any colored space can occupy any position on the cube.
But this isn’t the case.

There are technically around 43 quintillion possible positions for the cube to be in (a number that is impossible to comprehend), but the number of practical cube arrangements becomes much smaller with some understanding of construction and overall strategy.

If you took your Rubik’s Cube apart, you’d find that there is a simple axle mechanism inside. Taking the cube apart is pretty easy too, and you might do so if you want to get a more visual understanding of how the cube works. Simply turn one face of the cube 45 degrees so that one of the corners is sticking out. Then, take a screwdriver and pop the corner piece off. The rest of the pieces should come off easily.

If you decide to take the cube apart, be sure to put it back together in a solved position. Putting the cube back haphazardly will lead to an unsolvable puzzle. Switching stickers around can make the puzzle impossible as well.
Three different types of pieces make up the construction of the Rubik’s Cube: center pieces, corner pieces, and edge pieces.

How to Solve a Rubik's Cube

How to Solve a Rubik's Cube

Center pieces: These are the colored squares in the middle of each face. The most important realization when it comes to solving the Rubik’s Cube is that these pieces cannot move out of the center position. These are the pieces that are attached to the axle within the cube. The positional relationship between the center pieces never changes. This is important because the cube solution becomes a matter of arranging all of the other pieces in relation to the center pieces of each face. There are six center pieces.

Corner pieces: These are the pieces of the cube that have three colored stickers. These pieces will always occupy a corner of the cube. There are eight corner pieces.

Edge pieces: These are the pieces that have two colored stickers. They will always be between two corner pieces. There are 12 edge pieces.

Basic Rubik’s Cube Solving Method

The basic strategy for solving the cube involves arranging the edge and corner pieces so that their colors correspond to the respective center pieces. For example, a corner piece that is white, green and red must end up in the corner of the cube where the white, green, and red faces meet. Since you’re working around the center pieces, the center color is considered to be the color for its whole face. For example, the face with the green colored center square can be called the green face, since all green pieces will be places around it.

Start by choosing a top face. For our example, we’ll use white. Orient the cube so that the white face (the face with white center piece) is facing the ceiling. The first step is to orient the edge pieces of the top face. This means that you must find any edge piece containing a white sticker and move it into place. For example, find the edge piece that has white and blue stickers. This piece must be moved so that the white side is next to the white center piece and the blue side is next to the blue center piece.

After all of the top edges have been correctly placed, you’ll need to correctly position the top corners. Then, you’ll position the side edges followed by the bottom corners and bottom edges. The cube cannot be solved by getting one colored face at a time – you must work in layers. Keep in mind that it is absolutely necessary to disturb pieces that are correctly positioned in order to get other pieces in place. The trick is to use sequences of moves that not only correctly position the pieces in question, but also get all the previously placed pieces back to their correct positions.

Rubik’s Cube Solving Materials

This basic method was first explained in a book called The Simple Solution to Rubik’s Cube by James G. Nourse. It is a great place for beginners to start. Also, it contains a specific Rubik’s Cube solution with easy to understand step-by-step moves.

Plenty of online resources are available too. One Rubik’s Cube solving resource I recommend is the YouTube series available at Bad Mephisto‘s page. This YouTube user clearly explains several Rubik’s Cube solutions.

There are plenty of Rubik’s Cube advanced methods that involve memorizing hundreds of algorithms. These are used by people who want to be able to solve the cube in a matter of seconds. For the beginner, seek out an online source or a book for an exact description. Anyone who is up to the challenge can use the basic strategy provided here to try solving the Rubik’s Cube on their own.

How to Bowl

Bowling is a fun, relaxing game that can be satisfying (for players who know what they’re doing) or extremely frustrating (for players who don’t follow the correct techniques). Being a successful bowler is dependent on your ability to maintain the proper form and throw the ball consistently, as well as your capacity for staying mentally strong while bowling a game.

Choosing the Correct Ball

Your first step when learning how to bowl will be to choose the correct bowling ball. A ball that is too heavy will be difficult to throw, eventually resulting in fatigue and inaccurate throws. A ball that is too light will lack the power you need to knock down the pins. After finding the correct ball weight, it’s time to purchase a ball.

Although virtually all bowling alleys allow customers to rent or borrow bowling balls, using a rental ball is not ideal. Even if you use the same ball weight each time you bowl, differences in hole size and the general feel of the ball, including surface texture and finger hole texture, could throw off your game. If you plan to take bowling seriously, in any capacity, it’s important to purchase your own ball and stick with it.

Choosing the Correct Bowling Shoes

The same concepts that are true about bowling balls also apply to bowling shoes. Ignore the fact that bowling alleys allow you to rent shoes and purchase your own. When you own your own bowling shoes, you’ll wear them into your own feet, rather than somebody else’s. Be sure to purchase bowling shoes ½ size larger than your normal shoes. Having a solid, familiar contact with the floor will keep your mind off of your uncomfortable feet and on your actual bowling technique.

Learning from Your Friends and Maintaining Focus

Bowling is a social event in which groups of friends gather at the bowling alley to take turns bowling down a single lane. Although this can obviously be a lot of fun, it isn’t necessarily the best way to learn how to bowl. When you bowl with a large group on a single lane, you’ll often forget your previous mistakes by the time it’s your turn to bowl again. This gets in the way of developing muscle memory and focusing on the proper bowling techniques.

How to Bowl

How to Bowl

There are two solutions to this problem. First, you could bowl with likeminded friends who are equally interested in improving their bowling game. Collectively focus on the game, observe each other’s technique, and offer suggestions to improve everyone’s game. Second, you might consider bowling alone a few times, or at least reserving your own lane. This will allow you to bowl more rounds per hour and concentrate on the task at hand with minimal distractions.

Using the Proper Bowling Form

Bowling properly and achieving a high score is all about consistency and technique. Start by lining up just to the left of the center dot if you’re left-handed or to the right of the center dot if you’re right-handed. Hold the ball upright in front of your chest and bend your knees slightly. To throw the ball straight, keep your thumb in the 6 o’clock position. To throw the ball with a curve, hold your thumb at the 10 o’clock position.

As you approach the foul line, keep your body relaxed. Take a step with your left foot, then your right foot and then your left foot again. End with your right foot behind your left foot. Meanwhile, extend the ball behind your body and keep your body pointed straight forward. Aim for the arrow immediately to the right of the center arrow (if you’re right-handed).

There are a few other things to keep in mind as you toss the ball. As you release the ball, it should feel like you’re pushing it out and down away from your body. Keep your left hand extended in front of you to maintain balance. When you draw the ball back behind your body, make sure that it doesn’t elevate above shoulder-height. Slide forward with your left knee bent and your left foot forward and release the ball.

Your follow-through is also very important. After releasing the ball, point your hand towards the desired pin in a fluid motion. Watch the ball carefully and check for any potential flaws in your technique.

Bowling Techniques

Bowlers typically fall into three categories: Crankers, Strokers, and Spinners. A cranker will cause their body to meet the foul line before their ball does. This type of player bends his elbow in order to keep his hand below and behind the ball. The cranker relies on sheer physical strength to move the ball down the lane. Being a stroker requires a bit more finesse. With this method, your ball will reach the foul line at about the same time as your body. Spinners will bring their fingers to the top of the ball as they release. This allows the ball to ravel in a straight line regardless of the oiling of the lane.

How to Build a Kite

Kites have been in use for over 2,000 years, first appearing in China. Since their invention, kites have been used as military equipment, to improve radio antenna reception, in weather forecasting and even in Benjamin Franklin’s discovery that lightning is indeed electricity.  Through the ages, kites have also become a fun recreational hobby. These flying machines can be made as simple or as complex as you want. Simple homemade kites can be created in an hour with a little know how and some basic material.

How to Make a Kite – Materials

In order to grasp the basics of how to make a kite first we need the proper materials. To make a simple diamond shaped kite the following are required:

Kite Dimensions

The first step to make a kite is to sort out all the dimensions before gluing, cutting or taping anything. Lay out whatever material you plan on using for the kite itself on a solid surface. The two wooden dowels or sticks will form the structure of the kite. A normal diamond kite consists of a spine and a spar. The spine runs length wise of the kite and the spar is the width support.

To set up a diamond shape, think about the shape of a holy cross. The spar will be off centered so the bottom half of the spine will be longer than the top half. Both of your spin and your spar should be close to the same length. Usually, it’s best to have the spar slightly less in length than the spine. For instance, a spine of 34 inches would work well with a spar of 32 or 33 inches.

For a basic diamond kite, set the spar and the spine on top of the material so sticks form a holy cross shape. Adjust them so the top half of the spine is about half of the length of the bottom half.

Drawing the Sail

How to Build a Kite

How to Build a Kite

Mark the material lines on the sail that represent your spar and spine. Connect the ends of your drawn out cross to form a classic diamond kite shape. If you are unsure about the size of your kite and would like to make it bigger, this is the step to do it. Remember that bigger kites will have a bigger sail and will fly better and in a more stable manner.

Creating the Sail

With some handy scissors, carefully cut your sail out by following the marked lines of the diamond. Don’t cut the lines that represent your spar and spine. Otherwise, you simply won’t have a kite to work with at all.

Creating the Basic Kite

A diamond shaped sail and two wooden dowels means that you are close to finally creating a proper kite. Position the spar and spine on the sail to check that the dimensions are correct. Using either glue or rope, attach the spar and spine together where they intersect.

For basic recreation kites, durable tape is usually a pretty good adhesive to connect the sail and the dowels. The tape will also provide a bit of extra stability. Tape the dowels down onto the kite material carefully and smoothly. It’s also a good idea to run tape alongside the borders of your sail fabric to gain some stability when flying. You can also experiment by not taping the borders and even using something other than tape to connect the dowels and the sail if you’d like.

Setting up The String

A kite is not complete without a tethering structure which, in this case, will be string going from the user to the kite. Locate a nice spot on the top half of the spine that is several inches above the center point. Locate another spot on the bottom half of the spin, several inches below the center point.

Create two holes on the spine big enough to pass the string through. Make sure you do this for both the top and bottom half of the spine. You may also want to first place a piece of tape and then poke two holes. Once again, this is simply if you want to add a bit more stability to that particular area.

Finishing the String Work

Pass a piece of string through both the top and the bottom half holes to create a keel. Pull on the keel at about the center of the kite – where the spine and spar intersect. This is the point on the keel where you will tie another piece of string in order to properly control the kite. Make sure the knots made with the string are all secure.

How to Do Card Tricks

The fun part about watching card tricks is trying to figure out how they did it. You’ve probably always wanted to learn a few tricks yourself but thought that it would be too difficult to perform. While some tricks take years of practice, some are designed for beginners as well. In this guide we’ll teach you how to do card tricks.

Easy & Simple Card Tricks

The following is a collection of easy card tricks. These simple card tricks were chosen because their low requirements and basic structures.

The Vanishing Card Trick

Start by showing your friend a pack of cards, still wrapped up in their package. Remove the deck but leave one card inside the packet (don‘t let your audience see this). Make sure you remember the card you left in there. Give the deck to your friend and let them examine and shuffle as much as they want. Have them deal you five cards, face down in front of you. Give the spectator a pen and paper and follow these steps:

Easy Aces

How to Do Card Tricks

How to Do Card Tricks

Before you perform this trick, get the deck ready by placing all four aces on top of the deck, face down.

Now that you’re ready, have your friend split up the deck into four equal piles by removing each pile from off the bottom of the deck. Don’t forget which pile has the aces in it. Have your friend choose one of the piles without the aces and hold onto it. Ask them to take off the top three cards and put one of each on top of the other three piles.

Have them do this two more times with the other non-ace piles of cards. Have them do it one more time for the pile with the aces. Ask them to reveal the top card from each pile, which will be the four aces.

The Spelling Bee

You must prepare for this trick ahead of time. Remove and set 13 cards (all different suits if you want it to be believable) in the following way, top card down (the order is very important): 3, 8, 7, A, Q, 6, 4, 2, J, K, 10, 9, 5. Put these on the top of the deck.

To start, shuffle the cards, making sure you don‘t shuffle the top 13 cards. Remove the top thirteen cards as a group and fan them out on the table so that your audience can see their faces (to show them that they‘re “random“). Square up the cards and hold them face down.

Spell out the word “ace” with the cards, pulling one card off the top with each letter spelled and putting it on the bottom of the deck. If done correctly, the top card will be the ace. Keep doing this until all of the cards are face up on the table. Spell them in order from ace to king.

Easy Eights

For this trick, you will need another person to help you execute perform it. Begin by placing eight cards face up on the table in the pattern of the eight symbols on the front of an eight card. Make sure that at least one of the cards is an eight. Turn around so you’re not facing the cards and have the spectator, not the accomplice, choose a card. Turn around and have your friend point to the symbol on the eight card that shows you the position of which card the spectator chose. The more times you do it to the same audience, the better it will work.

There are thousands of different tricks you can learn and perform. If you want to learn more, there are many books, videos and even magic coaches available to help you. As with all magic/illusion tricks, the success of the trick depends on your performance quality.

How to do Magic Tricks

You may have seen many amazing feats and tricks performed by magicians. Although magic may seem complicated, learning how to do magic tricks as shown in this guide is actually quite simple. In fact, some of the most audience pleasing tricks are the most simple to perform. You can amaze your audience with basic card levitation or a vanishing coin, provided your delivery is veiled in mystery and proper form.

Magic Card Tricks

The follow are two easy to learn magic card tricks.

Card Levitation

For this trick, you will need any ring (fit to your middle fingers size), a matchstick and a standard playing card. Start by putting the ring on your finger and have the matchstick placed inside the ring so that the match is sticking out on both sides of the ring.

Put the card on the table under your hand, making sure it’s also above the match. This may take practice to ensure that it looks like you’re not doing anything out of the ordinary. If they see the match, the audience will know how you did it. Lift you hand from the table very slowly to make it look like the card is floating against gravity on its own. If you press down on the card a little bit with you fingers, it will stay in place a little better and will look like it’s floating in mid air.

Open Sesame

All you will need for this trick is a deck of standard playing cards. Start out by dealing 3 piles of seven cards, face down. Ask your friend or spectator to choose a pile. Pick up the pile they selected and fan them out, facing the audience. You do not need to see the faces of the cards for this trick. Ask him or her to look at them and choose one in their own mind, not revealing it to you. Now we have three steps to remember:

Repeat all three of these steps one more time for a total of two times. Pick up the pile of 21 cards and spell the magic word out loud O-P-E-N-S-E-S-A-M-E while laying down one card face down for each letter you spell. Turn over the next card after spelling open sesame to reveal their chosen card.

Quick Coin Vanish

How to Do Magic Tricks

How to Do Magic Tricks

For this trick, all you will need is a flat surface and any coin of your choosing. Start off by casually placing the coin on the table. Get their attention by exclaiming “Watch this!” and reach over the coin with your hand. Use your ring, middle and index fingers to push down on the coin while keeping your hand and arm somewhere around parallel to the table (this is very important for hiding the trick). Slip the coin towards you and onto your lap, making sure that it is not seen by your audience. In a smooth, natural motion, use your thumb to pick up the “coin”.

While you’re gripping the “coin,” raise your hand very slowly. Rub your fingers together as if you’re rubbing the coin out of existence. Turn your hand over and reveal that the coin has vanished into thin air. You should act surprised as well, acting as if you witnessed a miracle, to help the delivery of the trick.

Cool As Ice

For this trick, you will need a cup that you can‘t see through, a sponge, some water nearby and a few ice cubes. You will need to prepare the trick before you perform it. Get ready by placing the sponge into the bottom of the cup. Drop the ice cubes on top of the sponge and find your audience.

Have your friend get some water. Pour the water into the prepared cup yourself. Pour it from a few inches above the cup, making it obvious that you are pouring the water into the cup. Blow air on the cup and turn it upside down, dropping the ice cubes onto the table. It works better if you use a disposable cup so you can throw it away immediately so that they will not check the cup.

If you decide you want to take your magic tricks to a more advanced level, there are thousands of tricks available to learn in magic books, online or videos. The best way to learn, however, is by practicing.

How to Play Poker

This history of poker is disputed. Whatever its origins though, poker is now an extremely popular card game where the object is to obtain the best hand then win the most money through betting.

Poker Setup

Poker can be played by as few as two players and as many as nine. Players sit in a circle. Poker tournaments allow for more people to play as the tournament setup usually involves more than one table, each with its own deck of cards.

Poker is played with a standard 52-card deck. If the players all agree, Jokers can be used as “wild” cards meaning that they can take on any rank or suit that the owner wishes. Professional-level play does not usually include Jokers.

One of the foundational aspects of poker is betting. In order to keep track of everybody’s money, poker chips are usually used. For more informal games, players can just use cash or fake money from a board game.

Tips on Playing Poker

These set of tips on playing poker should help you understand the basics of the poker game. Poker play starts with the dealer. Players agree upon a method of choosing the first dealer. For example, one method involves cards being dealt out one by one and the first person to receive an Ace becomes the first dealer. Depending on what type of poker is being played, the dealer will pass out two, four, five or seven face-down cards to each player. The responsibilities of the dealer move clockwise around the table after every hand. In a casino, it will always be one person physically dealing the cards. However, a dealer “button” is passed around the table to signify the player that is technically acting as the dealer for that round.

Once the cards have been passed out, the blinds are placed on the table. Blinds are initial bets that are placed in every round to ensure that there is some amount of money at stake. The person to the left of the dealer puts up the small blind, which is half of the minimum bet. The person the left of the small blind puts up the big blind, which is the entire minimum bet.

Then, starting with the player to the left of the big blind, players assess their hand and decide whether they want to call, check, fold, or raise.

Play moves clockwise with every player making a betting decision. Different types of poker games have different numbers of betting rounds but betting is sure to happen at least once per hand. Betting rounds end when every player has either called or folded.

Poker Hand Rankings

How to Play Poker

How to Play Poker

It is important to know what hands in poker are better than others. Different types of poker use different numbers of cards but the types of poker hands are standardized. In order from least powerful to most powerful:

At the end of the last betting round, players reveal their hands. Whoever has the best hand wins the pot, and play begins with a new dealer.

Types of Poker

There are many different types of poker, but they can be categorized into four groups:

Poker is an old classic game that involves many different strategies and considerations. Poker is simple to learn, but difficult to master. The best way to get better at poker is simply start playing often.

How to Play Pool

Have you seen movies like “The Hustler” and “The Color of Money” and wanted to learn how to play pool? The good news is that pool, like many social games, takes only a few minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. Just about any person of any age can pick up a pool cue and have some fun with their friends, learning the techniques and strategies as they go. However, if you want to excel quickly and eventually master the game, you’ll have to make a few additional considerations as you learn to play pool.

Choosing the Correct Cue

Playing pool begins with taking a pool cue off of the rack and deciding whether or not to use it. Many novices make the mistake of choosing the first pool cue they see. Although this is acceptable for casual play, it’s not the best decision when you’re learning the game and trying to improve your skills. The cue should be of a comfortable weight, such that you can use it for a long period of time without wearing out your arm. At the same time, the cue should have enough heft that you can strike the ball solidly.

Be sure that the cue is straight and check for any damage on or around the tip. Be sure that the white section under the tip is firmly attached. Take a few practice strokes with the cue to be sure that it’s comfortable.

Chalking up the Tip

If you’ve ever been around a pool table, you’ve probably noticed tiny cubes sitting around the edge of the table. These are pieces of chalk and they’re used to coat the tip of your cue. Placing chalk on your cue will create the friction necessary to solidly hit the ball and prevent a “miscue” (deflecting your cue off of the ball). To properly chalk the cue, you should gently apply a thin, even layer in a brushing motion. Don’t spin the chalk on the cue or over-apply the chalk. While you’re placing the chalk on the cue, take the opportunity to size up the table and look for a good shot. Chalking should be done before every single shot.

Using the Correct Stance

When shooting in pool, it’s important to pay attention to the position of your body and maintain the correct form. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and angle your toes away from one another at a 45 degree angle. If you’re right-handed, keep your left foot in front of the right foot. Do the opposite if you’re left-handed. Your back leg will be straight while your front leg will bend comfortably at the knee.

Hold your chin over the cue, and bend your stroking arm at the elbow. Be sure that your stroking arm won’t touch your body as your strike the ball. The section of your arm between your elbow and shoulder should be forming a 90 degree angle with the cue. The arm that you’re leaning on should be slightly bent at the elbow. Keep your entire body loose and comfortable.

Rules for Playing Pool

How to Play Pool

How to Play Pool

In order to learn how to play pool, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the rules for playing pool. Although there are many different types of pool such as Nine Ball, Straight Ball, One Pocket and Cutthroat, Eight Ball is arguably the most common and popular variation on the game. In this game, there are seven solid balls and seven striped balls, as well as a black eight ball and a white cue ball. The rules are simple. All of the balls, except the cue ball, are place in the triangular rack and laid at one end of the table on a marker displayed on the felt. One of the players “breaks” by striking the cue ball into the racked balls. Each of the two players is assigned to either stripes or solids depending on which ball (or balls) go into the pockets.

Players then take turns trying to knock the balls, either solids or stripes, into the pockets. If a player is successful with his shot, he gets to take another turn. If he doesn’t knock one of the balls into a pocket, the other player takes a turn. After a player knocks all of his balls into the pockets, he must knock the eight ball into a pocket.

It’s also possible to “scratch” in pool. To “scratch” is to knock the cue ball into one of the pockets. In this case, the other player gets to take his turn after placing the cue ball wherever he’d like on the table so long as it’s behind a designated line. If you scratch while trying to sink the eight ball, you automatically lose. There are some rule variations in Eight Ball. Sometimes, it will be necessary to call your shot before you make it by indicating the corner you’re aiming for. If this rule is in place, you’ll scratch if you knock a ball into the incorrect pocket.

Additional Pool Tips

Consider hiring a professional instructor to help you learn how to play pool. An instructor will make sure that you use the correct form and keep you from developing bad habits.

Don’t bet on pool with players you aren’t familiar with. Some players will try to “hustle” others by intentionally playing poorly until someone bets against them.

Be considerate of your fellow players. Don’t intentionally distract or taunt them, especially when they’re taking a shot. Shooting in pool takes a similar level of concentration to shooting in golf and the same rules of etiquette apply.

How to Play Soccer

Soccer, or football as it’s known in many parts of the world, was first invented in in the mid 1800s. The first set of modern rules were devised by Cambridge University in 1848. It is a game played by people of all ages worldwide. Soccer is known as football around the world because the game is played by kicking a leather ball with your foot. In the USA, they call it soccer because it did not gain in popularity until after another game known as American Football was invented and became very popular. There are hundreds of rules in the game of soccer but these are a few basics to get you started.

Basic Objectives of Soccer

The object of the game, in it’s most simplistic terms, is to pass the ball back and forth between teammates until you take a shot into the other team’s net to score a goal. The game is 90 minutes long with two 45 minute halves. Whoever scores the most goals at the end of the game wins. If there is a tie, the game is either declared a tie or there is a shootout to determine a winner.

The Soccer Playing Area

Soccer is played either inside or outside but indoor soccer has different rules and regulations than outdoor, or traditional, soccer. Soccer is played on a grass field that is usually very soft, clean grass that is very well maintained. The field is typically between 100 to 130 yards long and between 50 to 100 yards wide. There is a rectangular net at each end of the field.

On the field, there are several important lines drawn using paint or chalk. There are the out of bounds lines drawn as a rectangle with the above dimensions. There is also a straight line drawn down the center of the field, cutting it lengthwise in half. On each end of the field, there is a rectangle 40 yards wide by 16 yards long that denotes the penalty area. There is also a smaller rectangle inside of this one that is 20 yards wide by 5 yards long that denotes the goalkeepers area.

Soccer Player Positions

In soccer, there are traditionally 11 players on each team. In some leagues, however, it is played with as few as seven on each team. These players are divided into different classifications known as soccer positions; goalkeepers, attackers, midfielders and defenders.

How to Play Soccer

How to Play Soccer

The goalkeeper is usually revered as the most important position on the field. He stands in front of the goal and tries to stop the other team from scoring. The goalkeeper is special in that he is the only player on the team that is allowed to use his hands whenever he wants to, for any reason.

The other soccer positions are loosely based as to where they stand on the field and what their specialty is. Attackers (or strikers) are the players trying to score the goals. Defenders (also called stoppers) try to stop the other team from scoring. Midfielders help out both the attackers and defenders in trying to do their jobs. There are usually four attackers, three midfielders and three defenders on each team. Strikers generally stay on the other team’s half of the field. Midfielders typically remain in the center and stoppers stay on their own side of the field.

Rules of Soccer

The main rules of soccer is that you are not allowed to use your hands unless you are the goalkeeper. If you do happen to use your hands, play is stopped and the other team is awarded possession of the ball via a free kick. During a free kick, the ball is placed at the spot of the foul and the other team can kick the ball wherever they choose to start play again.

The ball must stay inside the marked field of play. If the ball leaves the field, whoever touched it last loses possession and forfeits it to the other team. If you kicked it out from your own half of the field, the other team gets to perform a corner kick. A corner kick is kicked from either corner of your half of the field from out of bounds to inbounds, usually kicked towards the net to try and score. If you kick it out of bounds on their half of the field, they are allowed a throw in. A throw in is the only time you are allowed to use your hands. The ball is thrown into the playing field (using both hands at the same time).

There are also penalties determined by a referee. Penalties are generally called by causing contact with another player that is not allowed. General bumping and incidental contact is usually allowed. Kicking, tripping, hitting or intentionally causing another player injury is a penalty. They are called in two forms: a yellow card and a red card. A yellow card is for a minor penalty such as accidentally tripping a player while trying to take possession of the ball. A red card is for more severe penalties such as punching a player or intentionally injuring another player. If you receive a red card, you are ejected from the game and your team must now play the rest of the game with one less person on their team. You will also receive a red card if you receive two yellow cards during the same game.

These are only a few of the basic rules of soccer. During your game play, you may experience vast interpretation of the rules as determined by the referee. The referee can officiate the game in any way he sees fit within the realm of normal gamesmanship. Soccer is well known as a good source of exercise and companionship.

How to Play Solitaire

Solitaire is an excellent source of entertainment for any down time that you have alone. Solitaire is also a fundamental card game for beginning card players in that it teaches players to be quite familiar with the suits and numbers in a standard deck of cards. However, solitaire is also versatile in that it can be played at any age or level with minimum skill.

Rules of Solitaire

The primary rules of  solitaire require that you use a standard 52-card deck in order to play. Shuffle the cards and prepare to set up the primary board.

Your final board should contain stacks of a total of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 cards respectively (this includes the face-up card on each pile). Leave room on the top right hand corner of your board for ace piles later in the game. Set your remaining cards face down in a stack in front of you as draw cards.

How to Play Solitaire

On your primary board, the cards of the highest value are the kings. Your first goal is to create tiered stacks of face-up cards that both descend in value and alternate suit colors (individual suits do not count in this stage). For example, if you have a king of hearts (red suit) on the board, you can put a queen of clubs (black suit) or spades (black suit) slightly lowered on top of the king, a jack of hearts (red suit) or diamonds (red suit) slightly lowered on top of that and so on.

How to Play Solitaire

How to Play Solitaire

Only face up cards can be moved from stack to stack during play to create the tiered descending face-up piles. Also, only kings may move and preoccupy an empty space on the board. Each time you remove a face-up card from a pile on the primary board to another pile, make sure you flip the revealed face-down card on the original pile to face-up.

A player may deal himself the top card in a draw of three at any time during the game but usually only if he finds himself unable to work with any of the card combinations in the primary and secondary boards.

Objective of the Solitaire Card Game

The solitaire card game is a great way to pass time alone since it is usually a one-player activity. The point of solitaire is to get rid of all the cards on the primary board by creating four stacks of same-carded suits facing up from the aces on the bottom to the kings on the top during play. Since four aces of clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds are eventually placed face-up on the upper right hand corner of the board – above the main seven face-down card stacks – the player is constantly conscious of the goal and can place consecutive card values face-up in the upper right hand corner throughout the game.

Aces must be placed in the upper right hand corner first and any other cards stacked on top of the aces must correspond to the respective suits of the aces and must be consecutive. One mistake players often make when playing solitaire is that they place cards too quickly on the face-up stacks of aces on the upper right hand side of the board too early on in the game and this makes it difficult to move layers of face-up cards around on the primary board because too many useful cards are missing.

You have the opportunity to put certain cards back onto the primary board of play under limited circumstances. You may only retrieve cards from the ace stacks on the upper right hand corner if they are currently visible. For example, if you want to bring a three of hearts back into play from the ace of hearts stack at upper right hand corner, but you have already stacked up to the seven of hearts (and thus the seven of hearts is the only card visible), you cannot bring back the three of hearts unless you bring back the seven, six, five and four of hearts into the game in that order. Bottom line: be careful and attentive when stacking cards in the same-suited final stacks too early in the game.

Why Play Solitaire

If you are not that familiar with a deck of cards, the solitaire card game is great because, as an individual game, it allows you to play and get familiar with the suits and numbers of a standard 52-card deck. Solitaire requires little pressure and can be played alone if you find yourself in a situation where you have no one with whom to play cards. It also requires little to no mathematics and is a great way to introduce young people to popular card-playing and teach them the order of card values.

How to Play Spades

Spades is a card game that originated in America and was spread to other countries by American soldiers. It is a trick-taking game like Euchre and Hearts, meaning that players strive to win a certain number of tricks or mini-rounds in each hand. However, instead of each person playing and bidding individually, the players are paired up into teams, adding a new dimension to trick-taking game play. The following rules are for Spades played by four players.

Playing Spades: The Basics and Setup

Spades is played with a standard 52-card deck. Aces are the highest ranking followed by King, Queen and all the way down to the 2. Spades serve as the trump for each trick. There are variations of Spades between two or six players but, generally, Spades is played between four people.

This is a partnership game, meaning that the four players are divided into two teams. Team members sit across from each other. For example, players A, B, C and D are sitting at a table; players A and C are a team and B and D are the other team. The ultimate goal in Spades is for a team to be the first one to reach 500 points.

The dealer is randomly picked and starts the game by distributing the cards one at a time to each player until all 52 cards are dealt, leaving each player with thirteen cards each.

Rules of Spades

The rules of spades are very specific, specially when bidding. Each player is free to look at his cards and arrange them by suit or in order of rank (or whatever is most comfortable to him). The player to the dealer’s immediate left is the first to bid. You can bid to win zero to thirteen tricks. Partners’ bids are added together and that is the amount the team must strive for. For instance, if both players A and C bid to win three tricks, the team has to win at least six or receive a penalty.

How to Play Spades

How to Play Spades

Let’s say that players B and D are a team: player B bids five and player D bids to win zero tricks. Bidding zero is called a “Nil” and if player D is successful, the team wins a 100-point bonus. However, this leaves B all by himself to win five tricks while the opposing team can work together to win six. Both players can bid Nil and receive a 200-point bonus if they succeed or a 200-point penalty if they fail. If both players bet Nil but only one succeeds in winning no tricks, the penalty and bonus even out and there are no points added or subtracted from the team.

The first player lays down a card—it cannot be a spade (unless he has no other cards but spades). Play continues clockwise and the competitors must follow suit. If they cannot, they are free to lay down any card they wish. A trick is won to the player with the highest card within the leading suit. Yet, if a player had no choice but to play a Spade card, he wins that trick since Spades serve as the ultimate trump, no matter what their ranking. The player who wins a trick collects the cards and places them in front to make it easy for every player to keep track of each other’s progress. Game play continues until all cards are used.

Scoring and Winning Spades

At the end of a hand, players count the number of tricks they have won and add up points for that round. Each trick that a team bids is worth ten points, with one point being added for each additional trick they might have won. Players A and C originally bid six and won eight. The math would be as follows:

6 x 10 = 60
2 x 1 = 2
Add those together and their final point amount would be 62.

To the opposite effect, ten points are taken away from the total score for each trick a team failed to win.

Winning more tricks than you originally bid per round might seem like a good thing, but in Spades, this can quickly become a bad thing. This leads to the “Sandbagging” rule in this card game. An example: players B and D bid 2 in the first hand and end up winning 5. They might get three extra points for that hand but they also tally three “bags” against them. If this trend continues throughout the game and B and D suddenly have ten bags marks against them, they receive a 100-point penalty.

The first team to win 500 points is the winner. If both teams end up with 500 points after a round, play continues until a team breaks the tie.

Playing Spades is a lot like playing any trick-taking game since the basic idea is the same, but a new twist is added since players are paired up into teams. This adds challenging dynamics to the game because it forces players to seriously consider how much they should bid because the penalties are so great and can hinder the accumulation of points. Spades is a great card game for you to play if you want to break the norms of trick-taking games.

How to Play Sudoku

Sudoku is a number puzzle game played all over the world. You can play in newspapers, magazines, online or even in special books just for sudoku puzzles. Even though it is classified as a number game, it requires no mathematical skills. However, a basic knowledge of sudoku is required in order to form proper strategies and be successful in the play of the game. Without knowing the basics of sudoku, looking at this popular puzzle’s layout can be rather confusing.

Sudoku Rules

To understand sudoku rules first you need to understand its board. The game board is a nine by nine grid of blank squares divided up into nine 3×3 smaller grids. These tiny, individual squares need to be filled in with every number ranging from one to nine. Puzzles will start with a select amount of numbers already filled in for you. These are numbers which cannot be changed. However, to complete the puzzle, you must fill in every empty square with the proper number.

What makes the game a puzzle is that you cannot use the same number twice in the same column, row or 3×3 grid. So, you must use strategy and patience to fill these numbers in and solve the puzzle. For more information on the rules of sudoku keep reading below.

Sudoku Pre-filled Numbers

In beginner puzzles, there are already a great deal of numbers filled in for you. In fact, the puzzle maker will provide you with about 80% of the 81 numbers needed to complete the puzzle. In more advanced puzzles, they may give you as few as 10%. This makes the puzzle much harder to solve than you might initially think.

Sudoku Strategy – Getting Started

How to Play Sudoku

How to Play Sudoku

To get started with basic sudoku strategy, pencil in all of the numbers that you know for sure. An easy way to know which numbers are certain is by looking at all of the rows first and seeing which rows have eight numbers pre filled in for you. You can then put the remaining number in the correct box. Do the same thing with the columns and small grids. For example, if one column already has the numbers 3, 6, 4, 5, 8, 1, 2 and 9 you can determine that the only possible remaining number is a seven. As each row and column must also contain all nine numbers, using the pre-filled numbers to work through each row, column and grid can be your best basic strategy.

Search through the puzzle and very lightly pencil in all of the possible numbers that could go in each box (you will have to write very small). So, using another example, the square you are looking at is in a small grid, row and column with the numbers 1-2-3-5-7-9. Based on this knowledge, you can determine that the example box must be either a 4, 6, or an 8. Write those three numbers in the box and move on to the next. This process may take a little extra time at first. However, as you gain more experience solving sudoku puzzles, you will get much better at filling in possible numbers on the fly.

Finishing a Sudoku Puzzle

Go back through the entire grid and start eliminating numbers that have definitely been ruled out as possibilities. This comes from looking at other square’s possibilities and seeing which numbers do not match up. For instance, by looking at which grids, rows and columns have the same numbers, you can begin eliminating numbers from your possibility squares. After you have eliminated enough numbers from each of your grids, you can begin to deduce which numbers need to be placed in which grid to complete the puzzle.

Start looking for matching pairs. For example, in the same row, you have two squares with seven and two as possibilities. There is also a third square with a seven, two and three as possibilities. The correct answer for the third square must be a three and you must go back and work on what the first two squares’ answers must be.

How to Play Tennis

Tennis Tips for Beginners

Tennis is a sport that originated in the 19th century. The sport of tennis has evolved dramatically since its inception in the 1890s but the game remains true to its original form. In its early years, tennis was mostly considered an upper-class sport, similar to golf. Tennis has since spread around the world and is now enjoyed by millions. Countries from around the world compete in tennis every four years at the summer Olympic Games. There are four major or Grand Slam tournaments at the professional level – the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

Tennis, like most sports, is relatively easy to learn but takes quite some time to master, which is why we put together this set of tennis tips for beginners. When playing tennis, either two or four players can play with one-on-one play termed singles and partner play called doubles. Each player uses a racket, which is made of durable synthetic strings stretched over a strong material frame (often carbon graphite or ceramic based) to hit a felt-covered rubber tennis ball.

Tennis Courts

Tennis is played on different surfaces. The most common are hard court (some type of asphalt or concrete) grass and clay. The court dimensions for singles play are 78 feet long by 27 feet wide while the doubles court is extended to a width of 36 feet across. A three and a half foot net is stretched across the court at its center. At either end of the court lie the baselines (or end lines). The lines that run along the length of the court at the outside are called the sidelines. The outermost sidelines are only for doubles play and can be ignored in singles competition. About halfway between each baseline and the net is a service line which runs across the length of the singles court. The service line is split by another line running from the middle of the service line to the net. The two resulting rectangular areas represent the areas to which players will serve the ball.

Tennis Scoring

How to Play Tennis

How to Play Tennis

The scoring system in tennis is unique and not at all similar to other racket sports like badminton or ping-pong. The entire contest is termed a match, which is made up of the best of three or five sets. Women’s matches are often played as the best of three and men’s matches take place as a best of five set series. Each set consists of games and each game is made up of points. In order to win a set, a player must be the first to reach six games by a margin of two or more games. If the score is six games to six, a tie-break is played to determine the victor of the set.

To win a game, a player must be the first to score four points by a margin of at least two. A player winning the first volley is awarded 15 points. A second successful volley puts the player’s score at 30 and the third point puts the player’s score at 40. A score of zero points is also known as “love.” If one player has scored three times and his or her opponent has yet to score, it can be said that the game is at 40-love (the first score, 40, refers to the player who is serving that particular game). In the event the game is tied at 40 points apiece, the game is at deuce and a player must win back-to-back points to win the game. When a player wins the first point following a deuce, that player has the “advantage.” Should he or she lose the next point, the game goes back to deuce and continues in this manner until one player wins two straight points from deuce.

Tennis Techniques

Tennis techniques begin with the actual game play. The game begins when one player serves the ball from the right hand side of the court. The serve must cross over the net and land somewhere within the rectangular box on the opposite side of the court. In other words, the player serves the ball initially from the right (or forehand) side of the court to the opponent’s right side of the court (left side from the server’s perspective). After the completion of the first point, the server starts the next point from the left side of the court, alternating sides every point. The same player serves for the duration of the game and the serve alternates between the players after that. Players may switch sides after every three games if they choose to do so.

Tennis Terms

There are a variety of important terms in tennis, a few of which are explained below:

How to Play Texas Holdem

Texas Holdem is a form of poker that involves community cards, which are cards that every player can see and use. Texas Holdem is the most popular type of poker in the world, which may be caused in part by the television airtime it receives.

Texas Holdem Setup

Texas Holdem can be played by as few as two players. The maximum number of players using the same deck is nine. Tournament Texas Holdem allows for hundreds of people to play, as many different tables are set up – each with their own deck of cards. If you’re playing an informal home game, you could setup two tables if you have more that nine people playing.

Texas Holdem uses a standard deck of 52 cards. Also, chips are typically used to represent certain amounts of money that player put into the center of the table, known as the pot.

The first dealer is chosen using any method that the players agree upon. Then, the position of dealer moves clockwise after every round so every player will get a chance to be the dealer. In a casino, there will always be the same casino employee who is actually handling the cards. However, a dealer “button” will be passed clockwise around the table to determine player positions.

First, the big blind and small blind are played. The person to the left of the dealer button puts up the small blind, which is half of the minimum bet. The player to the left of the small blind puts up the big blind, which is the entire minimum bet. These bets are placed to make sure that is always at least some money at stake.

Then, the dealer deals two face-down cards to each player, one at a time. These cards are known as “hole” cards.

Texas Holdem Poker Tips

The following Texas holdem poker tips provide a brief overview of game play and basic strategy.

First, each player looks at their hole cards and decides whether they want to call, raise, check or fold. A call is when a player matches the bet that is on the table. For the first player to act, this would be matching the big blind. A raise is when a player matches the current bet and adds to it. A check is known as a zero bet or a pass. This is when a player has met the minimum bet and does not wish to raise. Folding is when a player decides to throw away their cards and sit out for the rest of the hand. If any player raises, all of the players must meet the raised amount or fold. This means that betting could go around the table several times within one round.

How to Play Texas Holdem

How to Play Texas Holdem

After the first round of betting, the dealer discards the top card of the deck to a separate face down pile (this is also known as “burning” a card). Then, they place the next three cards in the deck face up in the middle of the table. This is known as the “flop.” The flop consists of the first three community cards, which are cards that any player can use in combination with their hole cards in order to form a hand. After the flop, a round of betting occurs.

After the betting round is over, the dealer burns another card and turns the next card face up in the middle of the table. This is the fourth community card known as the “turn.” Another round of betting occurs.

Then, the dealer burns a card and presents the final community card, known as the “river.” After the river is revealed, there is one last round of betting. When this round is over, the player who has formed the best hand wins the pot.

Texas Holdem Hands

In Texas Holdem, the chances of getting a good hand are increased compared to other types of poker. This is because a player has seven cards with which to form a hand, rather than five. The Texas Holdem hands and rankings from least to most powerful are:

Texas Holdem is a game with many facets and different strategies. There have been many books entirely devoted Texas Holdem strategy. However, as long as you know the basics, you’re ready to start playing Texas Holdem.

How to Play Lacrosse

Historically, lacrosse formed a unique part of many Native American tribes as a way to develop men and as a way to resolve conflicts. This game is literally centuries old and has stood the test of time as one of the most technically and physically demanding games ever developed. However, learning how to play lacrosse is a bit less challenging.

Today, lacrosse enjoys little public success but has remained at collegiate and club levels throughout North America as well as in Europe and Australia. It is still played at a divisional collegiate level by over 250 teams.

For newcomers, the sport may appear to be rather unusual and overwhelming to learn. However, with the proper equipment, a group of friends and practice, lacrosse can be a physically demanding yet enjoyable game to play.

Equipment Needed

The most well known symbol of lacrosse is the lacrosse stick. This stick features a long handle with a racket head that is used to maneuver the ball and help defenders ward off attacking plays.

To accompany the stick, you will need a lacrosse ball. You could always use an ordinary tennis ball but a true lacrosse ball has different dimensions. These balls are made out of solid rubber, weighing in at about 5 ounces.

Collegiate, club and league lacrosse matches are also played with pads, helmets and gloves. This is due to the fact that lacrosse is a contact sport and can be quite punishing on the body. In addition, being hit by the solid rubber lacrosse ball can be quite painful. However, when learning lacrosse and playing a casual game, pads and helmets aren’t necessarily needed.

Most of the lacrosse equipment can be purchased at any major sporting goods retailer.

Lacrosse Rules

How to Play Lacrosse

How to Play Lacrosse

Lacrosse rules dictate that a game is played with ten players per team. Each team features a goalie, three defenders, three midfielder and three attackers. The regulation size field is 110 yards by 60 yards. The field is divided up into a defensive, midfield and attacking area. The goals are placed in the center of the team’s defensive area.

True lacrosse games will have the field divided up into the aforementioned sections with visible lines. These lines are important because they help identify the rule of possession and off sides. Defenders and attackers must stay in their own respective areas until the midfielders have gained possession of the ball. Following that, defender and attackers can move where they please. However, teams are required to maintain 4 defensive players and 3 attacking players at all times. It does not matter who is playing defense or attacking so long as 4 and 3 are kept to prevent off sides from occurring.

Lacrosse Tips

More advanced players may be able to make use of these lacrosse tips. First, matches start with a face off in the center of the field. The goalie is allowed a crease to maneuver in. Defenders may also move in the crease but attackers are prohibited from entering.  Two types of legal checks are allowed in lacrosse. The stick check is designed to displace the attacker’s ability to keep possession. The stick can be used to hit the attacking player’s stick as long as the body is not being targeted. Additionally, body checks are allowed as long as they are between the waist and shoulder and never from behind.

Lacrosse Techniques

One of the unique and exciting aspects of lacrosse is the chance to use the stick as a pivotal part of the game. However, it can be harder than it looks to properly use the stick to pass if you’re not using the proper lacrosse techniques. Generate force by placing your throwing hand near the top of the stick and your weaker hand near the bottom handle. This allows you a lever motion that works in tandem with a wrist flick to create hard and accurate throws.

Lacrosse Catching

New players often try to cradle the ball into the stick as a method of catching the ball. Once you have gotten accustomed to the required hand eye coordination needed, try to keep a soft grip on your top hand in order to dissipate the incoming ball. This process is often a great deal more beneficial to the lacrosse player than keeping a firm grip and trying to cradle the ball.

Cradling or Dribbling

What dribbling is to basketball and soccer, cradling is to lacrosse. This is a great skill as it is needed to maneuver around opponents and ultimately create those goal bound opportunities. Cradling is done by taking advantage of centripetal or centrifugal force. For those who missed out on physics class, centripetal force is towards the center while centrifugal force is away from the center.

These two types of forces are manipulated by flexing the wrist as well as flexing and extending the forearms. This motion is best described as the top forearm performing a bicep curl while the wrist flexes or twists at the same time which keeps the lacrosse ball in the basket with the help of some basic physics.

Enjoying Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a team sport. So, it’s necessary to have at least a couple of friends around to learn lacrosse and practice together. After a few sessions, you will be able to get a sense of how the game is played and be able to enjoy all the aspects of lacrosse.

To learn more about playing lacrosse, check out:

How to Play Hearts

Hearts is a trick-taking game that is believed to have originated in Spain in the 18th century. In each hand, each player plays one card. This group of cards is known as a “trick.” The object of Hearts is to have the lowest score at the end of the game by avoiding certain cards.

Hearts Card Game

The hearts card game is most typically played with four people. Unlike many other trick-taking games, the people that are sitting across from each other are not partners. However, there may be times in Hearts when it would be beneficial to help other players. Hearts is played with a standard 52-card deck – no jokers.

The first dealer can be chosen using any method that the players agree on. For example, each player could cut the deck and the person who revealed the highest card would be the first dealer. The position of dealer passes clockwise after each hand. The dealer deals out 13 cards to each player. This should deplete the entire deck.

After every player receives their cards, they each assess their hand and decide on three cards that they will pass to another player. These three cards are placed face down all together before the other player picks them up. A player cannot look at the cards that are being passed to him before he decides on the cards that he is going to pass. On the first hand, each player passes three cards to their left. On the second hand, players pass to their right. On the third hand, players pass to the person sitting across from them. On the fourth hand, players do not pass any cards. This cycle continues until the game is over.

Rules of Hearts

The rules of hearts require that after the players have passed three cards each, trick taking begins. The player with the 2 of clubs sets this card on the table to begin the first trick and play moves clockwise. Every player must follow suit with whatever card was led. For example, on the first trick, every player must play a card in the clubs suit unless they have no clubs. If a player cannot follow suit, they are allowed to play any card they wish. The person who put out the highest-ranking card of the suit that was led wins the trick. The card rankings from high to low are: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2. This ranking counts for every suit and there is no trump suit.

The person who wins a trick takes the trick cards into their possession and leads the next trick. As with every trick, players must follow suit if they can and players play cards one at a time in a clockwise motion.

Hearts are the special suit in this game. A card of the hearts suit cannot lead a trick until a player has played a heart as part of a previous trick. This is known as “breaking” the hearts. After the hearts have been broken, any player can lead with a heart. A player can only break the hearts on a lead if they have a hand containing all hearts.

Hearts Scoring

How to Play Hearts

How to Play Hearts

Tricks are played until every player’s hand is depleted. Then, players look at the cards they acquired from winning tricks. Every heart that a player ends up with is worth one point. The Queen of spades is worth 13 points. Remember that you want to try to keepyour score as low as possible. So, avoiding hearts and the queen of spades is key to winning.

If a player gets all the hearts and the queen of spades, it is known as “shooting the moon.” In this case, a player can either decrease her score by 26 points or have every other player’s score increase by 26 points.

The game ends when one player reaches 100 points. The person who has the lowest score at this point wins the game.

Hearts Strategy

Unless you are attempting to shoot the moon, you want to follow good hearts strategy by avoiding to win any hearts in a trick. Therefore, avoid playing the highest card in the suit that was lead if any hearts have been played in the trick. This may not always be possible, of course.

Also, many players will try to “smoke out the Queen.” This means that they will lead with low-ranking spades in an attempt to force the person who has the Queen of spades to play it and win the trick.

It is important to carefully consider the cards that you pass to an opponent. You may not want to give other players all of your hearts. If you keep low hearts, you can lead them in a trick and force other players to play higher-ranking hearts, which will, in turn, lead to your opponents acquiring more hearts than you. You may also want to consider passing cards that will leave you with as few different suits in your hand. This is known as “short-suiting” your hand. If you do this, you can have more control over what you play because you don’t have to constantly be following suit.

Hearts is a good introduction to trick-taking games because it is not quite as complicated as games such as bridge. There are many variations of hearts and people play with many different rule changes. There are even versions that allow three or five players to participate. Learning to play Hearts and its variations can be a great way for family and friends to spend time together.

How to Play Golf

Golf is a popular sport not only because it requires athletic and mental endurance but also because it fosters an environment of social activity and networking. Many companies use golf excursions as a tool for their employees or potential business partners to bond socially in order to get things done at the professional level. Golf is often enjoyed by people of all ages because it features low intensity movements that can be accessible to even the least capable of physical activity through the use of a motorized or pull cart.

Golf Basics

There are a few requirements needed to get started with golf basics. To play golf you need a set of golf clubs, golf balls, a tee and a golf course at which you can play. Swings, called “strokes” in golf, are taken in order to move the golf ball from the tee to the hole. First, you need to tee up the ball no more than two club lengths behind the markers and address the ball. Normally, addressing the ball is as simple as approaching it and placing the head of your golf club on the ground. If the ball happens to fall off the tee before your club strikes the ball, you may replace the ball. However, if you accidentally knock or swing the ball off the tee, it counts as a stroke. In any game of golf, you may not alter the ground in any way (i.e. bend vegetation, smooth slight bumps, etc) in order to make your play easier. However, if leaves or tree branches block your shot path, you may remove them.

You will often play golf against other opponents if you are not merely practicing. One such game is called “match play.” In match play, every hole of a course is a different contest between you and your opponent(s). The team that completes the hole with the fewest strokes wins the hole and the team that has won the greatest number of holes wins the game. If you accidentally hit another person’s ball during match play, you receive a penalty stroke and must replace the moved ball to its original, unmoved position.

How to Play Golf

How to Play Golf

Stroke play is a standard golf competition where the winner with the least number of strokes is declared the winner after X amount of holes. The number of holes in a standard Stroke Play game is 18 holes. If you are in stroke play and your ball hits your opponent’s ball, you must take a two-stroke penalty.

If you lose a golf ball during play, you must find your ball within 5 minutes or play another ball. If you find your golf ball near a tree or any other obstructing landmark, you must play the ball from there or go back to the golf ball’s original spot, start over and receive a penalty stroke.

Universal golf rules should not be altered or disobeyed under any circumstances.

Golf Swing Techniques

Many amateur golf players want to jump the gun and hit a full course without first testing the waters and entering a driving range. This is dangerous because actual golf courses require a great deal of golf swing techniques that beginners do not often have. Consider investing in a few formal golf lessons before you venture out into the mature green.

That being said, one of the biggest mistakes novice golf players make is buying a bright, shiny new set of clubs at the outset. This is not a wise decision because everybody’s swing arms are different and you cannot possibly determine which golf clubs are right for you after only a few weeks of practice. Try a variety of golf sets and practice your swing technique by playing all levels of golf before you decide on a specific set of golf clubs. You will find that your strengths and weaknesses require you to have quite a different set than the person next to you.

Why Play Golf

Golf is not only a great way to improve your physical judgment abilities and strength but it is also a way for you to make social connections. Many companies use golf outings as a means for both informal mingling between employees and business negotiations in a casual setting to occur. With constant practice, playing golf can become both an athletic skill and a means for conversation at your disposal. If you are looking to further a professional career, especially in politics or business, learning how to play golf is often essential for social success in the workplace.

How to Play Football

Football is a goal-defending sport that has its roots in the game of rugby. The object of the game is to score more points than the opposing team within a certain amount of time. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opponents end zone. Additional details about how to play football have been outlined below.

American Football Positions & Setup

Professional American football is played with two teams of 11 players each. The football field is 100 yards in length with an additional 10 yards on each end known as the end zones. There are two goalposts on the edges of the field as well. Each player plays a specific position on either offense or defense. In an informal game, it is not necessary to have a specific field length or number of players. For pickup games, there can be as few as three or four players total.

The team that holds the ball is known as the offense. There are three types of offensive players: running backs, linemen and receivers. There is also the quarterback, which is an important and pivotal position. Linemen assemble themselves on the line of scrimmage and attempt to protect the quarterback. The quarterback can then hand the ball off to a running back or pass it to a receiver. More specific descriptions of American football positions are as follows:

There are three types of defensive players: linemen, backs and safeties. The defensive linemen line up directly across from the offensive linemen and attempt to tackle a runner or the quarterback. The defensive backs line up behind the linemen and protect against passes. Some defensive backs, called cornerbacks, stay right with the wide receivers in an attempt to block or intercept passes. The safeties line up farther behind the other backs and act in different versatile ways.

There are also special teams that are in charge of kicking the ball during certain situations.

Football Game Play

How to Play Football

How to Play Football

First, there is a coin toss. The team that wins the toss elects to either kick or receive. Then, play begins with a kickoff. Special teams go on the field and the kicker kicks the ball to the receiving team. The player who catches the ball can run with it and attempt to gain as many yards as possible. If the ball was kicked past the opposing end zone, it is considered a “touchback” and the team will begin their drive on their own 20-yard line.

The ball is placed where the kick receiver was tackled. This is known as the line of scrimmage. From there, the offensive team has four chances, or “downs,” to either score a touchdown or get another first down. A first down is achieved by gaining ten or more yards at any time.

Each down is begun when the center snaps the ball to the quarterback. The quarterback then hands off the ball to a running back or passes the ball to a receiver. The defense can tackle anyone who has the ball, rendering that player “down,” which ends the play. The next down begins wherever the player went down on the previous play. If a player ever reaches the opposing end zone with the ball, it is a touchdown.

If a team has not scored or achieved a first down within their four downs, they have three options. They can either try to get a first down with a normal play, kick a field goal or punt the ball. If the team is close enough to the opposing goal post, the kicker can come on the field and attempt to kick the ball between the uprights of the goal posts. If the team has no chance of making a field goal, they can simply kick the ball to the other team, who will catch the ball and begin their own offensive possession. If the fourth-down offense tries for a first down but fails, the opposing offense begins their possession at the same field position.

The offensive team can also “turnover” the ball. This is where an offensive player fumbles the ball or a pass is intercepted. Then, the defense gains control of the ball.

Football Tactics & Scoring

Understanding the scoring process will help you better develop useful football tactics.

Football has many more facets to it including different football tactics, strategies and penalties. Knowing the positions and basic game play of football can help you on your way to playing this exciting sport.

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How to Play Dominoes

If someone asks you how to play dominoes, they are most likely asking you about a game made up of a domino set (also called a deck or pack). Domino pieces were originally developed in France around 1120 A.D. The dominoes you see today, however, are of Chinese decent. You may see these little blocks on TV or in magazines as people line them up and topple them over, creating what is commonly known as the domino effect. But those little blocks were created to play a game that has been fun for centuries

The Dominoes

Dominoes come in many shapes, sizes and materials. Traditional dominoes are made from ivory with ebony “pips” laden into them on one side of the domino. Newer, modern dominoes are made of plastic as this makes them more affordable for the casual player. Competition dominoes are made of ivory or wood. They are rectangular in shape, and are usually two inches long by one inch wide. Dominoes have a line drawn down the center, splitting the rectangle into two squares. On each side of the square there are varied numbers of pips ranging from zero to six. However, in more advanced and far less common versions, there can be as many as 18 on one square.

Domino Rules

To play dominoes, you only need to acquire the standard domino pack and understand the domino rules. A domino pack can be found at many stores throughout the world. Most packs will come with 28 dominoes with a total of 168 pips. The object of the game varies depending on which version you’re playing.

Dominoes Block Game

Begin by placing all 28 dominoes face down on the table or floor in front of you and the other players (up to 4). Each player draws 7 tiles from the pile. The extras are not used in this version. One player begins by playing one tile. That player that plays first is generally decided by who has the highest number of pips on one tile. This tile starts what is known as the “line of play”- a series of touching tiles going out in opposite directions in a straight line from the first tile.

Each tile must match the tile it is touching by having the same value inside of the same square it is touching. For example, a series could look like this: (6-1)(1-3)(3-5)(5-1). The players will alternate turns, elongating the line of play with one tile at a time. If you cannot play, you pass your turn. The game is over when one player finishes playing all of their tiles or if neither player has any tiles they can play. The winner is the player who played their last tile, or in the event of a blocked game, the player with the least number of pips left in their pile is declared the victor.

Dominoes Draw Game

How to Play Dominoes

How to Play Dominoes

In the draw game, you will start out the same as the block game but each player is allowed to begin their turn by drawing as many tiles as they want from the community pile. They are also not allowed to pass before the stock is “empty” (two tiles left must remain in the pile at all times, therefore, two tiles left is considered empty).

The score of the game is the amount of pips in the losing player’s hand in addition to the number of pips remaining in the main pile. This game does not have an individual winner for each round. Usually, games are played in a series with seven or eleven games being the most common number.

Common Variations on Dominoes

Some adaptive variations have been developed to make the game a little different. One basic variation is called the spinner variation. In this game, you play the game as normal but the line of play is altered so as not to be only a straight line. Doubles, or tiles with the same number in both squares such as (6-6) or (2-2), can be used to alter the line. So, for instance, if you have a straight line ending in a two and you have a double two tile, you can place it sideways so that the original two is intersecting the divider line on your tile. Following that, you can branch out from either side of your double two tile, creating something of a maze with the tiles.

Another simple variation to make the game last longer is to use multiple sets of dominoes. The games will take longer and longer depending on how many sets you use and can also allow for the addition of more players to the game.

dominoes was invented as a game of casual play. However, it has transformed into a much larger game. There are professional leagues and even teams available to the advanced player. There are numerous organizations and clubs around the world designed for gathering dominoes players together to play and harness their skills.

How to Play Cribbage

If you’re looking for cribbage instructions, you’ve reached the right place. Our “how to play cribbage” guide will cover the basics of cribbage, rules of cribbage and review a few cribbage tips.

Cribbage is a card game that calls for quick thinking and calculation. It is widely played in England and is one of the few games that can legally be played in English pubs. It is most commonly played between two players or two teams and point totals are kept track of on a peg board. Etiquette is an important part of Cribbage and this is seen largely through the dealing process and terminology of the game. Familiarizing yourself with terms such as “Double Pair Royal” and “One for His Nob” will ensure a greater quality of game play as you explore the rules of Cribbage.

Cribbage Rules – Cards, Point System, and Dealing

According to cribbage rules the object of the game is to be the first player to win at least 121 points. A standard 52-card deck is used. Each card is worth a certain number of points as follows: King, Queen, Jack, and 10 are all worth ten points, each of the numbered cards are worth their face value and the Ace is worth one point.

Points in Cribbage are kept track of using a board and pegs. (It does not matter what design your board is as long as there are holes representing the numbers 1 to 120.) Each player has two pegs that are staggered from each other on the board throughout the game. The forward-most peg represents the current score of that player while the back peg shows the last score. This back peg is moved forward every time the player receives a new total.

Cards are mixed face-down three times. Each player then takes at least four cards from the top of the deck. Taking the bottom-most card from your pack, you and your opponent reveal the cards to each other. The player holding the lowest-ranking card is the first dealer. If there is a tie, you have to start all over again.

Before each deal, the cards are cut by having the top half placed on the bottom. If a player looks at the cards, he has two points deducted against him and the cards must be reshuffled and the whole process starts over. The dealer then distributes six cards to each player from the top of the pack one at a time. Again, if any card happens to be exposed the whole shuffling process starts from the beginning. The remainder of the deck is placed in the middle of the table. Each player takes two cards from his hand and places them face-down to the side—this forms the “Crib.” The Crib in each hand contributes toward the points for the dealer. The non-dealer would probably place low value cards in the Crib while the dealer might play higher cards for himself.

Cribbage Instructions – Start Card and Game Play Example

The following cribbage instructions portray a game play example.  First, play can begin by the non-dealer cutting the deck and revealing the top card from the bottom half. This is the start card: it basically counts toward each player’s hand when points are being added. If the start card happens to be a Jack, the dealer moves his first peg up two spots, called “two for his heels.”

How to Play Cribbage

How to Play Cribbage

Game play occurs like the following example: The non-dealer flips a card from his pile over first, a Queen, and says out loud, “ten.” The dealer flips over one of his cards, a 7, and says “seventeen.” The first player flips another card and adds that to the total. This continues until the total reaches 31. When this happens, the player who laid the last card moves his peg up two spots and declares “thirty-one for two.” If a player has cards that bring the total to over 31, he can call “go” and his opponent has a chance to lay down a card. A “one for the go” is announced by the last player if neither player can lay down a card without exceeding 31. This continues until all cards have been used.

Cribbage Tips – Scoring During and After Game Play

Understanding the different ways points are scored make up the best cribbage tips available to beginners. The following points can be made during game play. Right after you declare them, you move your peg up the board the amount the score is worth.

When game play is over, each player collects the cards in front of him and tries to find as many combinations as he can to gain points. The start card can be used by both players when figuring out card combinations.

The cards in the crib are now revealed to the dealer and he adds them to his total score.

How to Play Chess

Chess is a board game whose current incarnation is thought to have been developed in 15th century Europe but earlier versions were played in India. Chess is a game played by only two players. The object of Chess is to put your opponent in a situation where their King game piece cannot be prevented from being captured.

Chess Setup

Chess is played on an 8×8 checkered, black-and-white grid board. The chess pieces are initially setup in the first two rows nearest to each player. For example, the person who has chosen to use the white pieces will set up their pieces in the first two rows nearest to them. The player using the black pieces will sit opposite the other player. They will set up the black pieces in the first two rows nearest to them. For this article, we will number the rows 1-8. 1 is the closest row to a player and 8 is the farthest away. The columns will be designated A-H, meaning that the “A” column is the column on the far left and the H column is on the far right. Therefore, the square labeled 1A will be the bottom left square and the square labeled 8H will be the top right.

The board should be positioned so that the 1A and 8H squares are black. Then, in the 1 row, the white pieces are setup as follows:

In the 2 row, the white player will place a pawn in each column so there is a row of pawns in front of the other pieces.

The black pieces are set up in row 8 in exactly the same order. The black pawns are all set up straight across in row 7. When the board is completely set up, the black and white pieces should mirror each other exactly, meaning that each white piece is directly lined up with the same type of black piece.

Chess Moves, Chess Strategy, & Chess Pieces

The following list briefly details the chess moves made available to individual chess pieces along with some strategy.

How to Play Chess

How to Play Chess

Pawn: The pawn is the simplest piece in the game and is often sacrificed to try and steal the other player’s more valuable pieces. When moving out of its original row, the pawn can move one or two squares directly forward. After that, it can only move forward one square. For example, a pawn could move from 2C to 3C or 4C on its first move – then it could only move forward one square at a time. However, a pawn captures an opponent’s piece by moving diagonally forward one square to the left or right. This is the only time a pawn can move in this way and a pawn cannot capture a piece by moving forward. Pawns are considered to be the least valuable game piece and offer little in terms of chess strategy.

Rook: Rooks are the pieces that look like castle towers. They can move horizontally or vertically any number of spaces in any direction. For example, if there were no other pieces in the way, a rook could move from all the way from 3A to 3H or from 1A to 8A.

Bishop: A bishop moves diagonally any number of spaces in any direction. This means that, whatever color square a bishop is set up on initially, that piece will only occupy those color squares for the rest of the game.

Knight: The knight is the piece that looks like a horse. It has the most unique movement in that its path is shaped like an “L.” The knight moves two squares horizontally and one square vertically or one square horizontally and two squares vertically. The knight moves in any direction. It is also the only piece in chess that can jump over other pieces to reach its destination.

Queen: The queen is perhaps the most powerful piece on the board. It can move horizontally, vertically and diagonally in any direction for any number of squares. It cannot emulate the movement of the knight, however.

King: The king can move horizontally, vertically and diagonally in any direction but only one square at a time.

Chess Rules

Chess rules require that the player who is using the white pieces always goes first. Each player only moves one piece at a time. When a player lets go of a piece, the position of that piece is considered final. Because of this, many players will hold on to a piece after they’ve moved it to make sure that they’re making the move they actually want to make. A piece is captured when an opposing player’s piece lands on the same square. The piece is then removed from the board.

If a king is ever in danger of being captured, a player is said to be in “check.” A player who is in check must get out of check by any means necessary. A “checkmate” is when a player has captured the other player’s king, which constitutes winning the game. A “stalemate” is when neither player can capture the other player’s king and the game is considered a draw.

There are many special moves in chess including castling, en passant and pawn promotion. There are also different strategies that can be applied according to the timeline of the game (opening, middle game, and end game). There are hundreds of books and articles regarding chess strategy, but as long as you know the board setup and piece movements, you’re ready to dive into one of the most legendary games ever played.

For more guides about how to play chess, we recommend:

How to Play Checkers

Checkers is a simple board game for all ages that is usually considered a stepping stone toward other, strategic board games such as chess. Also known as draught in other parts of the world, checkers requires little maintenance or skill. Checker boards usually come in 8×8 or 10×10 sizes with squares alternating between light and dark colors. A standard checker board will contain black and red, black and white or tan and brown squares.

History of Checkers

Checkers was originally known as Alquerque or Quirkat. Although the oldest surviving checker set only dates back to around 600 B.C., drawings and paintings of the game have been discovered from as far back as 1400 B.C. Originally popular in the Middle East, the game of checkers eventually spread to Egypt and cities in India. The first example of modern checkers appeared in France in the 12th century. However, the current number of squares on the board and pieces in each squares did not appear until as late as the 18th century. The first official international checkers tournament took place in 1847.

Rules of Checkers

The rules of checkers indicate that two players are required to play standard checkers. One player uses the black pieces and the opponent uses the red pieces. The red and black pieces are placed on opposite ends of the board on the dark-colored squares. For example, the black pieces will occupy every other square on one side of the board and the red pieces will occupy every other square on the other side of the board. On a standard 8×8 board, each player’s pieces will occupy 3 rows each. On a 10×10 board, each player’s pieces will occupy 4 rows each.

How to Play Checkers

How to Play Checkers

How to Play Checkers

Players take turns moving their pieces diagonally away from their starting squares and cannot move backwards. The player wielding the black pieces usually begins the game. When one colored piece, a black checker for example, reaches the other end of the board (“red” territory), that black piece becomes a “king” and another black checker is placed on top of the original one to symbolize kingship. A “king” can move forwards or backwards on the board.

The objective of checkers is to be the have the last piece standing in the game. Opposing pieces can “eat” or “jump” each other, in which case the player whose piece has just been “eaten” has to remove that piece from the board and give it to the opponent. The way this works is if you had black pieces and a red piece was located directly diagonal to one of your pieces, you would be allowed to jump it and remove the red piece provided that the space beyond the red piece was blank. You may also double or even triple jump your opponent if the opportunity arises. The player with the last remaining piece on the board wins the game.

Why Play Checkers?

Many people enjoy playing checkers because it is a simple game that takes little time and strategy. Once you develop a basic understanding of checkers, the game is pretty much straightforward like tic-tac-toe. Checkers is a youth-friendly and family-friendly game that is not expensive to purchase or maintain. It is also a fairly easy concept – all you have to do is remove your opponent’s pieces from the board. Because each piece in checkers is worth the same value and nearly every piece can move in an identical fashion (except in the case of “jumps”), checkers is much simpler than chess and much easier to learn.

How to Play Bridge

Learning how to play bridge is not very difficult. Bridge is a simple card game that uses a standard 52-card deck and four players, which make’s . It’s fun to play and is popular among young and old couples. Bridge is played everywhere from family parties to senior citizen communities.

Bridge is a partnership card game of four players sitting around a square table. Partners sit across from each other on the table and collaborate throughout the game to win as many tricks as they can.

Setting up to play Bridge

In bridge, you use all suits and numbers in a standard deck of cards. The card number 2 is considered lowest in value while the ace holds the highest value. The dealer is determined by drawing cards. After the players are seated at the table and the cards are shuffled accordingly, the dealer distributes all the cards clockwise until each player receives 13 cards.

Playing Bridge

One player leads the game by placing a card face up on the board. Bridge is similar to the card game UNO in that each player counterclockwise of the leading player has to similarly place a card of the same suit on the board when it is his or her turn. At the end of the round (if it is a non-trump game) the winning player is the one who has put down the highest card in that round’s card suit.

Players bid in the game of bridge before starting any round. This is how players determine whether to play trump or no trump bridge. The dealer has the advantage here because he claims the first chance to bid. It is advantageous for the dealer to bid the highest card and suit in his hand. He may “pass” if he has no high cards and wishes to forgo bidding.

Bids are placed with the hierarchy of card suits in mind. In bridge, the suits are valued from lowest to highest beginning with clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades and no-trump. If the opening bid is a 3 of clubs, for example, the next bid must be higher in value than the 3 of clubs. The subsequent bidder may choose to bid at least a 3 of diamonds, a 3 of hearts or a 3 of spades. Players may bid or pass as they choose.

After the bidding period ends, each partnership has the opportunity to cast its trump suit. This part of the bidding process requires some skill and good communication between the individual parties of the partnership. This trump-calling or trick-calling period ends when all three players “pass” in a row.

Objective of Bridge

How to Play Bridge

How to Play Bridge

A player’s goal in the game is to team up with his or her partner to win as many tricks as possible. Each trick has four cards that are revealed by each player after the dealer distributes the cards.

Bridge Hands & Bridge Tips

When deciding what bridge hand to use, it is most advantageous to lead the game with your most valued suit so you can create a plethora of favorable combinations throughout the game. The ace has, by far, the highest value in the game with a value of 4. Kings have a value of 2 and Jacks have a value of 1. However, high cards are not all that matter in a game of bridge. The condition of your hand has a lot to do with it. An eight-card suit in your hand gives you 4 points. A seven-card suit is worth 3 points, a six-card suit 2 points and finally, a five-card suit is 1 point.

Other bridge tips involve bonuses. If you think you have what it takes in your hand to call bonus points, make sure you are the highest bidder in the preliminary round. A grand slam is a good way to get the most bonus points: it consists of a hand of 7 of spades, 7 of hearts, 7 of diamonds and 7 of clubs. In order to call a grand slam, you must have a total value of at least 37 points between you and your partner. A small slam of 6 of spades, 6 of hearts, 6 of diamonds and 6 of clubs require 36 shared points between you and your partner. Additional bonuses for bridge tricks can be acquired through certain bidding and trick-obtaining contracts. For example, if you bid for and complete 10 tricks, you are eligible for a 4 of hearts and 4 of spades bonus.

Why Play Bridge

Bridge fosters good communication between partners and is a sociable game to play on a double date or family function. Since it requires team work, bridge is a smart option for card players who want to play “as a group” rather than in an individualistic fashion. Bridge also gives room for intense bidding and many bonus combinations. Playing bridge is a great way to incorporate the “partnership” game type into your card game repertoire.

How to Play Basketball

The game of basketball was created not long before the turn of the 20th century, meaning that it is quite young when compared to other popular sports. However, that hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the most widely played and widely watched sports in the entire world. The game was created as the brainchild of Dr. James Naismith, a physical education professor who wanted to develop a new game for his class to enjoy on a rainy day. The game of basketball has come a long way since then, changing dramatically over time to become the game we know today. One possible explanation for basketball’s immense popularity is that it can be played virtually anywhere – the only essential elements are a ball and a hoop. It’s these qualities that make learning how to play basketball a simples process.

Basketball – An Overview

In short, basketball is a team game in which opposing squads try to throw a leather or rubber basketball through a hoop suspended 10 feet in the air. Doing so scores points and the team with the most points at the end of the game wins. A regulation court size, according to the National Basketball Association or NBA, is 94 feet long by 50 feet wide. The court is typically made of a hardwood like maple. However, synthetic floor materials are popular at the recreational level. Both teams on a basketball court will have five players playing at one time although many teams are composed of up to fifteen players, as substitutions can occur frequently.

The duration of the game varies depending on the league. NBA basketball consists of four 12-minute quarters. College games consist of 20-minute halves and high school games are played in eight-minute quarters. Men use a basketball that weighs 22 oz. and is 29.5 inches in circumference. The women’s ball is slightly smaller with a circumference of 28.5 inches and a weight of 20 oz. The basketball rim is 18 inches across with a net suspended below it and hangs on a backboard.

Teams are awarded one point for a successful free throw (an uncontested shot taken from the fifteen-foot foul line), three points for shots taken behind the three-point arc and two points for shots made anywhere inside the arc.

Rules of Basketball

How to Play Basketball

How to Play Basketball

The rules of basketball begin with the three different ways to move the ball – shooting it at the hoop, passing it to a teammate or dribbling it by bouncing it on the ground. Running while carrying the ball is not permitted. Taking two or more steps without dribbling, passing or shooting is known as traveling, which results in a change of possession. Players must remain within the parameters of the court; an out-of-bounds violation results in a turnover of possession as well.

Double dribbling (or dribbling the ball with both hands) is a violation and a turnover. If a player obstructs the path of a ball on its way downward motion toward the hoop, a goaltending violation has occurred resulting in a change of possession and the points being counted.

A player commits a foul when he or she has used excessive contact against an opponent. If the foul occurred in the act of shooting, the player who was fouled is awarded two free throws (or three if the player attempted the shot from behind the three-point line). If the team on defense committed the foul and no shot was attempted, the offense retains possession by in-bounding the ball from the sideline or baseline. If the team on offense committed the foul, they forfeit the possession.

Basic Skills

Shooting is probably the most important skill in the game of basketball and coaches emphasize it from an early age. A player is considered quite successful if he or she can make about 50 percent of all shots from the floor. Dribbling and passing are key skills to acquire to effectively move the ball on offense. Defense is also critical and many high school and college practices are devoted almost entirely to the practice of guarding both the player with the ball and the players without it. Rebounding, or retrieving the ball after a missed shot is an important component of the game as it can provide second chances on offense and limit opponents’ chances while on defense.

Basketball Positions and Tactics

While no positions are specified in the game’s rules, some basic positions have naturally evolved. Most teams are made up of two guards, two forwards and one center. Guards are typically fast players with good ball handling skills. The point guard sets up the offense and is usually responsible for dribbling the ball up the court. The shooting guard should also be quick with good ball handling and shooting skills. The two forwards on a team are typically relatively tall and their function is to create good shots from near the hoop and rebound. The center is usually a team’s biggest or tallest player and remains near the hoop on the offensive and defensive ends of the court.

Most basketball teams employ one of two basic defensive strategies. A “man” defense involves every player on the defensive team guarding a specific player on the offense. A “zone” defense mandates that each player is responsible for a certain area of the court on defense.

Although the game of basketball is fairly simple to learn, its many strategies and minor rules can make it a game that players spend a lifetime perfecting.

How to Play Backgammon

Before we learn how to play backgammon first we’ll begin with its history. Backgammon is often regarded as one of the oldest dice games, known to mankind going back about 5000 years to ancient Egypt. Although the game of backgammon is quite old, it remains quite similar today to when it was first developed. In fact, from the very first version, there are actually only a few minor modifications. While the rules of backgammon can seem quite complicated at first glance, the basic principles of the game are actually very simple to comprehend.

The Backgammon Board

You will need some basic supplies to play but they are typically very easy too obtain, normally coming packaged together with a standard backgammon set.

The most basic pieces are:

The board has 24 points on it. These points look like long, narrow triangles alternating between two colors. You are only able to move your checkers on these points and on the bar down the center of the board. The bottom right of the board (closest to you) is called the “home board“ and is numbered one. However, this same board section is also numbered 24 for your opponent. The upper right corner of the board is called “outer board.”

Rules of Backgammon

Backgammon is a two player game although some people play in teams (the rules of backgammon allow for both). The object of the game is to be the first player to move all of your checkers from one side of the board to the other before your opponent does the same. The amount of space that you are allowed to move each piece depends on the numbers appearing on the dice after you have rolled them.

To win the game, you must move all of your checkers to the home board. Once there, they are removed from the board according to the number rolled on the dice. When the checkers are removed from the board, this is called the bear off. When one player bears off all of his or her checkers, they are declared the winner.

Backgammon Setup

How to Play Backgammon

How to Play Backgammon

A backgammon setup requires the board is properly configured. Players begin with two checkers on their 24 point, three checkers on their 8 point, and five checkers each on their 13 and 6 point. Determine which player takes their turn first by throwing the dice and selecting the player that rolls a higher total number. This initial winning number will become the amount the winning player can move his or her first checker.

Moving Your Checkers

A player has two choices when it comes time to move their checkers. He or she can either use both dice to move a single checker across the board or they can use one die for one checker and the other die for a different checker. Checkers may only be moved from point to point one at a time. Once the decision has been made and the checkers have been moved, the turn is over. If both dice show the same number, also called a double, you are allowed to play that number four different times with any checker that you choose. When rolling, if only one of the dice numbers is to be played, that player will move the checker according to that number only. If neither die’s number can be played, your turn is done.

During a move, a checker is allowed to land on points that are unoccupied or are occupied by your colored checkers. Also, you can land on a point that has one opposing checker on it. If that happens, put the opponent’s checker on the center line of the board (the bar that divides the two sides). Checkers placed on the bar get back into the game through the opponent’s home-board. All of your checkers on the board are frozen until all of your checkers from the middle have re-entered the game.

Winning Backgammon

Your checkers move towards the home board the entire game. However, when they land on it, they freeze until all of them are in your home-board. Only then may you start removing them from the board, called “bearing off.” You do this by rolling the dice to get that checker off. So, if you have a checker on the 1 point and another on the 2 point, you need to roll a two and a one to bear them off. Also, you must move the lower die before the higher. For example, if you only have one left on the 4 point and you roll a four and a one, you must move the 4 point checker one space to the 3 point and then bear it off using the die roll of 4. It may seem pointless, but a skilled player can use this to their tactical advantage.

It is popular to play backgammon for money or other items. If one player finishes the game before the opponent has born off any of their checkers, it is said the loser has lost a “gammon,” which counts for double a normal loss. If the losing player hasn’t born off any checkers and also still has checkers in the middle or in the winners home board, it is called a “backgammon” and it counts for a triple loss.

How to Build a Skateboard Ramp

Skateboarding requires a great deal of practice in order to do even the most basic of tricks such as the Ollie, heelflip and kickflip. A normal urban environment usually provides enough space and obstacles to serve as the perfect practice location. Even better is the common availability of local skate parts that offer professional ramps, rails and kick boxes to perfect your technique.

With some moderate craftsman’s skills and the proper equipment and time, a homemade mini ramp can be created to serve as a great location for sessions by yourself and with your friends.

Equipment Needed

This equipment is required to make a 24 foot length, 3 foot high mini ramp.

Creating the Ramp

The first step in making a mini ramp is drawing out and cutting the ramp, also known as the transition.  A start point must first be created by choosing an edge of a 4X8 sheet and drawing a point that is 12 inches in length and 3.5 inches in width.

Screw one of your 2X4 pieces in place at the drawn out 12 inch mark and place another screw on the 2X4 piece that is 6 feet and 10 inches away from that first drawn starting point. This screw will be used to tie a string that will be attached to a pencil. Make sure the pencil can reach all the way to the original starting point.

From the starting point, draw the ramp on the 4X8 sheet of plywood while keeping the string tense at all times. The sawzall will be used to cut the ramps out.

Assembling the Initial Ramp

How to Build a Skateboard Ramp

How to Build a Skateboard Ramp

You will now use about 15 of those 2X4 pieces of wood to create the cross section of the ramp. Cut the 2X4s so they are 7 feet and 10.5 inches long. With a couple of friends holding the ramp pieces erect, start at the bottom and screw in the first 2X4 to connect the two ramp pieces together. Work your way up the ramp, screwing in another 2X4 every 8 inches. Make sure that the top of each 2X4 is flush with the ramp angle.

Ramp Coping

Pro ramps will have a metal pipe that runs along the top of the ramp. This can be added to the homemade ramp by cutting out a small notch at the top and setting the 8 foot long metal pipe into the notch.

Plywood Surface

To give the ramp a surface, begin laying the 3/8 inch plywood pieces lengthwise onto it. To get a smooth curving plywood surface, take your time and soak  the plywood in warm water. Carefully and slowly apply your body weight until the plywood forms the proper curve.

Secure the plywood by screwing it into the support structure. You will need to do the same process with the 4X8 feet sheets of masonite. These sheets will be placed on top of the plywood to create a smoother surface on which you can skate.

Skateboard Platform

It can be very difficult to skate on a mini ramp without having a platform at the top on which you can start. If the first ramp pieces were fitted correctly, you should have a little over a foot of straight horizontal space where the ramp curve finishes.

The platform can be modified to be as big or as small as you want. Simply use some of the 2X4 pieces of wood across the top of the ramp to create the skeleton of the platform. You will need to cut them with the sawzall because you will also place two 2X4 pieces on the inside of the top ramp to extend the platform surface area.

With the skeleton secured, use a piece of the ¾ inch plywood to create a surface for your platform.

Creating a Bottom

To connect the ramps, you will need a flat bottom. Use the same principle that was used to create the ramp skeleton. Remember those 2X4s? Use those to make a flat box. Length wise, the flat bottom can be as small or as big as you want. Once again, use the 2X4s to connect the sides at every 8 inch interval.

Make the surface of the bottom with a couple of sheets of 3/8 inch plywood and top it off with sheets of ¼ inch masonite. It is extremely important to remember that the flat bottom must be attached to the ramp sections for stability. To do this, let 2 inches of plywood and masonite stick out at the length ends. This extra space can be used to screw the flat bottom surface on the ramp surface.

Completed Mini Ramp

Remember that you will have to make two ramps. This explains the need for so many pieces of 2X4. Any leftover pieces of 2X4 should be used to improve the rigidity of the ramp. Use them on the underside of the top ramp and platform to provide cross sectional support. This will prevent the ramp from bending and swaying.

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