Previously: The Doors of Your Mind.
Not to be confused with the excellent Ichor Falls short story “The Gambler,” The Gambler’s Game is neither as long as many of the other games and rituals we explored, nor as involved: All it requires is a pack of cards and an hour or so of your time. But although the game is short and sweet, the stakes are high; what would be the point of playing if they were not?
It’s common knowledge that the Devil loves to gamble; however, it hasn’t been confirmed whether the Gambler of this game is he — or whether the name of the game might refer to the player him or herself instead. Whoever or whatever your opponent may be, though, be warned: He plays for keeps.
As always, play at your own risk.
- 1 principal.
- A pack of playing cards.
- A quiet room.
- A table.
- Two chairs.
- Begin whenever you feel the need.
- Take up your pack of playing cards, go to your quite room, and seat yourself at the table. You should be facing the second chair across the table.
- Shuffle the cards. Shuffle them thoroughly, and shuffle them well. Do not attempt to mark or stack the deck; cheating will not be tolerated.
- Choose your game and deal yourself a hand.
- Begin the game by facing the second chair and saying the words, “Let’s play.” You may feel a slight chill; if you do, do not be concerned. If you do not, however, do not proceed.
- Deal the Gambler his hand; then play your first move. When it is the Gambler’s turn, you must help him play by laying down cards randomly from his hand. Do NOT look at his hand before it is on the table. Again, cheating will not be tolerated.
- Play the game to its conclusion, alternating turns as required.
- If you win: Take the top card of the deck and draw its edge across the pointer finger of your right hand. If you draw blood, that hand will henceforth have the power to win any gamble, whether it’s a throw of the dice or the luck of the draw. Use it wisely, and sparingly.
- If the Gambler wins: He will claim his prize — and before you ask, no, there is nothing you can do to dissuade him from doing so.
Any game will do, although Blackjack is preferred. It should be noted that games whose outcomes rely solely on luck make poor choices, indeed.
If possible, use a new and previously unopened pack of cards; the Gambler is mistrustful, and he may not look kindly upon an old or well-worn deck.
Should the Gambler win, he will not be quick about claiming his prize; nor will it be clean. You have only yourself to blame, however. After all, you were the one who decided to tempt fate.
A Word of Advice:
It is NOT recommended that you play this game.
There’s a reason you don’t come across many people with lucky hands in this world.