Monday, January 28, 2008

Lumpyhead's Poker Mnemonic

I realize there are things about your children you cannot control. You set the foundation for their lives, but some of their choices and certain aspects of their personalities are beyond your control.

There are a few things I want desperately for my children. Happy, healthy, blah blah self-esteem cakes, but there is one vital component of their brains I will not leave to chance: my children will know the hierarchy of poker hands.

To that end, I often sing Lumpyhead the following song:

One Pair, Two Pair, Three of a Kind
Then a Straight (five cards in a line)
Flush is next (all of the same suit)
Full House (trips and a pair to boot)
Four of the same number
Straight Flush (a wonder!)
Five of a Kind with wilds
a Royal by house rules.

(See, in our house a Royal Flush beats a Five of a Kind, but Five of a Kind beats any other straight flush.)

Lumpyhead calls it the "Pair Song." He has begun to sing along, although I don't think he can sing it by himself yet.

It's probably a good thing we don't send him to Sunday School; this would probably get him kicked out. Because the song is sung to the tune of Jesus Loves Me.

I'm sure Jesus loves you, too, but do me a favor and start singing this to your kid, okay? I mean, it doesn't do much good to yell "Shuffle up and deal!" if no one else at preschool can play with you.


Ken and Belly said...

I tried on the melody of the ABC song as I initially read the post and got stuck at the four of a kind line.

Gotta admit that I would be amused to sit down at a table with an opponent who habitually hummed either tune. I'd probably underestimate his/her skillz and would certainly be thrown off balance by the juxtaposition of sunday school and gambling thing. You're setting the kiddos up for success at the tables.

Em said...

First, too funny that you have him sing it to Jesus Loves Me. That made my day.

Secondly, you are onto something here -- when we play poker, rarely, with your orphaned chips, people inevitably have problems with the hierarchy. I will have to teach them the song. Mixed with a few Margaritas I predict nonstop hilarity.

Violet said...

This song would have helped me immensely during those few times I've tried to play poker.

theotherbear said...

As I was reading that I kept thinking "I wonder what tune it goes to". So glad you let us know at the end. And of course then I sang it. In my head only, because I am at work. Still, I love it!

Tela said...

Numbers and my brain don't mix. So, I started to read your song, on a quest to enjoy it and hope it might help me out with poker. But it kept mentioning numbers and then my brain just shut down and all i saw was "blah blah blah blah blah" (insert Peanuts parent's voice)

Yeah, I've never played poker. The only card game I've ever really mastered was Slap Jack (no numbers, see)

Colleen said...

That is brilliant!

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I'll have to work this one inot our routine.

nonlineargirl said...

I just emailed that to my husband - I am sure it will be in heavy rotation here soon.

Alison said...

Did you make this up? It's pure genius. Also, I agree with your house rule and the importance to clarify it before dealing the first hand. I've seen more than one fight break out over that one.

Magpie said...

Damn, if I knew the tune to Jesus Loves Me, I'd be all over that.

Julia said...

Found that one on

The association is between the hands (from Straight to Straight Flush) and objects of increasing size so that you can quickly compare them. You're suppose to figure them around the Full House house in San Francisco.

Straight: Streptococcus (a bacteria whose name derives from its way of growing in chains)

Flush: The flush toilet where the bacteria lives.

Full House: The Full House house in SF

Quads: Alamo square (the neighbourhood of the Full House house)

Straight-Flush: San Francisco

Pretty neat!

Oliver Drend said...
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