I think it's probably time to accept that I am absolutely terrible at Rack-o. I don't know if it's just bad luck with the cards or if I'm not good at putting my rack together, but I just seem to keep coming up short.
Here's the lowdown on a 570-230 shellacking I got from my girlfriend in the early hours of Sunday...
First hand--not too bad, a few cards away but Erica calls it first. Down 75-30.
Second hand--I'm working on a run of 3 for a bonus but it's not be as Erica not only goes rack-o, she's got a bonus on top. Now I'm down 200-50.
Third hand--might as well have just played the last hand over again. I try once more for a run to improve my score, but Erica shows me how it's done, and with only 30 to show for my rack, I'm in a big hole 325-80.
Fourth hand--nothing goes right for me as I can't get the low numbered cards I need and Erica makes short work of her rack. Now it's 400-100 and I'm about ready to pack it in.
Fifth hand--Another hand, another rack-o for Erica. Nothing special for her, and I do manage to hit 35 points. It's now 475-135. One more rack-o for her and I'm toast.
Sixth hand--I'm down to my final out in the bottom of the ninth, as it were, and manage to get some timely hitting. I grab a rack-o for 75, but how many points does she have? 25 will give her the game...she counts them slowly...but no! Only 20 points on her rack, and we go to one more hand, 495-210.
Now, at this point, we considered calling the game as she only needed 1 card, any card, to win with 500 points. But thanks to the bonuses for runs, I had a chance, albeit a slim one (as Ben Stein used to say), to win the game. On to the 7th and final hand!
Seventh hand--I have no choice but to play for a run of 6, as there is no other way to win. The cards are with me, and I have most of what I need to get a run of 5. However, like needing a few touchdowns to win and only two minutes on the clock, time ran out on me, and Erica called "rack-o!" for the 6th time that night and put my out of my misery, 570-230, as I only managed to get 4 consecutive cards for a measly 20 points in the last hand.
I really like Rack-o as an "end of the night" game as it plays quickly and easily, even if I am apparently terrible at it. Definitely a classic card game that still holds its value over the years.