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Subject: Lotería variant: Entrée rss

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Patrick Rael
United States
Brunswick
Maine
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The game Lotería is more than a simple children's game. It is an iconic representation of Latin Americana. From the flimsy cardboard cards to the campy figures on them, Lotería, to me, suggests travel and new things. Recently, my partner and I visited Mexico, and I picked up a cheap set as a souvenir. One extremely rainy evening in a Tulum bar, we broke it out in and developed two games over several hours (and a few drinks). We chucked the boards and just focused on the cards, which, in essence, constitute a very simple deck of cards numbered one to fifty four. No suits here, just simple sequence. What could be done with such a deck?

Setup
Shuffle the deck and deal five cards face up between the two players. These target cards never change.
Deal three cards face up into a selection array. Players will take new cards from this array and re-stock from the deck.
Deal two cards to each player. Each player reveals his cards, placing the lower to the left of the higher. The distance between two cards piles in a player's play area is the range between them.
These two stacks form the basis of the player's hand. During play, each player will have the opportunity to form more piles, the objective being to create piles such that as many of the target cards as possible fit within the ranges of his stacks.
The non-dealer begins, with turns alternating.


The play
Each turn:
1. The moving player selects one card. He may select one of the three cards in the draw array (in which case he refills the space from the deck), or he may blindly select the top card from the deck.
2. The moving player then plays the drawn card to his play area.
• If the card is within the range of any two of his adjacent stacks, he must place the card on one of the stacks (his choice).
• If the card is not within the range of any two of his adjacent stacks (because it is too high or too low),
• he forms a new stack, to the left (if low) or right (if high) of his existing stacks.
Instead of drawing a card, a player may combine two stacks, if the top card on each is in sequence. The player may decide which stack to place on top of the other.

Scoring
The game is over when the draw array cannot be filled after a draw, or there are no cards left in the deck.
Each player scores his hand.
• Score 4 points for each range that can accommodate one and only one target card.
• Deduct 1 point for each range that cannot accommodate a target card.
• Deduct 1 point for target card that "overfills" a range.
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