Nazarene Space

Just for Fun: How to Play Fizzbin (Only Trekers will Get it)

Just for fun:

How to Play Fizzbin- " Hey!...Your Shoelace is Untied"
Anthony Fredrivkson

ON THE PLANET Beta Antares Four the game of chance known as Fizzbin is not mere entertainment but a way of life. The game is named after the Antarian Ancient, Saint Fizzbin, who, it is said, learned the game from the dark one, then proceeded to win back his life each time Fate called him to eternal rest. Saint Fizzbin passed awar a lifetime of 1600 years and Antarians have adopted the Fizzbin as a method of emulating their honoured ancestor, hoping to earn the favor of the gods and win health, wealth, and longevity. Fizzbin is a way of settling all debts, public and private. It is the basis of the Antarian court system, criminals being able to win pardon by defeating the local Magistrates at the
gaming tables. Indeed, the most skillful Fizzbin players occupy Beta Antares highest government posts. Marking Fizzbin cards is punishable by death, and the traditional, ceremonial rules, steeped in superstition, seem most strange by Earth methods, but on Beta Antares Four their faithful observation is the framework of civilization itself !


Certian anatomical and cultural differences prevent humans from playing Fizzbin exactly as Antarians who shuffle the cards using their feet as well as their hands. Antarians cards are actually hand-painted animal skins but a workable deck can be found in any standard "Bicycle" deck.

All bets are laid down before the cards are delt. Antarians allow free betting, anything goes. They will wager for money, property, or favors (unless the participants are under twelve years of age then they play for Jellybeans) and the winners collects from each other player.

The dealer is determined by argument and he goes first, the play moving counter-clockwise around the table. If the game is being played on the floor, the play moves clockwise. Each player gets six cards except the dealer and the player to the dealers right who gets seven. The second card delt to the dealer and the player to his right get turned up,
except on Tuesdays when the third gets turned up. A final card is delt face up to each additional member of the game. These cards form the "discard" piles, one for each player.

There are four kinds of winning hands in Fizzbin, each successively beating the one below it. They are the One-Half Fizzbin ( lowest), the Fizzbin ( or Full Fizzbin), the Three-Quarter Fizzbin, and the Royal Fizzbin.

A One-Half Fizzbin consists of two Jacks, two Aces, and two Sevens of any suit.

A Full Fizzbin occurs when a player holds two Jacks , a King, and a Deuce (any suit), two Aces, a King and a Deuce , or two Sevens , a King and a Deuce except at night when it is two Jacks , a Queen and a Four, or two Aces, a Queen, and a Four, or two Sevens a Queen, and a Four.

A Three-Quarter Fizzbin is a Three, a Five, a Six, an Eight, a Nine, and a Ten, all of them Red. At night however, they must all be Black cards.

Finally the Royal Fizzbinis the highest rank. It consists of two Jacks, two Aces, a King, and a Deuce, or two Jacks, two Sevens, a King, and a Deuce, or two Aces, two Sevens, A King, and a Deuce. When dark the sequence is the same except that Queens and Fours replace the King and Deuce. The odds of getting a Royal Fizzbin have never been computed.  At the end of a hand, when the last card is drawn, if one or more players have obtained the same highest rank the game is given to the player how first pins his opponent to the floor.

Any Queen or Four that is dealt to a player in daytime must be immediately thrown out of the game as they are worth nothing. All Kings and Deuces are tossed out at night and a player may not replace them, but loses the cards he must throw away anyway. After each hand these cards must be reshuffled into the pack. They serve the important purpose
of irritating the players. In the daytime, a player drawing a King or a Deuce from the fresh pack 9 or discard piles) may draw another card.

Another card is allowed whern a Queen or a Four is drawn at night.  Should antone have in his hand three cards of a kind at the end of the hand a " SHRONK" is declared and he is disqualified. The sequence is thus, a Player draws a card from either the regular pack or one of the top cards he can see in the discard piles. After arranging his new hand
he must leave one card on any of the discard piles he chooses. If someone draws a card that allows him to draw another card he must shoe that card to all other players (although he need not draw again at all if he chooses). It is possible to get several cards in succession in this manner but after completionhe need only discard one card. The hand has ended when the last card has been drawn from the regular deck and no other cards may be taken. At this point a participant may drop out only if they are married and have children. Each game lasts only one hand unless the winner accepts the traditional challenge......

"Best two out of three?"

(Originally Published in Star Trek Monthly 11-1-1976)

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