On our recent vacation in the Berkshires, we brought along the word game Boggle. I described it four years ago here.
We played twice in three days. The first time my wife won. She ALWAYS wins. It’s not that she knows more words as much as she can SEE more combinations. I’ve told her for years that, if luck allowed, she’d kill me on the TV game show Wheel of Fortune.
As I noted, a few years ago, we used to give our daughter an advantage. The parents wouldn’t count any of the three-letter words we found, only the longer ones. We have revoked that accommodation.
And still, she’d regularly beat me, coming in second to her mother. After coming second last time, she started studying the letters. I don’t know how this would help her, since the dice land randomly.
Yet, in the next game, she started with more than a 10-point lead, finding words that were obvious in retrospect, but which her parents just didn’t see. And ultimately, she won the game.
She’s Got Game
I’ve always tried to play games with her competitively at the point when she had a fair chance of beating me. Whether it be Connect Four or another game, she plays to win.
When we play the board/card game Sorry, her strategy hanging around the starting point, hoping for a back 4, and or two 10s that she could use as back 1s, has occasionally been adopted by her parents.
But I’ve not yet gotten her to regularly play any of the card games I know. Sure, hearts, spades, pinochle, and the like require more than two players. But I still haven’t shown her the joy of cribbage.
I may try to teach her backgammon this summer. Since I’ve retired, I’ve become rusty, and playing on the tablet is not an adequate substitute.
It’s also true that if/when she goes off to college, this might put her in good stead. Do college kids still play board games and cards? How about Yahtzee online?