Try this on one of your "smarter" friends.

Use the spot-cards from Ace to Six and arrange them on the table like this:

. . .

You and your victim will take turns removing cards and keep a running total.

The first to reach (without going over) wins the game.

If you play first, take a .

Whatever he takes, take the "7-complement".

. . If he takes a 5, take a 2. If he takes an Ace, take a 6.

The totals (after your turn) will be:

. . And after his next move, you will reach 31 with your next move.

If he plays first, try make the total 3 or 10 as soon as possible.

. . And proceed as described above.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So far, this game is not very impressive, is it?

Here's where the swindle comes in.

Eventually he will catch on that you always start with a 3

. . and he may discern the rule of the 7-complement.

(Better yet, have a "shill" take him aside and explain the winning strategy.)

Confident that he will win, he may even raise the stakes

. . (not that I encourage gambling, mind you).

He begins by taking a3.

You take a3. .He will take a4. .Total: 10

You take another3. .He takes another4. .Total: 17

You take a4. .He takes a3. .Total: 24

You take a4.

He will reach for a 3 and find to his horror thatthere are no more 3's!

He must either go over 31 and lose . . . or go under 31 and allow you to win.