Super Saturday: A Metaphor Concerning a Family Card Game

This post was originally published on December 26, 2011. Uno was the first card game I played in the hospital after the accident, and I played it so many times when I got home. I made everyone who visited me play it. From the very beginning, I used my strategy.

Holidays at the Smith household are pretty amazing. We spend a lot of time playing the card game Uno.

That’s not completely accurate.

I spend a lot of time trying to convince my family that we should play Uno. I really like it. It’s a very simple game. It’s mostly about luck – what cards you draw and what cards others play. But I have a strategy.

My family doesn’t believe in the strategy, but the numbers speak for themselves. Over the past few days, I have won the most games (the numbers are even more striking when you don’t count Dad’s wins when he cheated and when we played by my brother’s “house rules”).

I don’t think that I’ve cracked Uno. That’s not very likely. Like I said, it’s mostly a game of luck. And I don’t think my strategy is ground-breaking. It’s just a plan. It does two things for me.

1. I always know how I’m going to play a hand. No matter the cards in my hand or the cards in my opponents’ hands, I know exactly what I’m going to do. I do all the thinking well before I ever pick up a card. It saves me from making mistakes during game play.

2. I never worry about what else is going on. Obviously, you can’t control the cards that your opponents get in Uno. But if you have a plan, any plan, then you are controlling all that you can. Therefore, there’s no reason to worry about what else is going on; you can just play.

That’s what a good strategy does. It gives you a plan, and it frees you from worry.

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