Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Genk - The ultimate table experience

The ancient art of Genk
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This game works best with two or three people sat round a table in a pretty crowded restaurant. Basically, use any objects that are available to you (salt shaker, drink glass, toothpicks, you get the idea), then set them up in any order (just make it look like you know what you're doing). Then you start playing. The most important thing is to look like you're really concentrating. There are no rules, just start playing and watch as people around you try to understand what the hell you're doing. It's even funnier if you've got someone at the table who isn't in on the joke. Discuss whether you're going to use 'pub rules' and whether 'quangies' are going to be allowed. I prefer to play without quangies, as it can get pretty confusing. Use your imagination and some interesting things might start happening. Just try to make it look like you're always in deep concentration, and take your time over moves.

Another good trick is to tell people to react in a certain way to certain moves. For example, I might say, 'this next move is going to be a good one, so react as if it surprises you.' whatever, you get the idea.

Works well on trains and planes too. ;)

This game was invented by me and a couple of friends when our plane was delayed for 14 hours a couple of years ago. We named it 'Genk' after a football team (from Belgium I think). The only rule that we would like to impose it that the winner has to shout 'GENK' at the end of the game.

aaarrrggh, Apr 25 2002

Mornington Crescent http://www.dunx.org/mc/
Almost exactly this, except with Tube stations instead of condiments. [calum, Apr 25 2002]

What's this? http://web2.uvcs.uv.../vocab/kitchen1.htm
Good luck. [waugsqueke, Apr 26 2002]

News about Genk http://www.uefa.com...2/newsId=18102.html
Doing rather well this season. [DrBob, Apr 26 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Fluxx http://www.wunderla...bs/Fluxx/Fluxx.html
Card game with constantly changing rules. [bookworm, Jul 20 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Zendo http://www.wunderla...es/Zendo/index.html
Similar game, only there really is a unifying rule. [bookworm, Jul 20 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Blank White Cards http://dmoz.org/Gam...ite_Cards/desc.html
No rules, but no mystery. [Rhetoric, Sep 11 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

More In Search of Mornington Crescent http://www.bbc.co.u...mornington_crescent
The Rules (well, not really) - 30min streamed audio [Dub, Dec 25 2005]

[link]






       The Roman army once played a game of genk for 4 years without a single break. The winner was Simon Smith, who was only there in the first place because he wanted to be there.
aaarrrggh, Apr 25 2002
  

       AAaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggh
notripe, Apr 25 2002
  

       Sounds like me when I play chess.
fredthered, Apr 25 2002
  

       that's the chess variation known as Fright In The Pocket.
notripe, Apr 25 2002
  

       My garsh. I used to play this all the time.   

       We also played a version that didn't use pieces, for times like standing in line at the amusement park. The key of course, is that people around you are amazed and enthralled. The pieceless version used words. I might say something like "Pigeon." My brother would furrow his brow, hemm and haw, then finally say "Gravestone". I would say "Good one!" then think a while. You get the idea.
globaltourniquet, Apr 25 2002
  

       Mornington Crescent anyone?   

       Genk is in Belgium and is an excellent name for the game though my favourite continental football team name is either Young Boys Bern or FC Boby Brno.
calum, Apr 25 2002
  

       Played this often, frequently in bars, trying to get women to ask what we were doing so we could explain to to them.   

       Seems we've all invented it.
waugsqueke, Apr 25 2002
  

       bobofthe... question 1: yes. Question 2: no.
waugsqueke, Apr 26 2002
  

       waugs started sending me mail one day. First, it was an empty mail with an attached photo of a spatula. Next day, it was the same thing only the image was a wire whisk. He was on about his 10th or 11th kitchen utensil when I finally sent him mail back asking for an explanation.   

       So, yeah, mystery works.
bristolz, Apr 26 2002
  

       Now, if only you could figure out how to make it stop...
waugsqueke, Apr 26 2002
  

       Basic Street rules, Lipman's Rules or perhaps the Bank Holiday and Early Closing variety calum?
mcscotland, Apr 26 2002
  

       There's a more sinister version of this game. In a movie I saw 10+ years ago, two con artists played a game of 'Tegwar' in a hotel lounge. I think they used a deck of cards as the medium of play. Money visibly changed hands every few plays, whenever a player came up with a suitable plausible 'rule' to support his assertion of having won that round. The idea was to attract curious onlookers into playing the game, and thus lose money to the con artists, who were making up the rules as they went.   

       Also, in college my friends made up a game called Bureaucracy Poker. It was played with 3-6 standard poker decks per player. Every card had a specific rule modification associated with it. Playing that card would invoke the modification. The base rules and complete set of modifaction rules were available in print (they took roughly 30 pages in 10 point type) to anyone who wished to play. However, the rules were originally generated (with the aid of much alcohol) by playing much as in the paragraph above and recording every new rule/modification as it occurred. After each card (and a few special combinations of cards) had at least one rule change assigned to it, the rules were frozen and published. Oh, and the cards themselves were the gambling medium, rather than chips or cash.
BigBrother, Apr 26 2002
  

       Kinda simlar.....put on a miniture production of Othello using the salt &pepper shakers along with the other various silverware. Did this at a Hardee's once, and it certainly did confuse the rest of the patrons.
Graciem, Apr 26 2002
  

       Original Star Trek
"A Piece of the Action"
Fizbin
  

       (come on you Trek trivia geeks, you know what I mean...)
globaltourniquet, Apr 26 2002
  

       gt... I successfully resisted posting fizbin myself.
waugsqueke, Apr 26 2002
  

       You're just a penny ante operator, gt!
DrBob, Apr 26 2002
  

       (well you're a better man than I, waug)   

       Bela hits Cracko, Cracko hits Tepo, Tepo hits Bela...
globaltourniquet, Apr 27 2002
  

       Glad to see Genk doing so well in Belgium.   

       I'm thinking of starting an English, or even worldwide unofficial Genk suporters club, if anyone would be interested? Let me know. Email address on profile.
aaarrrggh, Apr 27 2002
  

       There's a card game like this somewhere out there, where certain cards have different rules written on them, and if you play them the rules change. A counselor at my local YMCA would play it when he brought the cards.
canitbee, Jul 20 2002
  

       Are you referring to Fluxx?
bookworm, Jul 20 2002
  

       I think that Uno is a European card game with a special deck which has changing rules.   

       There is a card game which I rather like ( but am not very good at ) called Mau. The first rule is that nobody is allowed to talk about or explain the rules. To learn you must simply watch the game carefully. The game begins with a basic set of rules, everyone can enforce the rules, which is good because if three people are playing and each can only remember some of the rules, the game is played with all the rules remembered. When someone wins a round and calls Mau, they introduce a rule which lasts to the end of the game.
furmobile, Aug 02 2002
  

       Are U sure it isn't Gent? Also I think Belgium is the brightest place I've ever been at night.Street lights all over the place, even in the middle of fields.
briandamage, Aug 02 2002
  

       Ah, yes, I've played Mau. Also played Snaps and Black Magic and other such guessing games that relied on misleading people about the rules.
Rhetoric, Sep 11 2002
  

       Uno has special cards, but the rules are quite straight forward:   

       0. Cards are distributed so that each player has the same number of cards and the draw pile also has an equal number of cards. 1. Play continues around the table from some arbitrary point. 2. Each player must in turn discard a card, or take a card. 3. Cards can be discarded only if the previous card discarded has the same value or the same suit. 4. If a player has to take a card, then they can discard that card if the card would have been eligible for discard if it were in their hand at the start of their turn. 5. Some cards are wild cards and match all values and suits, or all values, or all suits. 6. When a player has only one card left, they have to yell Uno. 7. The player to successfully discard all their cards wins.   

       Actually, you can also play Uno with a standard Tarot deck, even though it won't have the right number of cards. All the numbered suit cards (aka minor arcana, cups, wands, pentacles and swords) are regular cards, the court cards match any value within that suit, and the trumps (aka major arcana) are equivalent to the same numbered suit card, but match all suits (so the trumps above X match both all suits and all values). You should probably discard the trumps over XIV, and the fool.   

       A standard modern playing card deck doesn't have enough cards to meet the basic rules. Technically, a standard UNO deck has over a hundred cards though, so a tarot version of the game is going to be rather short.
falcom, Feb 28 2003
  

       I'll start.... "Filtrum".
spiritualized, Aug 02 2004
  

       We have a card game known as "Cards Akimbo". No rules as such, but definitely a 'feel' to it. Players take it in turns to play one card each. The card can be played face up or face down either on the other players card (exactly or rotated through 90 degrees) or next to it. Or somewhere else entirely.   

       Placing your card on another player is generally a good move as it restricts the other player to the table (disturbing a played card is judged unsportsmanlike even if it's balanced on your wrist). This will prevent him from using some of the more extreme moves such as playing a card in front of the volume control after turning up the music. The winner is judged by a third party on his style and creativity. Inventive and creative plays will score highly, although going too far, too soon and thereby peaking your game early ruins the rhythm of the game and will lower your score.   

       Spectators not necessary- we are all easily amused.
wagster, Aug 02 2004
  

       PS Love Genk - might play it.
wagster, Aug 02 2004
  

       Hah! My saltshaker snarfled your toothpick!
DesertFox, Dec 13 2005
  

       The next Halfcon's going to be a giggle, I can tell.   

       Speed Genk - with one of them dual-start-stop timers.   

       Bu--n-hang-on-I-haven't- taken-my-fingers-off- of-it-yet-.. OK.
Dub, Dec 13 2005
  

       Anyone know how to play Go-Johnny-go-go-go-go? I've heard its like a cross between Hoover and Eight Men Down....
Minimal, Dec 14 2005
  

       Not to be confused with Bamalama-Fizz-Vaj.
calum, Dec 14 2005
  

       How's it pronounced? Hard or soft G - Genk or Jenk? I was always rubbish at that sort of thing...
Dub, Dec 14 2005
  

       I've played a similar game in China, where it was played as a practical joke on unsuspecting newcomers to the game. Our version was called 'nosey nosey' - you had to touch a body part of the person next to you and say it, eg. 'cheeky cheeky'. Sometimes players 'made a mistake', or 'got caught', and 'had to' down some alcohol. Newcomers were told the aim was to figure out what the rules were. Basically the same idea as you've described.   

       The unfortunate twist for the newcomers was, there was an ashtray nearby them. The person next to them surreptitiously dipped his/her fingertips into the ash. So the newcomer's face would become slowly more covered in ash, until they finally realised what was going on.   

       On one memorable night, we had two newcomers playing, both of whom were 'let in on the joke' before the game started, but neither knowing that the joke was also being played on them.
imaginality, Mar 12 2006
  

       Im quite the fan of spinning people out. I think i'd be a world-class player (+)
shinobi, Mar 12 2006
  

       Ha, reading [wagster]'s version of "Cards Akimbo" reminds me of the version of Cribbage we used to play. Each player is dealt between one and say 5 cards and are encouraged to play them, in any way they see fit, the only limitation being that at some point they also had to say "Cribbage".
zen_tom, Jun 03 2009
  

       [Zen_Tom] You're getting your games confused. Those are the standard game-rules for "Cabbage" {Except for the exclaimation, obviously}
Dub, Jun 03 2009
  

       Ha, no - the rules for "Cabbage" are to stand by the side of the road and extend your arm purposefully in order to wave down a taxi - once that play has been executed successfully, a brief negotiation ensues on destination (South of the River rules may, or may not apply at this point) and it's down to the game proper. Conversation may be undertaken on any topic, and steered towards one of a number of predefined end-plays - these are myriad, but one of which requires culminates in a point scoring "I'm not a racist...but" invocation by the Driver. Bonus points are scored for uttering the words "Gov", "Gaff", "Geezer", "West Ham", "Bird", "Essex" and successfully affecting an East London accent without being referred to as a "Nonce".
zen_tom, Jun 03 2009
  

       My dad has this obscure ritual that no one can imitate. The catch is that after performing the little routine with your hand ("JohnnyWHOOPS JohnnyWHOOPS JohnnyWHOOPS" etc) you have to clasp your hands in your lap. That's part of it. Not quite the same but amusing and obscure in the same way.
Eugene, Jun 03 2009
  
      
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