Five Crowns :: Why My Husband and I Started Playing Cards in the Evening
Twice a year, I travel for work to participate in our leadership meetings, which include people from all across the United States. When the meetings conclude in the evenings, we always enjoy social time, relaxing with drinks and snacks. People bring their favorite local delicacies to share with the group, like local brews from their hometown, fancy cheese from Wisconsin, or bourbon balls from Louisville. Once we’ve all dug in, people also bring out the games they’ve brought from home, break into little groups, and start playing.
I’ll fess up: generally speaking, I am NOT a game person! While I do love a good word game (hello, Wordle and Bananagrams!) or solo card games (FreeCell is my jam), I struggle with board or group card games. It takes me forever to catch onto the rules, I need a lot of hand-holding during gameplay, and I’d usually rather watch the action of people who know what they’re doing play strategically without me holding them back. But I do try to break out of my comfort zone and find one game to play each evening during these meetings. Over the years, I’ve played a lot of different card and dice games whose rules vanished from my mind the instant they were over.
And yet… there is one card game that has stuck! It’s called Five Crowns, and I had so much fun strategizing and playing it during a recent gathering that I came home, went to Target, and bought the card pack to play at home. For the first few times I played, I had a little cheat sheet reminding me what kinds of hands I could be playing, but I eventually played enough to remember on my own.
Here’s where I could regale you with a wordy description of the rules and how to play– but you can learn that by watching a tutorial video. Besides, this blog isn’t actually about the game itself. Instead, I’d like to share the real benefit of what the game has brought to me.
The Real Benefit
What I like about the game is that it can be a two-player game, which is perfect for the average weeknight home alone with my husband while our kids are in bed. Whenever I do see a game that looks fun or holds my interest, it’s often for multiple players. The next thing I like is that a single game, even with just two players, takes about forty five minutes to get through. That sounds long, and it kind of is, except it’s been a beautiful addition of forty five minutes to an hour of undivided attention between my husband and I.
We leave the TV off, put our phones away, and deal the first hand, playing and chatting about our days. The game is fun enough to be interesting but low stakes enough to allow for conversation. Most evenings, my husband and I decompress separately with our different hobbies, reengaging with each other late in the evening to wrap up the night’s chores. When we play Five Crowns, though, we spend so much more time together, reconnecting and sharing.
Maybe Five Crowns isn’t the game that will hold your attention, but if I can offer a suggestion, it would be to find something similar to share with your partner! We only play a couple of times a week, but each evening we spend playing is enjoyable right down to the last hand.