Ever wondered what to do on a rainy Sunday evening in a distant city? I learned to play a new card game. It is called Cacheta. It's Brazilian. It's pronounced something like ka-zheh-tuh. This was a little confusing for my poor ears (that don't comprehend Brazilian Portuguese)... because I keep trying to fit the sounds into boxes that I know. Which happened to be Argentine boxes. Which works, I guess, considering that they are at least neighboring countries. Callate. (kai-zha-tay) Galleta. (gai-zheh-tuh) Cachete. (kuh-chet-ay) Shut up. Cookie. Cheek. Luck would have it that the game has nothing to do with any of these things.
When describing this game, I've been told it sounds a bit like gin rummy. I have no idea how gin rummy is played, but I liked this game. Here's how it works. You need a deck of playing cards (this could conceivably work with a face card substitute deck of cards, but we played with face cards). Each player receives 9 cards. If you choose to play with wilds (we tried both ways, and I enjoyed with far better than without), the dealer flips over the next card. Whatever the card is, the wild is the next highest card. (If it is a 2, the wild will be 3's.)
The object is to collect 3 sets. The sets may be three consecutive cards of the same suit (such as queen, king and ace of diamonds) or three of a kind (such as the 4 of spades, hearts and clubs). You must have three sets. You pick up a card at the beginning of each turn, either from the draw pile or from the discard pile. You end your turn by discarding one card from your hand. You cannot lay your cards down until you have completed all three sets.
In the picture above, you can see three sets, the discard pile, the draw pile and the card that shows what is the wild. I am a super compulsive person in some ways, so after I dealt 9 card to each person, I would flip the last card and place it under the draw pile, but still visible. (You can barely see it in the photograph.) This helped keep it fresh which card would be wild for the duration of the hand.
It doesn't require a lot of genius and is a simple way to pass an evening, like if the electricity goes out and you only have candles or if you're stuck indoors because it's really rainy outside or simply because you enjoy it. I had fun. Try it and let me know what you think.