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Fizzbin was a card game said to originate from Beta Antares IV, despite Spock's protests to the contrary. Captain James T. Kirk invented this game to free himself, his first officer, Spock, and his chief medical officer, Leonard McCoy, from captivity at the hands of a group of Iotians who had mimicked early 20th century Earth-style gangsters.
While Kirk was explaining the extremely convoluted rules of the game to his captors, he used what he called the last card, the "kronk," as a distraction to knock the captors unconscious. McCoy and Spock then escaped back to the USS Enterprise. (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")
Approximate rules Edit
The rules for fizzbin were intended to be complex, so that Kirk could lull his audience into lowering their defenses long enough to be overwhelmed.
- The game can be played with a standard Earth deck of cards, despite the slightly differing deck on Beta Antares IV.
- How many players can take part is not specified, but four is apparently the usual number. Judging from the way Kirk dealt the cards, dealing always progresses clockwise.
- Each player gets six cards, except for the player on the dealer's right, who gets seven.
- The second card is turned up, except on Tuesdays.
- Two jacks are a "half-fizzbin."
- If you have a half-fizzbin:
- a third jack is a "sralk" and results in disqualification;
- one wants a king and a deuce, except at night, when one wants a queen and a four;
- if a king had been dealt, the player would get another card, except when it is dark, in which case he would have to forfeit that card.
- The top hand is a "royal fizzbin," but the odds against getting one are said to be "astronomical." Spock admitted, "I've never computed them."
In the Nintendo game Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, you must win back McCoy's communicator by playing a game of fizzbin. The hand you need to win is called a supernova.
In The Empty Chair, the final Rihannsu novel by Diane Duane, McCoy comes up with "tournament fizzbin" after their Romulan ally Ael t'Rllaillieu has trouble understanding poker. The game consists entirely of the participants making up the rules as they go along and drinking copious amounts of Romulan ale.