This week we discover 500 reasons why you should never trust a carpenter.....


I love the card game called 500.

One of the bonuses on Macquarie Island is that you can go out to the huts on the island and stay the night. There is no internet and they are very basic so you have to entertain yourselves. Cards. Cards are great.

When we went out on our field training for 2 nights to the huts I taught the other three how to play 500. Its an awesome game that requires two teams of 2 to bet on how many ticks they are going to win and score to 500. This could take hours or could be short. Dom and I were partners. We played against Adam and Matt. Matt had never played so I thought he'd be a push-over. Big mistake. Matt is a geophysicist. After one round, he'd got the hang of it and was starting to dominate. Dom and I tried desperately to bluff these guys to win. We lost. I couldn't believe it . As I fancied myself as a bit of a card shark. I was a bit dirty because Matt had never played and I thought Adam wasn't much chop.

On the second night we played another game. We kept the same teams even though I knew that we were going to have to lift our game. We decided by sly winks that we were going to cheat, even though our opposition are highly intelligent and relied on their smarts they were oblivious to our cheating. For instance, pointing to your fingers for Diamonds, your chest for Hearts, asking where the shovel is for Spades, and asking whether the sealers used clubs on the seals for Clubs. I suppose Adam and Matt as smart as they are, were just too trusting. We won.

The moral of the story is, if you are going to play 500 and not cheat, team up with a geophysicist if you can find one.

Steve J