Thursday, August 5, 2010


Nello is part of the card game 500. Not having the time or patience to describe 500 to you in detail, I'll instead just advise you to Google it. It's similar to Euker and involves partners, bidding, bowers and a blind. The basic idea is to use trump to take tricks to win hands to earn points to reach 500. The exception to this generality is nello. Nello is what you bid when you don't want to take any tricks. You've basically been dealt a bunch of crap and can't bid anything worth anything. It's like a life raft for the game of 500 and gives you an option to play despite your bad hand. Better yet, it's worth 250 points and generally frustrates most opponents once bid because it forces everyone to play backwards. The complete objective of 500 gets reversed and therefore, at least for me, requires exponential thinking and strategic play.

Dad was THE best at nello. I don't know what it was but nello came very easy to him and he took full advantage of it. He was always one with the numbers. I, on the other hand, came around to the idea of nello very hesitantly and literally sweat bullets the first couple of times I tried it. I always asked questions though. Every time I lost, I wanted to know what I had done wrong. Nowadays, I'm not a pro but am much more confident. Case in point, last Sunday we were at Mom's playing cards. It was Grandma and I versus Mom and Aunt Vashni. Our opponents had 490 points. Without going into the math of it all, just know that Grandma and I basically needed to bid and get all of the tricks. I, of course, had crap. If it was going to come down to it, I'd rather us lose then let them win. That being said, I went for it. I went big and I didn't go home. I bid DOUBLE nello. This means I had to play with just my hand. I didn't get help from the five cards in the blind or from my partner as with regular nello. It all came down to me and my hand. I was sweating bullets again.

I can't give you the actual play-by-play or Shawn's color commentary. I can only tell you…
…I won! That's right, by some small miracle, I pulled it out. I didn't get a single solitary trick and I did it all by myself. Grandma and I got 500 points for my victory and we came from behind to beat Mom and Vashni! I was so happy and honestly, a little surprised. Dad would have been so proud.

I think cards are an under appreciated pastime that I wish more people would find time for.


  1. Looks like the Henrichs' are gonna have to practice so we can go Nello on your butts when we come visit!

  2. 500 is a great game for families to get involved with. Mostly, because it doesn't require a television or gaming system but instead strategy and communication which most families need more of. To my wife, you are very good at 500 and I must say I was proud of your bid and it took guts and you did it. I'd be lucky to have you as a partner, that is if anyone would let us be partners because we are so darn good;)

  3. Your Uncle Gary would have been thrilled for you! Gwen would've said it was your only bet so go for it. I, being a bit more humble, can only say "wow!"

    love you.



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