Screed

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Screed is the most popular card game in the Par'tha Expanse, among honest people as well as fringers.

Screed is played with an electronic deck of seventy-six card-chips whose values change randomly in response to electronic impulses. There are four suits in a screed deck: sabres, staves, flasks, and coins. Each suit consists of eleven numbered card-chips (one to eleven), and four ranked card-chips (twelve to fifteen). The ranked cards are the Commander, the Mistress, the Master, and the Ace. There are also sixteen face card-chips.

When a hand is dealt, the dealer presses a button on the screed table to send out a series of random pulses that shift the values and pictures shown on the card-chips. Through several rounds of bluffing and betting, players watch and wait for their card-chips to shift. They can lock any or all of their card-chip values by placing them in the table's interference field, which blocks the pulses and stops the card-chips from changing.

To win at screed, a player must get a "pure screed" which totals exactly twenty-three, or an "idiot's array" which consists of an idiot face card (value zero), a two value card, and a three value card - a literal twenty-three. Some players cheat by using a skifter, a card-chip rigged to change its value when the player presses the corner of the card.