Learning the Game
by Michael Haynes
The man sitting at my left, Parl, groaned a curse while the stool to my right cooled. I’d be cursing, too, if my luck had been as bad as his. The stack of five-khorr coins he’d started with had shrunk to half its size in the short while we’d been sitting together.
I glanced over my shoulder. No one was walking our way through the bar—one of dozens like it in the frontier towns of the Jandar nations.
“That your whole bankroll?”
He shot me the “stupid girl” look I knew far too well. “Of course not.”
I nodded and pulled out a handful of twenty-khorr coins. As Parl’s eyes widened, I took another quick look around the room before leaning in toward him. “Here’s what we do. If I’m playing heads, I’ll cover the coin with both hands. Tails, with just one.” I mimed covering a coin with only my left hand. “Got it?”