A local family hopes their love for playing cards will pay off this week as they travel to the largest souvenir and gift show in the nation to promote a new card game they developed.
"Our challenge now is to get the game out there," said Jan Vice, who along with daughters Linda Sperin and Betty Everson and son-in-law Johnny Sperin, created Random Rummy 12 after a late-night card game about a year ago.
Based on the age-old card game of a similar name, Random Rummy 12 takes elements from a variety of popular games such as Uno, poker and Yahtzee to create a fast-paced game of thought, skill and luck.
"We've kind of had a rule in our family for years that you can change the rules going in so long as everybody agrees," she said. "We changed enough rules and had new ideas that one night we finally said, you know, we think we've got a new game."
The play of game consists of dealing 12 cards to each player, who tries to make runs, straights and sets in no particular order using numbered cards, along with a Joker, wild cards and those ordering players to "draw two."
It's rated for ages 10-110 and is recommended for three to six players.
"Ideally four players is perfect," Vice said.
After a year in development, which included feedback from test players, revisions to rules and many family meetings to ensure everyone involved was in agreement, the family believes the game is ready to market.
They are hoping the International Gift Exposition and Souvenir Super Show in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., this week will open doors in getting the game out to the masses.
"They say people will be there from all over the country looking for new products to carry in their stores or to market themselves. We're looking to make some good contacts," said Linda Sperin.
The family is also depending upon word of mouth from friends, as well as social media to get the news out.
"We're doing a contest on Facebook to market the game. Whoever shares our page the most and gets their friends to like it get a free game," Sperin said.
And even if the interest in the game is not as high as they hope, they have grown closer as a family.
"The idea that we're a family, that's the best part," Vice said. "We've never done anything like this before together. We just came together and agreed on this and we've just enjoyed doing it. We don't know where it's going, but we're excited about it and ready to go."