Here is exactly how to play.

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Site-Swap-Rummi

A game for site swapping jugglers. Created after discussions at the mailing

list juggling@owl.de. First test at the Erlangen Convention on Nov. 28th

1998. These notes were written on Aug. 8th 2004.

Idea of the game

The players have cards on which are numbers. They build siteswaps and

perform them. When the pattern is recognized or juggled for 20 rounds

without a drop (whichever happens first), the cards may be put down. The

first to have no cards left is the winner.

Design principles

Juggling siteswaps is rewarded.

If lucky, (having good cards or good guessing), a non-expert may win also.

Recognizing siteswaps is also rewarded.

No endless solo perfomances. Every pattern is juggled by exactly one

juggler. (It is possible to skip if its your turn.)

Never the same patterns. If you want to repeat a siteswap that has already

been played, you have to modify it.

Simple judgement. No difficult judging rules. It is easy to spot the winner

and the next game can start immediately.

Rules of the game

Material: 2 standard packs without the picture cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings).

That is a total of 2 x (52 - 12) = 80 cards. Cards numbered 2, 3, 4, …, 9

represent siteswap throws of this value. For jugglers below expert level, a

10 represents a ‘0’ and an ace is a ‘1’.

Up to 6 jugglers can play, and a set of up to 10 juggling balls will be

needed (although most jugglers will prefer to use their own set).

When 2, 3 or 4 jugglers are playing, everyone starts with 8 cards. 5 players

start with 7 each. 6 players start with 6 each. After dealing, the rest of

the pack is placed face down. The top card is overturned and placed face up,

by the side of the face down pile. The face down pile is called the

‘pick-up’ pile. The face up pile, consisting of only the 1 card initially,

is called the ‘discard’ pile.

The (youngest) player without a degree in mathematics starts, and then in

turn:

Build a siteswap as long as possible (consisting of at least 3 [2] of your

cards) and lay down all of your cards face down, with the siteswap that you

are going to perform at the top, in order (so if you are going to do 534,

the top cards must be 5, then 3, then 4). Therefore no-one can tell how long

the period of the siteswap will be, but everyone can see how many cards the

juggler still has left. The sorting order is important, because 741 and 714

are different juggling patterns and therefore have to be recognized as such.

Alternatively you may extend an already laid-down siteswap. You may use less

than 3 cards for this play. The order of the existing (laid down) cards may

not be altered, but new cards may be inserted (for example, 423 may be

extended to 451233). Lay down your cards face down, as described above, with

the top card being the first number to be added, and so on (so in this

example, 5 would be the top card, then 1, then 3). One final alternative, is

to juggle any non-siteswap pattern. When this is guessed correctly, two

cards may be placed onto the discard pile, and two cards then taken from the

pick-up pile.

Legal are all siteswaps of period (length) 3 [2] or longer, containing at

least 2 different values (note: 5151 is valid, as it has period 4 - but

guesses of “51”, “15”, “5151” and “1515” are all classed as correct).

If you want to play a siteswap that has already been played, then the

juggling has to be modified, e.g. with clubs instead of balls, with left

hand instead of right, in Mills Mess etc.

Perform the pattern until another player recognizes it [3] (Even expert

jugglers make mistakes, e.g. Ben Beever tried 9995 with 7 balls. After

several tries he recalculated and took another ball. "Much easier", he

said.)

When your pattern has been recognised, reveal the siteswap by turning the

cards that you used face up, one at a time from the top of your pile (unless

you played a non-siteswap, in which case just exchange 2 cards).

The juggler who recognized the pattern is allowed to change 1 card. He may

pick a card either from the pick-up pile, or the discard pile. He then

places one of his cards onto the discard pile, face up.

If no-one recognizes your pattern (a few hints are allowed), you are

unlucky, and are not allowed to lay down your cards. However, if you are

able to show your pattern for 20 cycles without a drop, and still no-one

recognizes it, you may stop and lay down your pattern anyway.

At the end of your turn (even if you chose to skip your turn), you must take

one [2] new card from the pick-up pile (you now have time to think about

your next pattern), unless you added cards to an existing pattern, in which

case you don't take any new cards.

If you have fewer than 3 cards, you may, at any time, take another card from

the pick-up pile.

The turn then passes to the player on the left.

The winner is the first to get rid of all his cards.

If the pick-up pile is ever exhausted, the discard pile is turned over to

become the new pick-up pile, and the top card is turned over to start a new

discard pile.

Modifications for different juggling capabilities

Players who have never flashed 9 balls may subtract the period of their

pattern away from 9’s when playing them. So for example, such a player may

juggle 933 as ‘633’ (subtracting 3 from the 9, as 3 is the period of the

pattern). Similarly, any player who has never flashed 8 balls may subtract

the period away from 8’s, and so on. So for example, 915 may be juggled as

612 by a juggler who has never flashed 5 balls (the 9 is played as a ‘6’,

and the 5 as a ‘2’).

Players who have flashed 9 balls are not allowed the above concessions.

Players who have flashed 10 balls must play ‘10’s as ‘10’s rather than ‘0’s.

Players who have flashed 11 balls must play Aces as ‘11’s rather than ‘1’s.

If extra cards are added to an existing pattern, the new pattern must be a

valid siteswap before any value reduction. For example, if a novice has

played 915 as 612, no-one can add a ‘3’ to make 6312, as the period of the

pattern is now 4 (so the 9 must be reduced to a ‘5’) – but someone could add

a ‘5’ to make 9155 (which could be juggled as 5155 if this player hasn’t

flashed 9 before – or even 5111 if they haven’t flashed 5 before).

[1] Extension of May 29th 2003: No tried yet, but as a proposal: The juggler

must do as many catches as the highest number in the pattern (or three times

the period or 10 throws with the right hand). The motivation for this

proposal is that you will recognize e.g. 80 immediately, even if the juggler

is no-where near being able to do it.

[2] Advanced Players Extension (July 31st 2004): After each round players

draw 2 cards instead of 1 (unless they insert cards into an existing

pattern, in which case they still don’t need to pick up any).

(Period-2-patterns are then allowed because the number of cards held is not

being reduced by this play.) This extension increases the length of a game,

and is recommended if all players are able to build and juggle siteswaps

with long periods.

[3] Punishment for guessing wildly: Everyone who has two or more wrong

guesses has to draw a card after each wrong guess.

This is an extension to the original (german) version by Johannes Waldmann.

Game reports and comments are available there. This set of rules has been

made by: Werner Riebesel, Mathias Pusch, Markus Furtner, Ben Beever, Rupert

Millard and others who I can’t remember.

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Problems i think would occur when transfering to diabolo. How many players could realistically do any of the 3 object siteswaps? Especially indoors. Then what about SSs with 4+? So if you could fashion a 2 object version then it could be quite maybe, but there really arent that many fun 2 diab siteswaps. Hmmm.

Hope that helps anyone that wanted to learn siteswap rummi though.