Welcome to the Backhand News! blog

Backhand Mission Statement

We are a very small community of fans who love to play all the games in The Backhand Series: Backhand the card game, Buffalo Bayou Backhand and Missouri City Backhand.  The mission of our community is to grow awareness of The Backhand Series through every avenue possible while sharing our experiences with friends and family.

2017

Hello Backhand fans.  2017...wow, where do we start?  I think the best way to tackle this one is to say that the Backhand News blog will not shed too many tears for the passing of this year.  We'll look back at this one with fewer fond memories than we would like to, and tuck its picture neatly in the stack of other by gone years that brought us more lows than highs.  But before we do that, lets take a look back and review some of the good and bad we've experienced these passed four months.


First, remember that we launched the www.backhandrules.com website on August 16th 2017, and the public became aware of the existence of the Series at that time, but the Series itself has actually been around since October 2016.   Back in those early days, it would not be an overstatement to describe me as a man completely consumed with the development of each game in the Series.  And for those who know me the best will agree that I am always consumed with one thing or another, because that's how I've always been.  But you could see that this was different.  I spent all of my spare time developing the games, spent more money than I ever have, and actually went public with this project which has now become my passion.  Other projects that didn't do so well: creating a horse racing betting system, and (one of my personal favorites) using elevated roof panels to shade roof tops to cool you roof!  My wife called them "roof blockers."lol.  Luckily, I didn't waste much money on those ideas.


But eventually, I had to allow the game to grow beyond my kitchen table and into the world of playing card games.  We are still in this process, and our initial feedback has been positive, but 2017 has not always been nice to TBS (The Backhand Series).  I had to learn many lessons about tempering your expectations and setting reasonable goals.  Not everyone thinks TBS is the greatest card game ever created, like I do!  


2017 has also taught me that the markets for playing card games and their electronic counterparts are very different. There are those who have access to an electronic device where they can play card games and others who just prefer using physical playing cards. And as all of our fans know, TBS doesn't have and electronic version,  What this means is that we can expect the Series to expand and grow much faster as we accomplish the Herculean feat of creating an online version of the Series.


Another lesson courtesy of 2017 is that people all over the world love to play games (playing card games in particular).  I know this isn't news to most, but during my time working on TBS, we have seen website visitors from over 56 nations in just over four months time.  People all over the world are looking for new card games to play, new ways to play them, and a more exciting playing experience.  I would say that TBS is perfectly positioned to take advantage of a thirsty market for new games and the technology out there to deliver them.  But even though the popularity of online card games to the playing card game community cannot be overstated, one cannot forget the importance of making those same games accessible to those who either can't play them online or prefer the traditional method. And you'll come to appreciate the advantage a physical deck of cards has over the online version if you ever find yourself out of data, out of network, or out of juice and you want to play your favorite card game.


Finally, as we put a period at the end of a long year, lets remember to be kind to one another. Take the time to lend a hand when you can and show a bit of understanding to others whenever possible.  I think these things are just as important for 2018 as they have been for every year prior.  We here at Backhand Rule! wish you all good fortune and a safe and happy 2018.


Written on Dec. 27th, 2017 by: Louis Ginns III, (Inventor of 'The Backhand Series' and Principal Editor of www.backhandrules.com).

Highs and lows

Hi everyone!  So today is a very special day for so many of us for so many reasons! First, this is the second to last weekend before Christmas, so I imagine all of you holiday shoppers out there strategically planning your online shopping assault for this year's best online deals!  For others, this is the season for the winter finales of their favorite shows.  So grab your favorite snuggie, and bid a warm farewell to the likes of Rosewood and Empire until their next big premier.  


But in the world of playing card games, there's just as much drama and excitement, and I'd like to share a few things for Backhand fans on the highs and lows over the past year.  Since The Series was invented last October, we've launched the Backhand website and launched the 2017 Backhand Series Crowdfunding campaign.  I've shared the game with several people in person, launched the social media outreach campaign and placed our first online ad.  This year, the game has enjoyed several other milestones.  Since our launch in August, interest in the games have increased a great deal, for example we have exceeded 2k visitors to the website since August 16th!  That's exciting because we were averaging around 200 visitors/mo since our launch, and then exceeded 1400 visitors in December.  


Other milestones would include over 2k Facebook fans and more social media than you can shake a stick at!  Of course, with all of the accomplishments comes a few setbacks and even failures.  The 2017 crowdfunder grossed a whopping $50 (with just one contributor) and we are a far cry from achieving any of its lofty goals.  This was a humbling experience, but I have to admit, the lessons I've learned prior to launch, during the campaign and post; has helped me understand the many fundamentals to running a successful crowdfunder and will help me run a better one when the time is right.  Another bummer was the streaming video idea.  A great idea, but another hard lesson learned about the need for planning, equipment, support, time, money, etc to ensure a successful venture.  


So what's on the Backhand to-do list for 2018?  Well, our mission has always been to share The Backhand Series with as many people in as many ways as possible.  So for 2018, that means more social media engagement, more playing the game in public and improving the website.  This is critical to our mission because we want every site visit or social media engagement to be a teaching opportunity for us and a learning opportunity for the visitor.  We will continue improving our methods to "preach and teach the games" in 2018.  


The Backhand Series is special to me personally, but it is also special in the world of playing card games because of how flexible it is.  Players can adapt any of the three games with a little creativity and make it their own.  


Also, as a playing card game, The Backhand Series has something that video games don't...the ability to be played without electricity! Lol, I know that sounds silly, but when you are away from home, with no cell service, data or an outlet; you can still count on a deck of playing cards as a FREE source of entertainment. (And in my book that's still pretty darn special).


So from us here at Backhand Rules!, we wish good fortune and a happy 2017 Holiday Season to you and yours.  


Written on Dec. 16th, 2017 by: Louis Ginns III, (Inventor of 'The Backhand Series' and Principal Editor of www.backhandrules.com).

Let's talk Backhand, shall we?

So let's begin with some basics about The Series and the website.  My name is Louis Ginns, I'm the inventor of The Backhand Series and this is my website.  I created this site to build awareness about these beautiful games and to give those who were interested in them a place online where they could learn how to play and share their experiences with their friends and family.


So in this article, I'm going to go over some helpful Q&A to help dispel some of the confusion about The Series and why we are here.  OK, so here we go!


Q: Why do you refer to it as "The Series?"

A: This is because it is a series.  The names of the games are: Backhand, the card game; Buffalo Bayou Backhand; and Missouri City Backhand.  These three games make up The Backhand Series, are all fundamentally based on the same game concepts, and share the Backhand name.


Q: What is Backhand?

A: Backhand itself is the act of guessing that the next card in the deck will bust a player's hand.  In The Backhand Series, a player can call "backhand" when they think this is going to happen.  They are then dealt the next card in the deck.  If the next card busts their hand ("bust" meaning that the total numerical value of the player's hand goes over 21 as in the traditional game of blackjack), the player wins the hand.  But if the next card dealt to the player doesn't bust their hand, the player loses.


Q: How do you play?

A: The easiest way to learn is to click on the Backhand menu at the top of this web page or watch the instructional videos.  But to play, you'll only need a single deck of playing cards and remove the jokers.


Q: How is this game different from Blackjack?

A: Several ways!  First, the Ace Rule in the Backhand Series discards an initial player ace (IPA) and replaces it with the next card in the deck. Also, the ace is always valued at 1 for the player and 1 or 11 to the dealer's advantage.  Another difference is that there is no 'No Loitering' in Backhand, which means that there is no 'stay' or 'hold.'  The player must play the hand all the way through.  There are other cool things about the games that makes for a totally unique playing experience as you learn each game in The Series.


Q: How long has it been around?

A: I invented the first game "Backhand, the card game" in October 2016 at my desk while at work.  I completed the next two games soon after, and "The Backhand Series" was born.


Q: It looks complicated.  Is it hard to learn?

A: Not at all.  Just grab a deck of playing cards, remove the jokers, shuffle and deal.  The first game in the series is the easiest and fastest to learn so I suggest starting with that.


Q: Are there any special pieces or custom cards to buy?

A: No.  All of the games can be played using a single deck of playing cards with the jokers removed.


Written on Dec. 7, 2017 by: Louis Ginns III, (Inventor of 'The Backhand Series' and Principal Editor of www.backhandrules.com).

State of Affairs: 2017 Crowdfunding Campaign

Simply put, the campaign only raised $50 but I did learn a lot of valuable lessons.  The first of which was that you can't expect people to work for free.  I was blessed to have a good friend of mine who was gracious enough to lend his talents and time as an artist to my campaign and for that I am so grateful, but realistically, recruiting talent to work for free is not the most efficient way of running a successful crowd-funder.  


I also learned that you have to have the time, money and means to properly engage your audience.  One of the more frustrating challenges for my campaign was the fact that I didn't have the time or energy to put into my campaign once it was launched.  I was so exhausted after launch, that I had nothing left in the tank to see the campaign through to the end.  I know that's a sad thing to admit, but watching several weeks go by without anyone expressing any real interest in funding your campaign should cause you to ask hard questions.


But even though this crowd funder was far from a success,  I remain encouraged every time I teach someone new how to play.


Written by: Louis Ginns III, (Inventor of 'The Backhand Series' and Principal Editor of www.backhandrules.com).

Vision for the future

It can be really easy to give up after the sting of a loss, but no successful person has ever enjoyed the highs of an accomplishment without the pain of defeat.  As the inventor of the game, seeing it's potential is sort of like looking into the distance from a snow-capped mountain.  On one hand, you know what you want to do, what general direction you want to go and what provisions you have to sustain you, but you can't see the valley floor or what's beyond the horizon.  


What I can say today is that the future of this game is bright and the potential of The Series is unlimited.  Let's make the rest of 2017 better than the first part and finish this year strong, because 2018 will bring new challenges, lessons and opportunities to us all.  Let's do this!


Written by: Louis Ginns III, (Inventor of 'The Backhand Series' and Principal Editor of www.backhandrules.com).