Believe or Deceive?
Cheat! Champion Kalora joins us today in honour of Kau Day to celebrate and discuss her excellence at Cheat!, the neopets she faces on a daily basis, and some tricks to pick up those pesky cheaters and win a couple of games.
For those of you that don’t know, Cheat! is a very famous card game in Neopia. Your neopet will play against 3 other opponents, depending on their level of deception. The purpose of the game is to get rid of all your cards as fast as you can.
Once you start the game, you will receive thirteen cards of all suits and numbers. Each number is in a set of four. Kalora says she always gets excited when she gets dealt all four of the same number because that’s just an easy drop – especially if she’s the one that starts the game!
Once a player drops their card(s), the next player is required to play cards that are one of the following: 1) one higher, 2) one lower or 3) the same card as the card that was just played. Sounds simple enough right?
Not so fast. Since there are only 4 cards of every number in the deck, this limits the amount of numbers that are available to play – which means, you’ll have to drop other cards and claim they’re another number. That sounds easy, right? wrong.
If you get caught lying, you have to take the whole pile, thus making it harder to be the first to finish the game.
Kalora, being one of the best players to ever play, has a few tricks to keep in mind when you’re playing.
In the first few rounds, you will be facing Capara, Little Timmy, Branston and Chuffer Bob. “There’s a reason why they’re the players the BEGINNERS play,” she scoffs.
“Capara practically almost always cheats. Sometimes she’ll even say she dropped all four of the card that I JUST PUT DOWN! It’s like she’s not even trying.” Says Kalora.
Kalora says she has no problem with any of the other players, but considers herself extremely competitive. In the competition, her motto is ‘Trust no one. Go for the win.’
Her tip is to keep in mind your cards – because that is your only truth is what you have in front of you and you can only trust yourself in this game. If you have 4 of one number, keep that in mind in case anyone tries to play that card. CALL THEM OUT ON IT! No one can play a card that you have right in your hands.
Unfortunately, that situation also happens to work for the opponent as well – they might have all, if not most of the cards of a certain number in their hand too. Her advice when you have no choice: “If you’re going to lie, might be best to play it safe and only say you’re putting down one or two.“
But hey! Sometimes you want to be risky and put it all down! Want to know my trick? The key to my deception is to never let your opponent know you know they know when you’re lying.
Confused? Stay with me here.
“It’s pretty well known that my left ear sometimes twitches when I’m lying. I can’t help it – my body will sometimes turn into a nervous wreck and whoops! There goes my ear!”
Kalora suggests that before heading into the competition, play the game with some friends for fun and find out what your lying ‘tells’ are: Things that you do when you’re lying. Does your eye twitch? Does your head tilt? Do you blink too much? Know what your tell is! Then use it to your advantage.
Sometimes if you pretend your eye is ‘twitching’ because you’re ‘lying’, you might get your opponent to call you out on lying! Since you’re not lying and you’re pretending, they get to pick up all the cards in the pile and you have just moved yourself one step closer to winning the round.
Kalora says a certain player in the tournament is really fun to use this trick on. A certain ‘loud, funky player in sunglasses but will-not-be-named’ tends to accuse others of cheating quite frequently. She says she loves twitching her ear against him because he always calls her out and never knows when she’s truly cheating. She claims it’s one of the most satisfying plays she pulls off.
It’s sometimes hard to remember that at the end of the day, it’s just a game. Things get heated between players and she knows none of this is personal. Princess Fernypoo and Kalora have been assumed to be rivals but Kalora wanted to clear those rumors for everyone to know.
“Princess Fernypoo is great. We’ve gotten really close over the last few years and if you knew the circumstances that brought her here, you would understand why she is the way she is. She’s intense but always has good intentions.” Kalora laughs.
“I never got to get close enough to Spectre or Agent [00 Hog] but I’d like to. They’re brilliant players and I just want to pick at their minds for a bit – they’re amazing! But like the famous fellow Kau, Kauvara, has said, ‘a magician never reveals their secrets!’ so I can’t expect to get too much from them.” she says while admiring her fellow neopians.
As a competitor, everyone always assumes these Cheat! players are intimidating and unfriendly. Maybe that’s all part of the deception. Maybe that’s what they want you to think so you will never be able to see their true self. Maybe that’s how they always win!
When you play the game for so long, you might become an expert at deception yourself. Will you be able to master the skill of deception and become a Cheat! Champion too? With some practice and a whole lot of facial expressions, you could become the next Kalora.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the number one Cheat! player one day. That is, if you end up beating Kalora.
See you in the game room, folks. Game on!