There were no players with funny nicknames, like "Eyeball."
There weren't any stare downs across the table, like in a Wild West poker game, and you can all but guarantee that no one flipped a table in anger.
Things didn't get rowdy in the cribbage competition at the B.C. Seniors Games this week, but they were plenty competitive.
"Oh, some people get upset, but it's a fun game," said Leman Davison of Prince George, who was in town to represent Zone 9. "It should be kept that way, and most people see it like that."
Cribbage, which took over the Colombo Lodge on Thursday and Friday, was one of 24 competitions held around Kamloops this week as part of the Seniors Games, which aren't as much a multi-sport event as a multi-event event. Included in the Games' competition are bridge, cribbage and whist, all card games.
There also are other social/competitive happenings like horseshoes and darts, along with the usual sports - swimming, track and field, soccer and golf. But the Games are meant to include everyone, not just the athletic.
"It's social, but it's competition," said Dorothy Smith of Fernie, a lifelong player and 10-year competitor. "It's always really fun - I enjoy it very much."
When people talk about camaraderie and friendship in their respective events, it often can be misconstrued as meaning noncompetitive.
But let's get one thing clear - these guys (and gals) are good, and they want to win. They just don't take things too seriously.
"Everyone enjoys doing this - that's why they keep coming," Smith said.
The interesting thing about cribbage is that luck is definitely a factor, but the strong players always seem to wind up on top. It comes down to picking the right cards, playing them at the right time, and thinking one step ahead.
Of course, someone who has been playing cribbage for years will likely be better than a newcomer - which is why this week's competition might have been one of the best you'll find.
"Practise," said Wilma Davison, Leman's wife and teammate, when asked what makes a strong player. "And good cards!"
"Luck does play into it, but it's not 100 per cent luck," added Leman. "There is some strategy, but you learn it as you go on."
Competitive cribbage features teams of two - any gender mix is welcome - with teammates set up across the table from each other, like in bridge. Each player is dealt five cards, with each disposing a card into the dealer's crib.
There isn't any sharing of information between teammates - that would be cheating, and the type of person who plays cribbage isn't the type who cheats. But there is enough chatter, as everyone is pretty friendly around the table. There are no strangers, it seems, in cribbage.
"It's like coming home for us," Leman Davison said. "We like seeing all of these people."
Fifty teams from 10 zones showed up this week, allowing organizers to have a five-flight draw, picked at random but featuring one team from each zone. Each team played a round-robin of nine matches - involving three games up to 121 - and total points were tabulated at the end.
The teams with the top three point totals in each flight got medals. The gold medalists in each flight also competed in the championship round, a four-game round-robin.
The winning duo came from Fernie, with Nellie Dunlap and Aki Kimoto accumulating the most points. The Davisons were second, followed by Jack and Eileen Kramer of Agassiz.
The hand of the tournament went to Smith, who picked up three fives and the king of spades. The upcard was another five, giving her 28 points. That's one point short of the max, 29, a golden number in cribbage.
"In one of the tournaments I got a 29," said Smith, who got a laminated photograph of her 28. "That was my only one - they don't come very easily."
While some of the Seniors Games competitions are the peaks of the season, there is no shortage of cribbage happening around the province.
Even in Kamloops, you can find a competitive game most days - on Mondays, 1 p.m., it's at Cottonwood Place; on Tuesdays, 1:30 p.m., at the McArthur Park Lawn Bowling Club; on Wednesdays, 1 p.m., at the Brocklehurst Senior Centre; and Fridays, 1 p.m., at Desert Gardens.
And on the first Sunday of every month, there's a cash tournament in Chase.
On Friday, as the playoffs were wrapping up, about 40 competitors hung around, playing in a toonie tournament before the medal ceremony. A few of these people just can't get enough.
"Some people like to do that, but we don't do that often," Davison said. "A lot of people want to do that - they figure they keep their momentum that way, but we don't."