Rules Of The Game

Albert Lin


The introtext here may look like it clues the game of Canfield, but it actually clues the game of Blackjack as well ("busting", "hit", "sap"). Furthermore, it clues card counting ("Rules of the Game", "count", "not playing by the rules", "what's allowed"). The significance of Canfield is that "Canfield Master" is the name of a specific card-counting scheme.

In Canfield Master, like all card-counting schemes, one keeps a running count as cards are seen, based on the value of each card seen. Modifications of the count are as such:

2: +1, 3: +1, 4: +2, 5: +2, 6: +2, 7: +1, 8: 0, 9: -1, 10JQKA: -2

The other part of this puzzle is determining what the "cards" are in this card-counting scheme. All the answer words in Las Vegas begin with the letters S, D, C, or H. Each word maps to a unique playing card, e.g. SURFER is the 6 of spades. The ordering of the answer words is determined by the Ralph Steadman icons on each puzzle page. The icons appear in the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and the answers are ordered in that appearance order.

The running count cues which letter of the answer word to use:

SPARK 5 +22 P sPark
DEICIDE 7 +13 I deIcide
SLAMMER 7 +14 M slaMmer
SIXPENCE 8 04 P sixPence
DESULTORY 9 -13 S deSultory
DIABETES 8 03 A diAbetes
CANNABIS 8 03 N caNnabis
HDWOODSON 9 -12 D hDwoodson
CORDUROYS 9 -11 C Corduroys
HUERFANA 8 01 H Huerfana
CABBAGE 7 +12 A cAbbage
HIPPIES 7 +13 P hiPpies
SURFER 6 +25 E surfEr
HELIOPOLIS 10 -23 L heLiopolis
SIXTYSTONE 10 -21 S Sixtystone


Map Transform: When the chapels and brothels (including "chicken shacks") on the map are highlighted, they form the pattern of pips on 4 dice (delineated by streets), representing the destination room.