Game Summary Edit
Scum is known by many alternative names. Also known as Presidents and Assholes or Arsehole in Britain, Rich Man Poor Man, Bum, Landlord, Root Beer, Butthead and Capitalism. It's thought to be an Americanized version of Dai Hin Min -- a Japanese card game for three or more in which the players race to get rid of all of the cards in their hands in order to become top player the following round. The last player left with cards is called the scum, asshole, or whatever term of derision is locally used.
Playing the Game Edit
The game is played clockwise. All the cards are dealt out. Some players may have one more than others. The player to dealer's left starts by leading (face up) any single card or any set of cards of equal rank (for example three fives). Each player in turn must then either pass (i.e. not play any cards), or play face up a card or set of cards which beats the previous play.
A single card is beaten by any higher single card. A set of cards can only be beaten by a higher set containing the same number of cards. So for example if the previous player played two sixes you can beat this with two kings, or two sevens, but not with a single king, and not with three sevens (though you could play two of them and hang onto the third). It is not necessary to beat the previous play just because you can - passing is always allowed. Also passing does not prevent you from playing the next time your turn comes round.
The play continues as many times around the table as necessary until someone makes a play which everyone else passes. All the cards played are then turned face down and put to one side, and the player who played last (and highest) to the previous "trick" starts again by leading any card or set of equal cards.
The first player who is out of cards is awarded the highest social rank - for Americans this is President - the next is Vice-President, then Citizen and so on down. The last player to be left with any cards is known as the Beggar, Scum, Asshole or by various terms of abuse. For Europeans the ranks can be King, Minister, ... , Peasant or Boss, Foreman, Worker, Bum.
If keeping score, the players get points depending on their position - for example 2 for the President, 1 for the Vice President and nothing for the others. More importantly, the players of higher status are entitled to enjoy and generally abuse their power over the lower ranking players.
For the next hand the players move seats. The President selects the most comfortable chair, the Vice President sits to the President's left, and so on around to the Asshole who sits to the President's right, probably on a crate or packing case. The Asshole is responsible for shuffling, dealing and clearing away the cards when necessary. As the players are now seated clockwise in order of rank, the first card is dealt to the President, the second to the Vice President, and so on down.
When the deal is complete, the Asshole must give his highest card to the President, and the President gives back in exchange any card which he does not want. The President then leads any card or set of cards and the game continues as before. A victory number is typically set around 11 wins and the game ends when someone reaches it.