Legend has it that Double Fanucci (or Fanucci) was invented by the deposed Zilbo III in the late seventh century. A game of tremendous complexity and almost infinite rules, King Mumberthrax proclaimed it the national sport in 757 GUE. This proclamation merely gave official approval to those who had been holding annual Fanucci tournaments since 691 GUE. These Championships, held in Borphee during the first week of autumn, frequently leave thousands homeless.
Despite years of research, our team from the Frobozz Magic Appendix Compilers has been unable to get a complete grasp of this game. Fanucci is in fact so complicated that some who do not wish to waste the time required to learn the rules simply play a corrupted version of the game, known as Gabber Tumper. Those who do elect to brave the dangers of Fanucci are immediately faced with an immense deck of 174 cards.
This deck is divided into face cards and suits. The 15 suits (Mazes, Books, Rain, Bugs, Fromps, Inkblots, Scythes, Plungers, Faces, Time, Lamps, Hives, Ears, Zurfs, and Tops) each have eleven cards, valued at 0-9 and Infinity. The face cards are as follows: Granola, Death, Light, Snail, Beauty, Time, Grue, Lobster, and Jester.
At the start of the game a player is dealt four of these cards, and at any point during the game when the player has less than four cards, he can take another card from the top of the discard pile. Play progresses with players taking one turn after the other, either drawing or discarding a card or using one of their current cards to execute a special play. These possible plays are as follows: Combine, One-Play, Two-Play, Pass, Overpass, Trump, Undertrump, Reverse, Muttonate, Divide, and Ionize.
This is where our comprehension of Double Fanucci becomes a little vague. Doing certain plays with certain cards can either cause you to gain or lose points, or cause your opponent to gain or lose points. Clearly, some plays are to your advantage, while others can be quite detrimental. Over the years, Fanucci players have developed fond names for certain of these plays, and a few of them are listed here. Plays that are to a player's advantage are marked as positive, and the number represents the number of points that the play is worth.
It should be pointed out that to accurately describe the conditions necessary to execute these plays is completely out of the question. An updated edition of the Fanucci rule book is quite probably larger than even the Unabridged Version of this Encyclopedia. For now, all we can offer the reader are a few minor points.
- Fanucci players at the Port Foozle Casino typically play with the Revised Miznian Rules, 7th-Level Amendments, with the following exceptions: No side-handling after an underfunded discard, two draws after a Skybreaker, and an extra muttonation if the conditions of Rule 17.4.1.B are met.
- Other Fanucci house rules were adopted by the Fanucci Casino Rebuilding Act of 817 GUE.
- By Rules Committee Amendment #493, the game is suspended when one player's lead exceeds 1241, and the game must be replayed in its entirety, except during a Frotz Moon or in a 6-player game where at least 3 players are of Mithican ancestry.
- Professional Fanucci players make use of a handicapping system in which the better the player is, the lower his handicap number. Forburn the Wily, possibly the greatest Fanucci player of all time, had a handicap of a mere 0.01. Because this system of handicapping runs contrary to other systems, it is believed that a player's handicap is the number added to his score at the start of the game. Thus a poor player with a high handicap would start off with a high score.
- Three undertrumps after an opponent's discard of a Trebled Fromp is an indefensible gambit, and is the only known way to win at Double Fanucci.
("Double Fanucci" in Encyclopedia Frobozzica)