Friendly card games are something a lot of people partake in with either friends or family.
But when large sums of money get involved, is it still just a friendly game? Especially when players are actually pressured to pay those large sums.
A bystander is asking questions about family card game etiquette after their teenage brother ended up on the hook with their brother-in-law. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
“AITA for telling my brother-in-law to ask my husband for the £5000 [~$6,300 US] he won from playing cards with my brother?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“My in-laws coaxed my brother (19, male) into playing poker with them a few nights ago, but they forgot to tell him they’re all a bunch of notorious cheats. So obviously my brother lost the first game and then they goaded him so he would continue playing.”
“I was there when they played, but I wasn’t aware that my brother was playing since they were in a different room than me. I thought he was just watching my in-laws play.”
“By the end of the night, he owed my brother-in-law around £5,000 which isn’t the type of money my brother can just easily hand over. My brother-in-law is 26.”
“When I saw my brother he looked like he was on the verge of a panic attack.”
“After I forced him to tell me what happened, I confronted my brother-in-law who thought the entire thing was just some harmless fun.”
“I explained to him that my brother didn’t just have 5 grand lying around and since it was just some harmless fun he should forget about it. But he wasn’t willing to do that and insisted my brother owed him.”
“He told me not to get involved and suggested my parents should pay if my brother couldn’t afford to, even though he knows they can’t afford it either.”
“I could see he wasn’t going to drop it, so I told him to ask my husband for the money. But he didn’t like that idea as he wants my teenage brother to pay him since ‘a man should pay his debts’.”
“I told him he was being ridiculous since my brother is a broke 19-year-old and he was scamming a kid. I told my husband, but he hasn’t gotten involved yet.”
“I know my brother did technically gamble away 5 grand like a massive idiot, but I think expecting him to give the money is ridiculous when my brother-in-law knows he and the rest of his family were cheating.”
“As of today, he still hasn’t dropped it and is trying to get the money out of my brother. He 100% cheated—he always does.”
“Cheating is part of the fun for them.”
“I’m half-tempted to ask my husband to either speak to him or give him the money if speaking doesn’t help, because my brother is sh*tting himself over this.”
The OP summed up their predicament.
“I told my brother-in-law to ask my husband for the 5 grand my brother gambled away.”
“My brother is the one who owes the money, but I want my husband to pay it off even though my brother-in-law doesn’t want that.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors declared the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).
“NTA. First of all, for f*ck’s sake involve your husband. It’s his brother.”
“BIL doesn’t want to go to your husband probably because your husband would laugh in his face and then get mad he’s harassing his wife’s family.”
“At least that’s what your husband SHOULD do whether he pays it or not. A real man doesn’t let his wife’s little brother get robbed in my opinion.”
“There are reasons gambling is illegal in many places. Is gambling legal where you are?”
“Where I live it isn’t legal so in that situation I would just say tell the brother-in-law to forget it and it serves him right for doing something illegal.”
“When people act like predators you have to just stand in their way, fight like hell and tell them to back the eff up. Don’t back down.”
“That is predatory, bullying, offensive behavior on the part of BIL. BIL knew exactly what he was doing and that crossed the line from entertainment and a good faith game to cheating and stealing.” ~ Next-Honeydew4130
“NTA. Who the f*ck takes £5,000 from a family member‽‽ Especially when it was scammed from them?”
“Ask your brother-in-law if that’s the price he’s placed on your relationship with him, because if it gets paid by anyone, he’s dead to you, your family, any children you have, everyone.”
“Men don’t exploit or take advantage of their family members, so he’s the last person who should be giving ‘manliness’ lessons.”
“What a disgusting person.” ~ LakotaGrl
“You say he lost £5k playing cards but then also say that the only reason he lost is cause they were cheating.”
“If they were cheating, he didn’t actually lose—he was cheated. NTA.” ~ SigSauerPower320
“Your brother is a goddamn idiot but that’s to be expected from a 19 year old.”
“Tell your BIL that he can pound sand, he’s not getting sh*t, and tell your younger brother to not gamble for anything more than the quarters in his pocket. NTA.” ~ Kitfox88
“NTA. Their behavior is bullying. They took advantage of his trust in them and manipulated him into ‘gambling’ that much, then enjoy watching him twist in the wind and even expect to profit from it.”
“It’s pretty sick and twisted.”
“The only way for your BIL to fix this is to admit he’s an a**hole and apologize to your brother. Even then, you’ll have to ask yourself if you want these a**holes around.” ~ ragweed
“I would just give them 5k Monopoly money. If they complain let them know you guys cheat as well.” ~ steve_ow
“Is your BIL on the wind up with you?”
“If the guy cheats and says it’s ‘harmless fun’, what’s to say he’s not enjoying the debt collection side as part of the game and has no intentions of collecting the money, but is just enjoying watching your brother—and now you—getting hot under the collar about it?”
“Beyond the NTA verdict, just tell the BIL to f*ck off and not take anything he says seriously. He’ll get the message the fun is over.” ~ chuffingnora
“NTA—umm… who the hell plays for that kind of money with family? That’s mad since they set out to fleece someone one via fraudulent means—to hustle a kid—not to mention on credit since he didn’t actually have the money.”
“Sure your brother is an idiot for playing and hopefully has learned his lesson and won’t do it again, but the BIL is a complete a**hole and can basically pound sand for his ill-gotten gains.”
“Or else little bro can pay—one pence a week since that’s about what their winning is actually worth.” ~ Seriouslydude-no-way
“NTA. You absolutely need to get your husband involved in this. There is nothing harmless about intentionally cheating a family member out of that much money.”
“They knew what they were doing. It wasn’t some friendly game, they were being predators around a kid just turning into an adult. That is why they won’t just drop it.”
“You and they know they were cheating, your brother doesn’t owe them sh*t, but they won’t listen to you. They’ll only listen to your husband.
“If ‘a man should pay his debts’ then also ‘a cheater gets his kneecaps busted’ should also apply. It is a really good lesson for your brother, but you absolutely need to get your husband involved in this (not giving money either) to get it resolved.” ~ Whirlvvind
“NTA. If your in-laws cheat, they should get 0 money from anyone. Not your brother, not your husband, not anyone.”
“Pay them nothing and warn your brother not to bother associating with anyone who would cheat him out of a sum that large. Cheating isn’t harmless fun.”
“And pre-warn your parents about what happened so they can tell your in-laws to kick rocks.” ~ chocolate_chip_kirsy
“NTA and tell your husband right now to handle what his brother has done.”
“He will either back his brother up and demand your brother pay the debt or tear into his sibling for thinking it was a good idea to roll a 19-year-old for £5k that everyone knows he doesn’t have.”
“As for your own idiot brother tell him that gambling isn’t a joke. When anyone invites him to gamble, if he doesn’t have the cash money on hand then he cannot play.”
“No casino is going to offer a line of credit to anyone without collateral to back it up.” ~ WinEquivalent4069
“Even if they weren’t cheating, I couldn’t imagine playing poker with family that resulted in a £5K loss—much less with a 19 year old. While he’s an ‘adult’, that’s still a child.”
“I’d go to your husband. This is a f*ck around and find out situation. Brother-in-law should get his a** whooped.”
“And hopefully this is a lesson for your own brother. When gambling, only sit at the table you can afford to sit at.”
“It can be such a dangerous experience, mentally and financially. Not a bad one to learn at 19.” ~ SoodieSundays
“NTA. Only an AH hounds a 19-year-old family member (by extension) for £5,000 won in a family game of cards like a loan shark or a casino.”
“It’s a family game of cards. It doesn’t matter.” ~ I-hear-the-coast
While the sum is outrageous to rack up in an at-home, family card game, it’s still a good lesson for the OP’s brother to never gamble money he doesn’t have.
And never allow taunting to control his actions.
As for their brother-in-law, perhaps it’s best their husband deal with his own family members.