The challenging cry in a game of thumb war - the equivalent of throwing down the gauntlet. Rather than redirect you to another node, I'll just bust up a quick procedure on how to play thumb war.

Firstly : Find an opponent. It could be your arch-enemy, who must play with his left (or sinister) hand because he's got a hook for his right. Or it could be a beautiful person of the opposite gender, one that you just met in a local drinking establishment - many strong, stable relationships are based on the concept of the thumb war. Either way, without the opponent, you'd just be playing with yourself, a phrase that has... uncomfortable overtones, let us say.

Secondly : Challenge him or her. The traditional cry is as above : "One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war!" Bellow it, if possible. Strike fear into your opponent's heart.

Thirdly : Link hands with your opponent, fingers wrapped around each other like a trick handshake, with both thumbs pointed up at the ready. Pray that the both of you have the same dominant hand, for fairness's sake. If not, the challenger (you) must be the person who uses his other, less useful hand. Accordingly, if you are right-handed, watch the opponent-to-be for his or her handedness, and make sure it matches yours, so you are not at a disadvantage, Or, become ambidextrous. It's your choice.

Fourthly and finally : the thumb war begins in earnest. Go time is when the hands are fully linked. The goal - use your thumb to pin your opponent's thumb for a full second. The game is not over until this happens - there is no time limit. Breaking the hand link is forfeiture, and therefore a loss for the person who breaks off. Much bobbing and weaving of thumbs (and, bobbing and weaving of bodies) is required. There are many strategies, like the Quick Strike, where you pin a lax opponent's thumb right off the bat, or the Rope-A-Dope, where you simply hang back out of reach while your opponent's thumb dances around madly. Once your opponent's thumb gets tired, pin him. Some thumb wars have been known to go on for days, with veteran players on both sides waiting for his opponent to make a fatal error.

Beware of variant rules, and if possible, make sure that both of you are playing by the same rules. Some variants require yelling 'One, two, three, peaknuckle!' after the pin to make the win official, and the pin is not made until the phrase is fully completed. Other variants could require best-of-three matches, forfeiture of the game if the thumb dallies below the top finger, and countless others. Be prepared, young player.

Many great masters have played this game; it is said that Paganini himself was never defeated in a thumb war in his lifetime, and that Miyamoto Musashi often utilized the Void strategy skillfully on many an occasion.

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