Jamaica Gleaner - - GROWTH & JOBS -

meet­ing where po­ten­tial part­ners are courted. Once those in­ter­ested hear the terms of the round robin, they pay their first in­stal­ment.

“Ev­ery round robin have dem own rules and reg­u­la­tions,” said Gibbs, but there are two rules that stand out. “Yuh mus’ throw in your hand on time. Some round robin even have late fees.” But one very im­por­tant rule is that ev­ery­one is ex­pected to at­tend the events.

“If peo­ple sup­port yours, yuh haffi sup­port dem back,” said Gibbs. “Be­cause a di end a di day, yuh haffi sure a yuh draw.” Fail­ure on the part of any mem­ber to con­sis­tently at­tend the par­ties of other group mem­bers is def­i­nitely frowned upon. Tech­ni­cally, any­one can be a round robin master, but some are bet­ter suited.

“It bet­ter if di some­body have a busi­ness, or if dem have money oth­er­wise,” said Gibbs. “So if some­body can’t come up wid dem hand, dem can step in.” The master may also take care of the mu­sic, hir­ing the same sound to play at all the events. Any­one can join the group, pro­vided they can keep up.

“Dem (round robin masters) nah go put in nuh idlers. Dem a go in­vite work­ing peo­ple,” said Gibbs. Dances and par­ties are at times heav­ily po­liced. But a drink-up is slightly dif­fer­ent.

“You don’t need to ask per­mis­sion from the po­lice, but you can, just for back-up,” said Ying. Many per­sons read­ily ad­mit part­ner draws help with var­i­ous bills and ex­penses. And Ying said that round robins are no dif­fer­ent.

“The house get first hand, plus them have hand for them­selves,” she said. “Plus the per­son host­ing that week ben­e­fit be­cause peo­ple buy their liquor, and they get their hand that day.” The venue for the drink-up can vary. If the round robin master has a bar, they may pro­vide it for the other par­tic­i­pants to use. But it doesn’t even have to be held at a for­mal es­tab­lish­ment. Ying cau­tioned though, that per­sons need to bud­get when they are set­ting up.

“You can hire peo­ple to help you, like to buy ice or help dec­o­rate the place, but re­mem­ber, you would have to pay them, and that’s more ex­pense to you.”

Round robins are pop­u­lar mainly in the Cor­po­rate Area.

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