is a version of a well known game we often use to amuse ourselves
and keep the grey matter active.
use an old pack of cards, including two jokers, and either scrap
paper or we use printouts of one of the forms given below.
If you wish you can download a word file that will print either
of the pages shown at the side.
to pack into the following piles:
1 known as the "Large Ordinals" contains eight cards
- are all the red court cards plus the two jokers (No jokers -
use two black court cards as these are not needed for anything
2 known as the "Middle Ordinals" contains ten cards
- are all the black cards from and including 6 to 10.
3 known as the "Little Ordinals" contains ten cards
- are all the red cards from and including 5 down to Ace.
4 known as the "Target Numbers" contains twenty cards
and is the rest of the cards from Ace to 10.
ordinals - Jack/Knave = 25, Queen = 50, King = 75 and Joker =
and Little ordinals are their spot count, Ace = 1.
numbers are their spot count except 10 which is 0 (zero).
suits have no value, other than separating into black and red
makes it easier to spot cards that have been returned to the wrong
are many ways of playing this game, some if which are given below,
and it can be played either on your own or with other people.
If you just
wish to exercise the brain, then select the ordinals as given
below , then select the targets and simply work your way through
the combinations - use scap paper or the first form for this.
For the competition
version use the second form and you will also need a method for
timing. In this case the distribution of the ordinals is decided
but they are not displayed until after the three sets of targets
are displayed and recorded. After the ordinals are displayed,
the countdown time should begin.
a player selects, without looking at any of the cards, a total
six cards from the Large, Middle and Little ordinal piles, taking
at least one from each pile. We normally call out how many we
want from each, e.g. 1, 3, 2. (Player's note - as a general rule
we find a maximum of 2 large numbers is sufficient.)
cards are displayed in decending order of value to give six integer
values, e.g. 75, 10, 7, 6, 4, 2. We enter these values into the
six boxes at the top of one of the play frames (there are four
on the first form or just the one on the second form).
targets - the top three cards of the Target number pile are turned
over to give the basis for six combinations of a three digit number.
ACB, BAC, BCA, CAB & CBA.
example 2, 7, 4 gives 274, 247, 724, 742, 427 and 472.
a 10 is turned over then the leading zero is treated as a blank
- for example the cards 2, 10, 4 would give: 204, 240, 24, 42,
420 and 402
two cards of the same value are turned over - say 2, 7, 7 which
generate the sequence 277, 277, 727 772 727 772, we convert it
to 277, 77, 727 772, 27, 72 by modifying the duplicate numbers
to give two digit number by making the first digit a zero, hence
the second number is not a repeat of 277 but becomes 77, similarly
with the third and fifth combinations.
then repeat the selection and calculation of the target numbers
for a further to sets.
So now you have 6 ordinal numbers and eighteen target numbers.
You now have to use the any or all of the ordinal numbers to calculate
each of the target numbers.
can only use a ordinal number once for each target number. All
divisions must generate an integer result e.g. 12 / 3 = 4 is Ok,
but 12 / 5 is not.
example (I have only shown one set of targets to save space):
], [ 10
], [ 7
], [ 6
], [ 4
], [ 2
274 - Calculation: 75 * 4 - 10 * 2 - 6
247 - Calculation: 6 * 4 * 10 + 7
427 - Calculation: (6 * 75) - (10 + 7 + 4 + 2)
472 - Calculation: ((75 + 4) * 6) - 2
724 - Calculation: ((75 - 6 / 2) * 10) + 4
742 - Calculation: 75 * 10 - 6 - 2
you will note there are other ways of getting to the same target
number, but you only have to find one. Sometimes it is not possible
to get to the target - if in competition, get as close as possible.
If you are doing the competition version and scoring, allow thirty
minutes (reduce this to twenty five, twenty or fifteen minutes
if everyone is always getting full marks) from the time the oridinal
cards are turned over.
method of calculation is written in the box beside each target
number. You can use any agreed form of notation, we use * multiply,
/ divide, + add, - deduct and in that sequence, i.e. multiply
or divide before add or subtract and use braces ( do this first
) to denote change of sequence. For example, parsing each expression
from left to right, calculate the contents of the braces first,
working from the inner most to the outer ones, do each multiply
or divide, then each addition or subtraction:
expression: 2 * 3 + 12 / 6 - 3 = 6 + 2 - 3 = 5
expression: 2 * (3 + 12) / 6 - 3 = 2 * 15 / 6 - 3 = 5 - 3 = 2
expression: 2 * 3 + 12 / (6 - 3) = 2 * 3 + 12 / 3 = 6 + 4 = 10
expression: (2 * 3 + 12) / (6 - 3) = (6 + 12) / 3 = 18 / 3 = 6
the expression 90 - 4 + 3 is the same as 90 - (4 - 3)
ten points for all correct calculations and deduct one point for
each number +/- the target. e.g. 945 instead of 948 = 7 points.
the end of each round the target number cards are returned to
the bottom of the target number pile - we only shuffle at the
start of a session, and then not always. At a change of ordinals,
we put the exposed cards back at the bottom of their respective
piles. Again we do not shuffle very often - its generally better
when the cards are in a well mixed sequence to limit the number
of double numbers being selected or turned over.
are welcome -