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This game can be played in pubs, or anywhere that mathematical debate is enjoyed. It is a game for between three and five players. More could play, but then it would get unmanageable.

Each player needs a pen and paper.

The aim of the game is to be the first to reach a specified score, for example 150. If more than one person reaches the score in one round then the person with the highest score wins.

A round consists of each player writing a potential score for everyone on their piece of paper. The following rules determine how you can score for people:

  • The sum of your scores must be 4 times the number of players
  • No one can give any player the same score in successive rounds

As an example, if three people called Alice, Bob and Craig are playing, the sum of the scores must be 12, so Alice could give the following scores:

  • Alice: 3
  • Bob: 5
  • Craig: 4

In the following round, she would have to give each player a different score to the one above.

Now comes the complicated part. Each player in turn calculates their real score. First they add the score they gave themselves, for example, in the above round Alice scores 3 points. But then they score the same amount again for any other player where they have given that player an equal or higher score than that player gave them. Confused?

Let's say that in the round described, Bob gave Alice 5 points and Craig gave her 6. Because she gave Bob an equal (or higher) score than he gave her, Alice gets an extra 3 points. Because she gave Craig a lower score than he gave her, she gets nothing from him.

So Alice's real score for the round is 6 points.

Believe me, as long as the players don't choose to score in obvious patterns and instead rely on their intuition (or luck) to try to second guess opponents, the game will be varied and exciting.

The Word Game
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