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Have You Got It?

Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?

Yih or Luk Tsut K'i or Three Men's Morris

Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and knot arithmetic.

Lambs and Tigers

Investigations based on an Indian game.


Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

This is a simple patience which often comes out.

Lay out an array of 12 cards in 3 rows of 4 cards, face up. Use the remaining cards to cover pairs of cards that sum to 11 (not including picture cards) and to cover sets of 3 picture cards, a Jack, Queen and King, which do not have to be the same suit. The object of the game is to put down all the cards in your hand and finally to remove all the cards from play. If you can get rid of all the cards in your hand in this way you can go on to the second stage of the patience. If however you are left with one card in your hand you have failed. At this stage you remove from play two or three whole piles at a time where either the cards on the top are a pair adding up to 11 or a set of three picture cards. If you can remove all the piles in this way you have succeeded!

Why should you try to avoid covering one or three sets of picture cards?

Can you explain why it is, that if you reach the second stage having used all the cards in your hand, you can always finish the game successfully?

Investigate the game where you have 8 or 10 cards face up rather than 12. How does this change the probability of getting the patience out?

Make up some rules of your own.