Teacher Toolbox

The last Checker

the last checkerMaterials:
20 Checkers

Lay 20 Checkers out on the table in a single row.

The Trick :
Given alternate turns, you can force your opponent to pick up the last checker.

  • Players take alternate turns
  • A player on his turn may remove either one, two, or three checkers

How it works :

  • If you go first, pick up three checkers and leave your opponent with 17. No matter what he picks up, you can manage to leave him with 13, then 9, then 5. At this point he will lose.
  • If your opponent picks up one checker, you pick up three, leaving him with the last one.
  • If your opponent picks up two checkers, you pick up two checkers.
  • If your opponent picks up three checkers, you pick up one.