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Questions tagged [game]

A puzzle that asks for determining the winner in a multi-player game.

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75
votes
8answers
11k views

Coin Flipping Game with the Devil

You die, and awake in Hell. Satan awaits you, and has prepared a curious game. He has arranged $n$ quarters in a line, going in the east/west direction. He placed the coins at the ends tails up, and ...
57
votes
5answers
9k views

How to beat Count Dracula

Abraham Van Helsing and Jonathan Harker play a game against Count Dracula. The three players agree on the following rules: Count Dracula and Van Helsing enter the crypt, while Jonathan Harker ...
56
votes
3answers
6k views

Left coin, right coin, last coin?

In this game, all players start sitting at a round table, each with a coin in their hand. At every turn, all players toss their coins together and put them on the table in front of them. Then each ...
53
votes
5answers
42k views

What is the largest tile possible in 2048?

I can get to 4096 max. There are videos on youtube of guys making it to 8192. What is the theoretical maximum limit on this? PS: if you haven't played this, here is the link to addiction.
47
votes
4answers
5k views

The lion and the zebras

The lion plays a deadly game against a group of 100 zebras that takes place in the steppe (= an infinite plane). The lion starts in the origin with coordinates $(0,0)$, while the 100 zebras may ...
43
votes
4answers
5k views

Rock, Paper, Scissors and Trump

Alicia and Robert are two high-stakes gamblers who are playing a match of rock-paper-scissors. Each winning throw is worth 10 €, paid by the other player. These players have deep pockets, so matches ...
39
votes
1answer
2k views

Polynomial game with Devil

You die, and awake in Hell. Satan awaits you, and has prepared a curious game. On a blackboard, he has written the polynomial $x^2+x+666$. He explains the rule: On each day at $12$ noon, you must ...
36
votes
6answers
7k views

Chasing pirates

You are asleep on your boat on open sea. When you wake up you discover you have been robbed. A quick inspection of security cam footage reveals that the pirates who robbed you left your ship exactly ...
36
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the optimal first move in tic-tac-toe?

I have been told that it is possible to guarantee no worse than a tie in normal 3x3 tic-tac-toe, but that the first move is very important. What is that important first move?
36
votes
6answers
3k views

The subtraction game

Alice and Bob play a game that starts by Bob picking a secret integer $N\ge100$. Then the game goes through several rounds. In every round, Alice picks an integer $x\ge3$. Every number can be picked ...
35
votes
1answer
5k views

Say 100 and win

Our good friends that like games, Alice and Bob, play a game called "Say 100 and win". The rules are: In the beginning they use one regular 6 faced die to get a random number between 1 and 6. Let's ...
35
votes
5answers
2k views

Strategy to beat the Casino

Two players, $A$ and $B$, and the Casino play a game. It involves showing zeros or ones: each player picks $0/1$ and also the Casino picks $0/1$. If the Casino and both players $A$ and $B$ show the ...
35
votes
1answer
1k views

Titanic Tic-Tac-Toe

Xavier and Oliver were playing tic-tac-toe on the Titanic using a wooden board and metal X's and O's. As the stern of the ship sank lower and lower they found, to their annoyance, that the pieces ...
33
votes
1answer
6k views

Coins on a table

John and Jane are playing a game. They both go to the bank and get 1000 euros in 2 euros. So each of them has 500 euros at stake. They then find a large rectangle table and decide who wins the ...
32
votes
4answers
2k views

The Devil's Brother

The 1933 movie "The Devil's Brother" (also known under the title "Fra Diavolo") takes place in the Northern Italy of the early 18th century. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy play the fierce robbers ...
32
votes
10answers
3k views

Variant of lion and 100 zebras

Note: This problem remains unsolved, as of 4 Feb 2018, so do try it out This a variation of this question by @Gamow Suppose there are $100$ lions and $100$ zebras. The lions function together as a ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

Finding digits that sum to 15

Rand and Rubio are playing a game in which they each take turns to pick a digit between 1 and 9, without replacement (i.e. all digits chosen are distinct). If one of them manages to get three digits ...
28
votes
3answers
4k views

A lonely pawn on the chessboard

Alice and Bob and the referee Conny play the following game with a pawn on a standard $8\times8$ chessboard: In the beginning, Conny places the pawn into the center of a randomly chosen square. All $...
28
votes
3answers
3k views

Face Up Poker with Alice and Bob

Alice and Bob are going to have a poker night. They have invented a variant where there are no secrets, and no randomness, called Face-Up Poker. Here's how it works. A standard 52 card deck is ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

Lions and Zebras on a Chess Board

The black knight is our lion chasing 8 white bishop zebras which can't capture. Can the zebras evade the lion forever, if team zebra positions all the pieces and has the first turn? Rules: The game ...
25
votes
3answers
1k views

The lion and the zebras II: The lion with millimeter-long claws

This is a variant of this excellent question. The rules of the lion-zebra hunger games are exactly the same: The lion plays a deadly game against a group of 100 zebras that takes place in the ...
23
votes
11answers
10k views

The 100 soldier problem

I saw this problem many years ago. I am sure many puzzlers will know its original name. I was reminded of it when reading about Conquering of Regions problem. A Strategy Game Involving Conquering of ...
21
votes
4answers
6k views

Picking up stones

Here is puzzle that was lifted from an old essay of mine, that was adapted from a puzzle in an old puzzle book. The great shah has invited a young boy into his palace as a student. While he is not ...
21
votes
3answers
7k views

Knight on a 5 by 5 board

Alice and Bob play a game with a $5\times 5$ chessboard, and a chess knight. Alice begins by placing the knight somewhere on the board. Then, starting with Bob, the players alternate moving the knight ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Rook game on chessboard

A rook stands in the lower left corner of an $m\times n$ chessboard. Alice and Bob alternately move the rook (horizontally or vertically, through any number of squares). As the rook moves, it leaves a ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

A game with 52 cards

Alice and Bob play the following game with two (identical) standard decks of $52$ cards. First Alice secretly arranges one deck of $52$ cards in a long row on the table. All cards are face-down, and ...
21
votes
4answers
988 views

General strategy for 2048

I, being a fan of 2048, was wondering if anyone has any proven strategies for playing 2048?
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Monte Carlo Chess

This is an entry to the 17th fortnightly topic challenge. Chess is an interesting game, but is so unrealistic. In real life, you couldn't tell order your knight to attack an enemy bishop and expect ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

Even and Odd game

You are playing a game with your friend on a $7$x$7$ grid board. In every turn, you begin by putting a $0$ (zero) on any empty square on the board, and then your friend puts a $1$ (one) on a ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Strategy to beat the casino over the long haul

$A$ and $B$ are attempting to beat the casino again, and the rules are the same: Each round, $A$, $B$, and the casino simultaneously decide to show a $0$ or a $1$. If all three numbers match, $A$ ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Titanicker Tic-Tac-Toe

This is something of a follow-on to Hugh Meyer's enjoyable "Titanic Tic-Tac-Toe." Fortunately, our intrepid heroes Xavier and Oliver have wrested away a bit of wreckage that some fellow named Jack was ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Obtain the “Master of stones” title

Note : the mechanisms described in this puzzle are related to those found in this question. This is a game of 2 players. Each player can pick up 1, 2, or 3 coins in any pile (copper , silver , gold) ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Blackboard cleaning

The blackboard contains 30 integer numbers from 1..2000. Each minute you are allowed to elect some positive integer number x and subtract x from some (chosen by you) of the numbers on the blackboard ...
18
votes
3answers
7k views

Can you Turn MI to MU?

Using the letters M, I, and U, which can be used to create words. Can you turn MI into MU using in each step one of the following rules: Insert a U to the end of a word ending in I. e.g: MI becomes ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Worst case scenario in 2048

The game 2048 can be thought as a two player game, where one player shifts the table around to get to the 2048 tile, while the other player tries to hinder them by putting down 2s and 4s on the table. ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

Guess my number! Pay for the answer!

Alice and Bob play the following number guessing game. In the beginning, Alice picks a secret number from the range $1,2,3,\ldots,144$. Then Bob is allowed to ask a sequence of questions. In every ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Two prisoners and the prison ward

Two prisoners are imprisoned at opposite ends of the prison. They cannot meet, nor exchange any kind of information. However, one day they are brought together by the ward who tells them: "I shall ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

The maximum number of SETs with six cards

The SET game works with a deck of $81$ cards. Each card contains a set of symbols with four attributes: color (red, green, purple), shading (empty, striped, or solid), shape (oval, squiggle, or ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

It'd be on an infinite board, but he can't fit one in his hideout

This is a fairly easy one (at least as this website goes) with a premise taken from the Reader's Digest Book of Puzzles & Brain Teasers. The Riddler is devising yet another trap for Batman to ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

A game with 330 pebbles

Anastasia and Barnabas play a game that starts with $330$ pebbles in a bowl. The game consists of two phases. The first phase looks as follows: First Anastasia announces an integer $A$ with $2\le A\...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Automatically a Knight, Knave, and Joker

Let M be a finite positive integer. It's exact value is not known. Suppose we have three classes of automaton, all of which accept a bit stream as input, produce a bit stream as output (one bit per ...
16
votes
1answer
322 views

Masyu-making game

Two players are playing a game on a $4\times4$ board. The players take turns adding either a white circle or a black circle into any empty square, so that the board makes a solvable masyu puzzle (with ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Clear board in Othello (Generalisation)

Based on Clear board in Othello If we have an $2m\times 2n$ Othello board ($m\geq n\geq 2$), and the centre $4$ squares have the usual starting position, then for what all values of $m$ and $n$ ...
15
votes
9answers
3k views

A search game with 2016 numbers

Alice secretly chooses $2016$ integers $x_1,x_2,\ldots,x_{2016}$. Among these $2016$ integers there are $2015$ that all have the same value, and there is only one number $x_k$ that takes a different ...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

The Trickster's Game

While walking around the streets of your local city, you encounter a strange woman sitting atop a gigantic pile of dollar coins. "Would you like to play a game?" she asks. Intrigued by the strange ...
15
votes
5answers
951 views

Addition hangman

Addition Hangman is a game for two players. The rules are The first player (the Chooser) chooses an addition problem $x+y=z$, where $x$, $y$, and $z$ are positive integers. He writes the addition $x+...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Optimal play for 2 by 2 dots and boxes

Consider the classic pencil and paper game Dots and Boxes . You can assume the 2 by 2 version (that is with 9 dots). Starting with an empty grid of dots, players take turns, adding a single ...
15
votes
3answers
697 views

Haydn and Beethoven are celebrating Mozart's birthday

They decided the following game is suitable to the occasion: taking alternating turns they say numbers, keeping the following rules: In the first turn, Haydn says the number $2$. After that, the ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Rubik's cube two-person game

I will define the game as follows: There are two players, the "Solver" and the "Unsolver". The Solver's goal is to return the cube to it's standard solved state. Likewise, the Unsolver's goal is to ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Removing chips from the table

Alice and Bob play the following game with $n\ge2016$ chips on the table. Alice and Bob move alternatingly. Alice makes the first move. In every move, the active player removes $k$ chips from the ...