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a 10 of hearts, a 2 of diamonds and ace of spades.

Pick out two red cards and a black card.

Many games are competitive, but in this game you have to cooperate. Try to work out the card on your head, but be careful. If either of you make a mistake, you both lose!

You will need

  • Deck of cards
  • Two hats, beanies or sweatbands
  • Someone to play with

    Someone wearing a beanie with a card tucked into the rim.

    Stick your card into your hat so your partner can see it.

What to do

  1. Put on a beanie or sweatband, and ask your partner to do the same.
  2. Look through the deck of cards and pick out two red cards and a black one. Put the rest of the cards aside – you won’t need them for this game.
  3. Show the three cards to your partner so they know what cards were chosen.

    Someone with a black card in their hat, saying 'I don't know'.

    Remember that saying ‘I don’t know’ can give your partner a clue.

  4. Shuffle the three cards together and deal one card face down to your partner and one to yourself. Keep the third card face down on the table.
  5. Carefully, without peeking, take your card and stick it in your hat so your partner can see it.
  6. Take turns asking each other ‘do you know what colour card you have?’
  7. You can reply with a colour, or you can say that you don’t know.
  8. Keep asking until you both name a colour. You could each answer “I don’t know” several times before choosing a colour.
  9. If you both answer correctly, you win! But if anyone gets their card wrong, everyone loses.
  10. Play the game several times. Are some rounds harder than others? Do you get any better with practice?

What’s happening?

This game can be very hard when you first start out. If you have difficulty for the first few games, here are some hints to get you on the right track.

  • There is only one black card. If you know where it is, you can work out the colours of all the other cards.
  • Saying ‘I don’t know’ gives your partner some information.
  • Remember that your partner can see your card. Think about what they can see when they say ‘I don’t know’.

You shouldn’t have to guess – if you and your partner work out a good system, you should be able to win every time.

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