Calculator Nim

A Maths Starter Of The Day

This is a game for two players:

You may use only these keys.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 + =

Take turns to add a single-digit number to what is already on the calculator.

The winner is the player who makes the display show 30.

If you go over 30 you lose.

Topics: Starter | Arithmetic | Calculator | Games | Problem Solving

  • Wikepedia,
  • Saturday, February 17, 2007
  • "Variants of Nim have been played since ancient times. The game is said to have originated in China (it closely resembles the Chinese game of Tsyanshidzi, or "picking stones"), but the origin is uncertain; the earliest European references to Nim are from the beginning of the 16th century. Its current name was coined by Charles L. Bouton of Harvard University, who also developed the complete theory of the game in 1901, but the origins of the name were never fully explained. The name is probably derived from German nimm! meaning "take!", or the obsolete English verb nim of the same meaning. Some people have noted that turning the word NIM upside-down and backwards results in WIN.

    Nim is usually played as a misère game, in which the player to take the last object loses. Nim can also be played as a normal play game, which means that the person who makes the last move (i.e., who takes the last object) wins. This is called normal play because most games follow this convention, even though Nim usually does not."
  • Aaron Joseph, Nlc
  • Thursday, November 13, 2008
  • "This game would be better if it was for one player. It is so easy. if you are player one you can always win. because the most ovibous one is 15 add 15 or 29 add 1 and 20 add 10. its just too easy"
  • Josh, King's Gloucester
  • Wednesday, November 26, 2008
  • "This is a great introduction to calculator work.

    You cannot just add 15 and 15 as the rules clearly state you can only add single digit numbers!"
  • Jeff Locklier, Neerim District Secondary College
  • Wednesday, November 14, 2012
  • "Perhaps some method of crossing out the numbers on screen as thety are used in the game."
  • Cameron, Y7
  • Thursday, November 14, 2013
  • "You can always win if you go 2nd because you can get to 10 and they cant beat you 5+5=10 if they choose any other number just make the number bonds to ten,. E.g 1+9, 3+7, 6+4 etc..."

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Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers?
Do they have Laptops in Lessons or iPads?

Whether your students each have a TabletPC, a Surface or a Mac, this activity lends itself to eLearning (Engaged Learning).

Laptops In Lessons

Here is the URL for a concise version of this page without comments or answers.

Here is the URL which will take them to Multi-pile Nim which is a different game but based on similar principles.


You might also like to try Simple Nim with pens and pencils.



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