Click one of the orange buttons below to begin.
You Have Won!Start Again
You have gone over 23!
The Computer WinsStart Again
Don't be discouraged, play against the computer to learn its strategies.Start Again
You will take it in turns to move the lifesaver ring on to a number. This number is added to the running total for this game. The object of the game is to reach a total of 23. If a player makes the running total greater than 23 they have lost.
May the best player win!
Two players (or one player and the computer) take it in turns to move the lifesaver ring on to a number. This number is added to the running total for this game. The object of the game is to reach a total of 23. If a player makes the running total greater than 23 they have lost.
This game also works well with students playing in pairs at desks around the classroom. After each game the players move to a new desk, winners moving clockwise around the room and losers moving anticlockwise.
The game will need to be played a number of times by students before they start to see that there are some strategies that can be employed.
Note that each player has to move the lifesaver ring to a new number when it is their turn, they cannot stay on the number the lifesaver ring is on.
For the 1 player game above it is always possible to beat the computer as the player always has first move.
The strategy used by the computer to play this game is explained here when you are signed in to your Transum subscription account. If you do not yet have an account and you are a teacher, tutor or parent you can apply for one here.
A Transum subscription also gives you access to the 'Class Admin' student management system, many more teaching resources and opens up ad-free access to the Transum website for you and your pupils.
There is a printable worksheet to go with this activity.
Nim is a mathematical game of strategy in which two players take turns removing objects from groups of objects. Whoever takes the last object wins.
A game in which players take turns to add a single-digit number to what is already in the calculator. The winner is the first to 30.
Printable 23 or Bust
A printable game board for 23 or Bust. Choose your own object to serve as the lifesaver such as a pencil sharpener, a rubber or a coin.
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