Beware! When you figure out a strategy to play this you will always win … until you meet a player who also has the strategy. Then it becomes even more interesting.
When I first moved to Salt Spring and was at Fernwood, I had the great opportunity to work with a boy in grade 5 who caught on to this game quickly. He said he didn't like math but he sure had a smile on his face when we played this game. And yes, he would beat me at Nim often. Okay, almost always.
Here is what you need to play:
7 counters (or beads or pinecones or pebbles …)
How to play:
Place the 7 counters between the 2 players and decide who will go first. (In the next game the other player will have the turn to go first.)
Each player takes turns taking away one or two counters.
The player that has the last turn loses.
Keep playing to work out how to win! Find a winning strategy.
Does it matter who goes first?
A brief history lesson:
Nim is said to originate from China. The game is hundred of years old.
At the 1940 New York World's FairWestinghouse displayed a machine, the Nimatron, that played Nim. From May 11, 1940 to October 27, 1940 only a few people were able to beat the machine in that six week period; if they did they were presented with a coin that said Nim Champ. It was also one of the first ever electronic computerized games. Ferranti built a Nim playing computer which was displayed at the Festival of Britain in 1951. In 1952 Herbert Koppel, Eugene Grant and Howard Bailer, engineers from the W. L. Maxon Corporation, developed a machine weighing 23 kilograms (50 lb) which played Nim against a human opponent and regularly won. A Nim Playing Machine has been described made from TinkerToy.
Taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nim on May 21, 2020.