The game of “Race To”

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  • 1 University of California, Berkeley

Race To is a variation of the ancient game of Nim. One player designates an eligible set of whole numbers {1, 2, …, N} and a goal number (usually much larger than N). The other player starts either by calling out an eligible number or by declining to begin. The game sta rts at 0 and the first player selects one eligible number and adds it to 0. Then the second player selects an eligible number and adds it to the previous total. The player to add a number that brings the total to the goal number is the winner. A winning strategy exists for the player who allows his opponent to select the eligible numbers and the goal number.


Barry Kurtz is working on a Ph.D. in science and mathematics education.

The Arithmetic Teacher


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