New South Wales
Buster Keaton from 'Go West'
I was taught this game by a Chinese friend who played it a lot when she was at school. Here's how you play:
Shuffle together 2 decks of normal cards not including jokers. Each player takes half the deck. On each round, each player flips over 2 cards. Both players then try to find a formula involving exactly those 4 numbers and the mathematical operators +, -, /, * so that the result equals 24. When you've found the formula, put your palm on the table to show you've solved it. The other player may either concede that they were beaten or ask to see the answer. Apparently if the player who claimed to find the answer first is wrong, the other player wins the round, but my opponent is never wrong. Anyway, at the end of the round the loser takes the 4 cards, and another round is played. First player to run out of cards wins the game.
In the version we play, Jacks count as 11, Queens as 12, and Kings as 13. That makes it a bit more interesting than when they count as 10. Also for a variation we tried making 30 rather than 24, which doesn't work so well but negates some of the experience advantage.
This is a game of skill, and rewards experience. My opponent seems to have done nothing else in her life, that's how badly I get beaten.
It is quite interesting game, and tends to get stuck in your head as you think about ways of making 3 and 8 or 4 and 6, or even the more bizarre combinations. Here are some examples:
A,2,3,4 - A * 2 * 3 * 4
2,3,6,9 - (6 - 2) * (9 - 3)
But what about these more tricky ones?
Once you've solved those, you'll see the beauty of the game.
The Soot Sprite
Thanks for this! I just stumbled across this (older) review, but I'll have to try the game. My wife liked Letters & Numbers on SBS...