# A Game You Can Always Win

Vsauce — Kevin here, with a game you can

always win. Grab a friend and take turns counting using

numbers from 1 to 10. The first person to get to 100 wins. Which can always be you. To demonstrate, let’s have a friendly game

between me and uhhh… I guess.. I’ll just play with myself. Hey me! It’s good to see me. Am I ready to play? Yes. Yes I am. Okay, add numbers between 1 and 10 and the

person who gets to 100 first wins. I’ll write the sum in between mes so you

can follow along. I’ll start the game. 1 7 4 9 2 10 1 You’re just picking numbers randomly like

me, right? Uhh… yeahhh… Okay cool, 3 8 8 3 5 6 Seriously, though. We both have 50/50 odds of getting to 100. Um. Sure! Alright. 4 7 9 2 Uh. Wait. 89? If I play 1, that’s 90 and you can play

10 and win and… if I play 10 that’s 99 and you can play 1 and win. Oh, weird. I, uh, must’ve gotten lucky. Yeah, right. 5. [94] 6! 100, I WIN! Every. Time. Here’s how. Uhh..you can go now, me. Uh, fine. Well, I want a rematch later. I guess I’ll just uhhh…see ya in the mirror? Yeahhhhh. Okay, now let’s play a match between me

and you and I’ll explain along the way how it works. The easiest way for me to know I’m going

to win every time is for me to go first and start with the number 1. No matter what number you add next, 5, 3,

8, whatever it is, I just subtract your number from 11 to get my next play. So if I start with 1 and if you say 4, then

our sum is 5. To get my next number, I do 11 minus 4, which

equals 7, so 7 is my next play: 7 plus 5 gives our game a new total of 12. Then you say… 8. Cool. 8 plus 12 gives our game a new total of 20. I do 11 minus your 8, which is 3. So, I play 3 and our new total is 23. As long as I stick to this strategy I’m

guaranteed to be the first to 100. This is why it works. Regardless of your number, mine will always

result in a sum that’s part of an arithmetic series separated by elevens: 1, 12, 23, 34,

45, 56, 67, 78, 89, and… then finally 100. Since the highest number you can play in the

game is 10 — if I separate your moves by eleven… I rule the world! Or at least… this simple number game. Gotta start somewhere. When you play this with your friend can they

ever win? Yes. If you mess up the series. While going first, playing 1, and subtracting

every opponent’s number by 11 is the easiest way to stick with the series, after a few

rounds you might want to switch things up to prevent them from figuring out your strategy. You could do that by starting with a number

other than 1 and choosing wrong numbers until later in the game when you land on a number

in the arithmetic series like 67 or 78. So if you’re playing with a friend and you

pick random numbers until the sum is 65, then you could play 2 to bring your total to 67

and then you’re right on track. From there just subtract your friend’s numbers

every single time by 11 and you will be the first to 100. To players who don’t realize that the optimal

strategy depends on that series, this game seems like a game of chance — but once you

know the series, you have the secret number knowledge. But if adding up to 100 isn’t your cup of

tea you could try a similar game with matchsticks. These are Inq’s Durable Match-Like Puzzle

Sticks that come in the new Curiosity Box that is out right now. It’s packed with a booklet that features

22 different puzzles that you can try to solve yourself when you get these matchsticks. But for right now we’ll use the matchsticks

to visualize another game you can always win. Alright. You have eleven matchsticks spread out on

a table. You and a friend take turns removing either

1, 2 or 3 matchsticks and the player who picks up the last match loses. If you go first, you can always win this game. Since you don’t want to pick up that last

match, let’s work backwards to uncover the secret. We’ll play a game between Mr. T and Skeletor

because… why not?. Alright, let’s skip to the end of the game

to workout the winning strategy. If it’s Skeletor’s turn and Mr T. leaves

Skeletor with 2, 3, or 4 matches, Skeletor can leave T. with the final losing match. So, T. will want to make sure he leaves Skeletor

with 5, to guarantee that Mr. T keeps his jewelry. Here’s why. If there are 2 matches left, then Skeletor

just takes 1 and leaves Mr. T. with the final losing match. If there are 3 matches left, then Skeletor

takes 2, Mr. T. loses. And if there are 4, then Skeletor takes 3,

then Mr. T loses again. But if T leaves 5, no matter what Skeletor

plays next — 3, 2, or 1 — T can make a winning move and pity the fool accordingly. The arithmetic series that will rig the game

for T is separated by 4’s… 1, then 5, and then… 9. Mr. T. will want to leave Skeletor with 9

matches to make sure that ALL his plays match up with the series. If Skeletor and T start with 11 matches and

T goes first, that means his initial play will be to remove 2. Since each player can only remove a maximum

of 3 matches per turn, you can dominate the game every time by going first and making

moves that stick to this series. … which is why the game works with 20 matches,

too. To guarantee a win with 20 matches on the

table, your first play should be to remove 3 to land you at 17. So let’s say T. starts and removes 3 to

get to 17. No matter what Skeletor does, T just needs

to get to 13 to stay on course to win. So, if Skeletor removes 2 to get to 15, then

Mr. T. just needs to remove 2 to get to 13. Now T. needs to get down to 9. So, if Skeletor removes 3 to get to 10, then

Mr. T. just has to remove 1 match to get to 9. The next milestone is 5, so if Skeletor removes

1 to get to 8, then Mr. T can remove 3 to get to 5. And now it’s officially over. Skeleton can’t do anything — 1, 2, 3, it

doesn’t matter. Mr. T. is leaving Skeletor with the final

losing match. Let’s see if it’ll fit in his hand. What about this one? Good enough. Both the counting game and this matchstick

one are referred to as “Nim-like,” because they’re conceptually similar to a game from

ancient times that evolved into what mathematicians now call Nim. Players take turns removing objects from heaps

or stacks, and the player to remove the last object loses… but it gets a lot more complex

than sticking to a basic arithmetic series. We like complex. Humans have been inventing brain-teasing games

to pass the time, sharpen their minds, and extend collective knowledge for as long as

recorded history shows. One of the oldest games we know about is Senet,

with board pieces from Ancient Egypt dating back over 5,000 years. About the same time humans were inventing

the precursors to our modern written language systems, we were developing number games to

occupy ourselves and tease out a better understanding of the quantifiable world. Creating artificial challenges — and then

out-thinking them — is a way we exercise our minds. By discovering the hidden patterns that govern

reality, whether we’re just practicing with a matchstick game or unwinding the great scientific

challenges of our times, we’re engaging in an integral part of what makes us — us. Even those of us who use Skeletor to explain

math games. And as always – thanks for watching. Hey, the brand new Curiosity Box which includes

the matchstick game and a bunch of other awesome hand-picked, designed and developed science

toys is available right now. Michael, Jake and I created this subscription

box to bring physical Vsauce to your doorstep. So, check out the link below, it’s CuriosityBox.com,

to secure yours right now. I’m going to stay here and, uh, try and figure

out some of these puzzles. Alright. Move one match to make a square. Uhh. Um. SQUARE.

three curious bros

A alguien le salió este vídeo en español?

2nd one is wrong.

(

Why YouTube just why

game for the nerdiest of nerds

A.K.A. me

dis was posted on my b day

Lmao , just won 5 euro of my bro outta this .

Bro yo choose the exact numbers

You can do the same with 21 where you can go up 1,2 or 3 and you just have to stick to the 4 times table (who ever says 21 loses)

Actually, I’ve played this game before, it was pretty tricky, but once you know how to play properly, it’s easy.

Am bad at math dood…. 1+1 is like Z for me dood

Square

What if I start with 2 and subtract by 10

Wow I need to remember thus so I can show one of my teachers who did a numbers trick like this and it blew my mind

0:21 dear god play with him self. He better not forget the lotion

Magic.

anyone wanna play, I'll go first 1

What if the person youre going against watches this video 😂

If I had friends, I wouldn't be watching this.. 😒

WOW THE VIDEO WAS IN 4K

I worked i played with my mom

HEY

I tried this with a friend, and I kept saying "let me explain this to you" and he would say "no, no, I'll win eventually."

Poor guy.

I pick numbers 50-100 ramdomly

No I know how to screw with my players in my D&D game. HAH!

You have took it from others

Me: Let's play a game

Friend: Ok i go first

Me: darn….

Try playing Nim with 3 groups of matches, 3/5/7 last one wins. I haven't lost a game,yet.

The matchstick game was pretty easy i already knew that

your name is now kevin

Hey I made this into an android app a while ago, it goes to different numbers and has a 2-player mode.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mk99.example.addtwo

you could also move 1 match to make the number 4 (square of 2) or put one match on its back side (vertical).

I played this with my mom and I lost

What if both people know the 11 number strategy in the100 game who would win

A chier

Frickn nerd hahaha

“Grab a friend”

I’m gonna stop you right there

Am i supposed to do the math in my head?

I cant do that….

May I ask, how could you win if you were second to play? And what about more than 2 players? HA lol I win

Lol

The second game is easy

Him

Me

The

The second game is easy

Him 35

Me 00

"I'd just play with myself" that's what she said-

KEVIN RULES THE WORLD

Just so you know there is a way to beat this system

Umm. I tell random numbers. Reaaallly??

Hey Vsauce here

You said play with myself

i tried it…It worked 100%

stop using that vocabulary

3:11 the way he says 100 sounds like chris griffin from family guy

Of course, nothing beats the ol’ “heads I win tails you lose” coin flip

With my 7 brain cells I lost you before you even started explaining.

0

Me: Sees this in my recommendations

Also Me: Ah Sh*t, here we go again

What is vsauce and vsauce2?

Just be the First at 89. Thats all haha

This is a 6 grade math problem

incorrect vsauceObviously he will win since he's playing with himself

"Twins i guess"

Freind: go’s and it’s 89

Me: I choose 0

collection of number games and math puzzles:

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.Ganaysa.NumbersPlanet

iPhone + iPad: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1451594331

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M6D2CB7/

Classic nim game. I guess he is running out of subjects.

I can't understand Match sticks…… 😑😑😑 am bad at math 😁😁😁

Maths is great

Wow this is why i dont have a girlfriend

11 is the key.

What if my friend wants to play first and I don’t remember those special numbers ? 😄

0:23

Aw he has no friends, that’s sad

1 Like = 1 Friend

"Play with myself"

How about two of them use the same strategy then what happen?

Both of them win?

Or one of them lose?

If one of them lose then this game doesn't exist

Oh yeah this game I remember finding the trick myself when I was a kid… I won all my next battles and I thought I was smart. Also when I encountered someone who knew the trick the beginning was always awkward like "who starts" you no me

When you play rock paper scissor and win

I'm bad at math..

Fireproof matchesThis looks really cool

This man just beat 3.5 million people in a game

0:21 😂

K

0:23 lol

I play a game at school called

1-2 Nim

I remember when I was like 7, in french class we played a game where we had to add either 1,2 or 3 to a number and if you get to 11 you have to sit down. It was all in french of course but same idea

Him: you need another friend

Me: YES

Him: oh and count how many it is

Me: oh no

I know how to win all the time when they get 100, and they say "I win" use a reverse card

It didn’t work for me why

I’m sure it’s because of my horrible math skills

Does it work if they start?

Feeling a little beside yourself, Vsauce?

Also there’s a game called 21 whoever says 21 first loses (you can only say 1 2 or 3 numbers) so basically what you do is to make sure you can have a higher chance at winning let them start then the numbers you have to say are 4 8 12 16 when you say 16 you automatically win the game

The main number here is 16 if you say 16 you win

Wait what if both players knew about the same strategy whats your chanses at winning now

3:13 11 22 33 44 55 66 77 88 9 100

Now I want to make a program to automate this process with any minimum and maximum take per turn, and with a max goal in mind.

WHAT there's Vsauce2???

Now the question is… will this work with going to 1000?

0:24 A perfect example of STBlackST's voice rigging ^_^

Lol I did this to 2 of my friends, it was 89 and my friend realized he was going to lose, so he said 6 and my other friend thought that the sum was 96 and he said 4 but the total was 99 and my friend won

Failure

Why i cant play this game :

1. i dont have friends

2. i am bad at math

3. i dont remember anything