- Cards and deal
- Shuffle the cards and divide them equally among the players. If any are left over just leave them out of play. You each hold your quota of cards face down in a pile.
- Setting the target.
- Cards will be played face up in a row, overlapping to save space, called the equator. Dealer starts it by playing their top card face up. If it's a face card (K, Q, J), replace it with the next, and so on till the start card is a numeral. Next in turn does likewise until a numeral appears. These two cards set the two-figure target to be reached. For example, if they are and Eight and a Three, the target is 83.
- You each in turn take the top card of your pile and place it to the right of the target number
to continue the equator. If it's a face card, count it as the same as the nearest numeral to its left. Everybody
then has the chance to make an equation that equals the target. The equation must include -
- The two cards forming the target, and
- The last card played to the equator,
- And any, all or none of the intervening cards.
- Ending and winning.
- Play continues until not enough cards are available to create a two-figure target number and add at least one card to continue the equator. Everybody then scores the number of cards they have won. Or, if preferred and agreed, their total face value.
- Instead of finishing at that point, you can turn the cards of the discard pile face down, deal them out, and continue the game until not enough remain for even this.
- On average it will take four or five cards, occasionally six, to complete an equation. But it can be done in as few as two - for if the first two cards are 25 you can immediately equate to 5^2=25.
- Related games or puzzles
- I can't imagine anyone wanting to play the following variant as a competitive game,
but it makes an interesting puzzle or solitaire.
And so on, until you really would prefer to sit and watch paint dry.