This is an interesting psychological paper and pencil game for two players.

Begin the game by drawing a line a piece of paper with seven small marks on it, like this:


A coin is placed on the central mark. The first player wins if the coin reaches the leftmost mark, and the second player wins if the coin reaches the rightmost mark.

At the start of the game, each player is given fifty points. They both write down in secret how many points they wish to gamble this turn: this can be any figure between zero and their total number of points. Their scores are revealed, and the player who gambled the higher number of points moves the coin one mark towards their end. In the event of a tie, the coin is left where it is.

Play continues in this way until the coin reaches one of the end marks. If both players run out of points, the game is a draw.

The strategy in footsteps comes from winning the rounds while being economical. It is a lot better to win a round 20-18 than it is 20-1, as only two points has been wasted as opposed to nineteen. You must anticipate what your opponent is going to do; consequently the game works best between people who know each other very well.

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