Playing Cards With Ray

The Puzzler

RAY: We're going to play a little card game. I'm going to deal out 21 cards from an ordinary deck of cards to a pile in front of us. We're going to alternate taking cards from the pile.

Here are the rules:

When it's your turn, you can take as many as three cards, but you must take at least one. So, you can take one , two, or three cards from the pile. The winner of the game is whoever picks up the last card, or cards, from the table.

For example, if there are six cards left and I pick up three, you will pick up the last three, because we're alternating turns, and you would win. So, clearly if there were six cards left, I wouldn't take three.

The question is, is there a strategy you could use that would guarantee you would win?

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic

Promo tile

Rocket Fuel