ALMOST ALWAYS EIGHT

ALMOST ALWAYS EIGHT

I made up a new game.

First, you should probably know about my old game, 6/Not 6. It’s played with two people, one of whom, the PICKER, thinks up a number, and the other of whom, the GUESSER, tries to guess one thing about that number: is the number 6, or is it not 6?

Here’s how a typical game might go.

GUESSER: Is your number not 6?

PICKER: Nope. It’s 6.

Voila. The world’s greatest game.

… until now!

I thought up 6/Not 6 during a previous trip to Vegas with my friend Greg, so it’s fitting that another, even cooler game came to me in a dream during my Vegas trip this past weekend. In the dream, Greg and I were playing the game, and when I woke up, I remembered the title and fleshed out all the rules.

My new game is called Almost Always 8. It’s slightly more complicated than 6/Not 6, so pay close attention. In this game, the picker picks a number between 1 and 20. But the number is… you guessed it… almost always 8! The game continues until the GUESSER either gets 10 in a row right, or guesses a non-8 number correctly. His or her “score” is the number of guesses it took to complete the round.

Here’s a sample round:

GUESSER: 8?

PICKER: Yes.

GUESSER: 8?

PICKER: Yes.

GUESSER: 8?

PICKER: Yes.

GUESSER: 8?

PICKER: Yes.

GUESSER: 14?

PICKER: No, 8 again.

GUESSER: Shit! Uh… 8?

PICKER: Yes.

GUESSER: 11?

PICKER: No, 8.

GUESSER: 8?

PICKER: Yes.

GUESSER: 12?

PICKER: No, 14.

GUESSER: Dammit! … 8?

PICKER: Yes.

GUESSER: 8?

PICKER: Yes.

GUESSER: 7?

PICKER: YOU GOT IT!!!

There are endless variations on these games. You can play with imaginary numbers, like Square Root of Negative 12/Not Square Root of Negative 12, or with state capitals, like Almost Always Montpelier… have fun!

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