Twelve Twelves is a simple card game of prediction and bluff
for two players. It is also a game that will fairly quickly and painlessly
teach people their times-tables. The game consists of four hands and takes
about 5 or 10 minutes.
Each hand works as follows:
1. deal six cards to each player
2. the dealer then chooses a card from her
hand and plays it face up on the table
3. the other player (the scorer)
then plays a card on top of this
4. the scorer gains points equal to the value
of the two cards multiplied together
5. repeat steps 2 to 4
for the other five cards
Now play the next three hands, alternating who is the dealer and who is
the scorer. There will be 4 cards left over: these are simply discarded.
The value of each card is as follows:
- Aces are worth 1
- Number cards are worth their face value
- Jacks are worth 11
- Queens are worth 12
- Kings are worth zero
So a Seven played on an Ace is worth 7 points, a Queen played on a Three
is worth 36 points, a King played on anything is worth zero points etc.
Note that each person records their own score.
The way to get the highest score is therefore for the scorer to play his
or her highest card on top of the dealer's highest, the second highest
on the dealer's second highest etc. The scorer thus wants to predict how
high each of the dealer's played cards is compared to the cards the dealer
has left in hand. The dealer wants to prevent this prediction.
You may want to continue the scoring across a few games in order to have
a longer game or to balance out unfairness of when the big cards came
The game was designed to teach my cousin his times tables, as every play
consists of multiplying a pair of numbers from 0 to 12. It is also somewhat
interesting in its own right. I'm not sure it is good enough to play for
people who already know their tables, but it is certainly more interesting
than learning one's tables by wrote and also quite fun for an adult. Perhaps
it is best not to volunteer to a child that the game was designed to help
people remember their tables as this may turn them off and defeat the
idea of learning through playing.
Optional Rule: the scorer gets a bonus ten points if he or she
correctly announces what the score of a play will be before checking.
This might accelerate the learning process. Perhaps it could be introduced
when the player is ready for it as playing by the 'advanced rules'. In
any event, you will probably want a multiplication table available for
reference if playing with a child.