As some of you know, I’ve been on the lookout for games for contemplation and thinking exercises since I read A Mathematician’s Lament by Paul Lockhart.
Today Trevelyn and I played Sprouts. (See the link for official rules and play.)
Sprouts was first played by mathematicians John Horton Conway and Michael S. Paterson at Cambridge University in 1967.
First you draw two dots on a page.
Whoever goes first connects these two lines, drawing a curved or straight line. The lines drawn may never touch or cross over each other. (Not touching, except to end or begin at a shared dot.)
When the first player has connected the dots, a dot is placed somewhere on that line, making a new dot.
Dots may only have three lines going or coming from them.
The game ends when no new lines can be made, as all the dots are connecting three lines.