Counting-out game

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A counting-out game is a simple game intended to select a person to be "it", often for the purpose of playing another game. Some counting-out games are

Many such games involve one person pointing at each participant in a circle of players while reciting a rhyme. A new person is pointed at as each word is said. The player who is selected at the conclusion of the rhyme is "it" or "out". In an alternate version, the circle of players may each put two feet in and at the conclusion of the rhyme, that player removes one foot and the rhyme starts over with the next person. In this case, the first player that has both feet removed is "it" or "out". These are often accepted as random selections because the number of words has not been calculated beforehand, so the result is unknown right up until someone is selected.

A variant of counting-out game, known as Josephus problem, represents a famous theoretical problem in mathematics and computer science.

Some common rhymes

  • Tarzan, Tarzan
  • Whose shoe is the dirty shoe - everyone stands in a closed circle and stick one foot out in front of them, the shoes are pointed out in turns as the rhyme is sung:
  • One potato, two potato - players may start with both fists (to resemble potatoes) in, so they have to be picked twice to be out.
  • Ink-a-Dinkado (Last two lines added if the chooser happens to like the person singled out by the "stink")
  • Bubblegum, Bubblegum
  • Harum, scare'em
  • Superman
  • Inky Pinky Ponky/Inky Dinky Donky
  • Skunk in the barnyard
  • Horses in a Stable
  • My Mother and Your Mother
  • Cindereller
  • Scout, Scout
  • Pizza Pie—Players hold their hands out like two slices of pizza, similar to "One Potato, Two Potato":
  • Engine, engine #9
  • Ink In the bottle
  • Tea Cup Saucer Out

See also

External links

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