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Latest on the blog

Math Review Game "Bluff"

I recently learned of a new review game that I am excited to play with my students. It's called Bluff. 

A colleague in the history department told a group of us about it during post-planning. I don't know where he got the idea from - but he's a pretty smart dude, perhaps he made it up.

Check out my related post: 5 Engaging Math Review Games that Don't Require the Internet

Materials needed

✔A set of questions in a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation.
✔The printed answers to the questions.
✔Dice. A standard set of 6-sided dice is fine, but it would be useful to also have an 8-sided or even 12-sided die. 

How to Play

●Divide the class into two teams: Team A and Team B.

●A question is displayed. Students cannot confer once the question is shown.  Give the students time to determine the answer.

●The teacher chooses one of the teams to answer the question (let's say it was Team A).

●Any student on Team A that thinks they know the answer (or wants to bluff that they do) must stand up. Everyone else remains seated. If 5 students stand up, that team is eligible for 5 points. If 3 students stand up, they're eligible for 3 points, and so on. (At this point, the teacher numbers the players - the player number will change every round).

●The teacher rolls a die. If 5 people standing and the die shows a 4, then player number 4 must answer the question. (If you have more than 6 people standing, this is when an 8-sided or 12-sided die is useful.)

●If that player (player 4 in this scenario) gets the question right, that team earns the points (5 points in this scenario). 

●If player 4 gets the question wrong, the question is thrown to the other team and they are eligible for that many points (5 points in this scenario). Any single person on Team B can answer the question, but the first person to answer from Team B must be correct. If Team B gets the question wrong, then neither team earns any points.

●Repeat the process with a new question and offering the question to Team B first.  

●Play continues until you run out of time, you run out of questions, or the students run out of steam.


⚄ If 3 people are standing, rather than having Player 1, Player 2, and Player 3, assign each player two numbers if you're using a 6-sided die. In other words, to the first player say, “you’re one, two." To the second player say, "you’re three, four." And to the third player say, "you’re five, six.” This way you won't waste time by having to re-roll the die as every number on the die is assigned to one of the players.

⚄ The teacher keeps track of points on the board.


👍 If one team says "this question is easy," take points away from that team!

👍A random number generator on your calculator could work if the teams are large and you don't have a 12-sided die.

👍You could use the die to randomly choose which group gets priority for answering the question each time. Odd numbers go to Team A, even numbers to Team B.

Have you ever played anything like this with your students?

Join my Facebook group for upper high school math teachers and let me know!