Tower of Hanoi Card Game

Tower of Hanoi Card Game is a one-player strategy card game based on the puzzle of the same name. It is always possible to solve the game using logic and thinking skills.

Age: Adults and older children

No. of Players: One player

Equipment: One deck of standard cards

Time: 10+ minutes

Aim: To move all the cards into one column in order.

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1. Before you play Tower of Hanoi Card Game, take nine cards (A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) in one suit and shuffle them. The nine cards are placed in three columns with three cards in each column (Fig. 1 below).

2. Move any lower-value card from the bottom of any column to the bottom of another column which has a higher-value card. For example, a '4' can be moved under a '5' but a '7' cannot be moved below a '3'. This will make three columns; one with the original three cards but the other columns will have two cards and four cards. NOTE: Only one card is moved at a time, and cards are not placed on top of each other (Fig. 2 below).

Tower of Hanoi 1Tower of Hanoi 2

Tower of Hanoi finished

3. Continue moving the bottom card from any column to any other column, according to rule 2, with the aim of creating a single column with all nine cards from '9' at the top to 'Ace' at the bottom, as shown to the right of this page. Cards can be moved back and forth between columns as often as needed to achieve this aim.

4. You will need to move the '9' into an empty column if it was not at the top when the the cards were laid out. However, any other card can be moved into (and out of) an empty column during the game.

Tower of Hanoi 3Tower of Hanoi 4

5. It is always possible to fulfil the aim in Tower of Hanoi Card Game of creating one column, in order, using logic and strategic planning.

6. As a hint, consider how you can move other cards to release the higher-value cards first. In the example above (Fig. 4), you would need to move the '3' out of the left hand column so that the '7' could be moved to that column and release the '8' onto the '9' in the middle column. The table below shows the first set of moves needed to clear the left column.
Tower of Hanoi 5

 Card  Move to column... 
6
A
2
A
 
5
A
2
A
 
3
A
2
A
3
3
1
1
 
3
3
2
2
 
3
1
3
3

At this point (Fig 5), column 1 is clear for the '7' and all the lower cards to be moved into it using a similar set of moves to those listed above. After that, the '8' can be moved into the middle column, below the '9', and built up in order, with the '4' added to the column at the appropriate time.

7. As you can see, the Tower of Hanoi card game requires logic and strategic planning to work out the necessary moves to end up with a single column, but it can be done for any initial layout.


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