Eleven Makes Nine

by Sheridan Cole 740 views0

Quick and easy bar bets are a great way to make some pocket money or to win some drinks. They are incredibly simple to do, but because solving them necessarily employs some pretty lateral thinking, it unlikely that your ‘victim’ is actually going to be able to work it out.


Having a few of these bar bets in your mind – along with some props – can definitely make for an interesting night out.


The eleven makes nine trick is a fantastic one and the props needed are minimal. All you need is 11 matches (toothpicks work just as well. In fact, anything that is straight and fairly small). It’s the number that important because you’re going to ask for what seems like the impossible – you’re going to ask to make something out of nothing.


To get started, lay six of the toothpicks (or whatever you’re using) out on a flat surface so that they are parallel to one another, working from left to right.


Give the remaining five toothpicks (or whatever) to your victim and challenge them to make nine out of what they’ve got. The rules are that they need to use all of the toothpicks, so all 11 of them need to make nine.


Since you’re victim can’t make two toothpicks invisible (we assume, unless they’re Harry Potter or something), it’s likely that they are going to give up after a while, at which point you can show them exactly what has gone wrong.


It’s quite simple really.


Place one toothpick between the first two that are lying on the flat surface so that it slants downward from left to right. The next toothpick should do exactly the same between the fourth and fifth toothpicks. The final three toothpicks should be placed so that they are sticking out from the final lying down toothpick – to make the letter ‘E’.


And what does it spell? Nine!