Klein, Bob. Phelps, Steve. (2020). Liar’s Bingo. In S. Bowen (Ed.), Math Circle Activity Database. American Institute of Mathematics.

Liar’s Bingo

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Math Circles:
From recognizing a pattern to generating terms, to abstracting and making inferences, tasks based on patterns embody the “low-threshold, high-ceiling” trait of good problems. Liar’s Bingo is all about patterns. This session involves recognizing patterns and searching for underlying structure, number theory, numeration, and potentially binary arithmetic. Sometimes, as in the game of Liar’s Bingo, order seems to arise magically from something we first assume to be random or chaotic. In this case, we use the game of Liar’s Bingo to engage participants’ desire to find patterns, and supercharge that desire by demonstrating a magic trick that captivates attention by disrupting participants’ expectations that the Liar’s Bingo cards are without pattern.

Activity Guide

This guide looks at the activity in detail and goes into the underlying math.