Sprouts is another simple strategy game that **requires only paper and pencil**, yet has a surprising amount of depth.

Students draw a small set of dots to begin (even two dots is enough). The goal is to continue connecting those dots with lines. The first person who can’t make a connection loses.

- Connect two dots with a line (curvy is fine).
- Put a new dot somewhere on that line.
- Repeat.
- ⚠️ Each dot can only have three lines connected to it.
- ⚠️ Lines may never cross each other.
- You lose when you can’t draw a line (this happens when the remaining dots already have three connections).

In the sample above, there is only one dot remaining in the end with fewer than three connections, so **the blue player cannot make a new line** and, thus, loses.

As always, the goal is to push students thinking. **I want them to unpack the strategy**, not just play the game. It is helpful to have them analyze a complete game to look for mistakes. Have them consider alternative moves that would lead to a victory.

Enjoy and do check out the entire category of paper and pencil strategy games at Byrdseed.TV!

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