Sprouts is a pencil-and-paper game of logic and strategy. Great fun for long car/bus/plane rides, and is easy once you get the hang of it (I, personally, have had a ton of practice playing this, and currently hold the prestigious "Beat Dad at a non-video game" award, a honor of the highest covet in my household)
To play you will need:
@ Pencil, pen, marker, urine (kidding)
@ Something to write on
@ Someone to play with
(This is a picture of a completed game. There is a play-by-play on step 3.
Step 1: Getting Started
Alright, grab your paper, and draw three small circles (you can draw more, but you should save that for when you get more experience and time)
A warning, though: This game is not for the faint of heart. It can be utterly baffling at times, and again and again I have been beat when victory appeared to be in my grasp. It is, however, extremely addicting. You have been warned :).
Step 2: Playing
Rock-paper-scissors to see who goes first. That person then draws a line between two of the circles, in any direction or orientation, as long as it doesn't go through a circle (this is called sprouting). The player then draws another circle on that line (see picture 1). Player's take turns drawing lines.
@ A circle cannot have more than three lines attached to it (if the circle in question is on a line, it is considered to have two lines).
@ lines cannot cross (fun optional rule: if either player accidentally crosses a line, they automatically lose).
@ A circle can also be connected to itself.
This continues until one player is unable to make a move (this is easier explained in the play by play on the next step), and the last move-maker is the winner.
Step 3: A Sample Game
A short, three circle game showing how things might play out.
1: Player one draws a line between 1 and 2, making 4.
2: Player two connects 1 to itself, making 5, and oversprouting it (as you can see, this game can get messy fast).
3: Player one draws a line between 4 and 5, and oversprouting it (seeing the strategy here?) and making 6.
4: Player two connects 2 to itself, oversprouting it and making 7.
5: Player one draws a line between 7 and 3, oversprouting it and making 8.
6: Player two draws a line between 8 and 3, making 9.
7: Player one draws a line between 9 and 3, oversprouting both of them and making 10. Now no more lines can be drawn, so player one is the winner!
Step 4: End
That's it! The rules may seem a bit complicated now, but after a few games, they start to come to you naturally. This is an amazing time killer (I was once on a three hour flight with my father. Two-thirds of this time was spent him creaming me at sprouts).
Thank you to Kiteman for giving me the idea for me first instructable. Rate and comment, but please don't splatter my little noobie hopes and dreams, m'kay?