Horce race

Through the Zara game (the three dice game), and the problems it inflicted upon the most hardened players since Galileo Galilei’s time, the visitor is brought into the probability section. The importance of counting comes to light in this game. The numbers of the horsies correspond to the result of the sum of the roll of two dice (each with 6 faces and numbers 1 to 6). The horsies advance one step each time their number comes out as the sum of the two dice rolled, and the dice rolls are repeated until one of the horses reaches the finish line. Which horse is best to bet on? Which horse is most likely to win?

Quando si parte il giuoco della zara,
Colui che perde si riman dolente,
Repetendo le volte, e tristo impara;
Con l’altro se ne va tutta la gente;
Qual va dinnanzi, e qual di dietro il prende,
E qual da lato li si reca a mente.
Ei non s’arresta, e questo e quello intende;
A cui porge la man, più non fa pressa;
E così dalla calca si difende.
Tal era io in quella turba spessa,
Volgendo a loro, e qua e là, la faccia,
E promettendo mi sciogliea da essa.

La teoria della probabilità non è in fondo che buon senso ridotto a calcolo; essa permette di valutare con esattezza ciò che le menti illuminate sentono per una specie di istinto senza rendersene conto... E' notevole come tale scienza, che è cominciata con gli studi dei giochi d'azzardo, si sia elevata ai più importanti oggetti delle conoscenze umane.

(The theory of probability is at bottom nothing but common sense reduced to calculation; it makes it possible to evaluate exactly what enlightened minds feel by a kind of instinct without realizing it... It is remarkable how such science, which began with studies of games of chance, has risen to the most important objects of human knowledge).

How to play

In the game Horse race there are eleven little horses numbered from 2 to 12. The numbers of the little horses correspond to the resul  t of the sum of the roll of two dice (each with 6 sides and numbers 1 to 6). The horsies advance one step each time their number comes out as the sum of the two dice rolled, and the dice rolls are repeate d until one of the horses reaches the finish line. Which horse is best to bet on? Which horse is most likely to win?

How to build

EXHIBIT MATERIAL:
  • Gameboard 120×80 cm
  • At least no. 2 regular dice
  • no. 11 little horses of the same color
  • no. 3 little horses, one white, one black and one gray
  • no. 2 pallet 120x120x15 cm
  • no. 4 honeycomb cardboard 160x80x5cm (to make 4 table legs, square base 40 cm by 40 cm high).

CLICK AND DOWNLOAD PRINT-READY .PDF FILES:

“NUMBED BY NUMBERS” HORSE RACE Version 

The game base is a table built with no. 2 pallets stacked on top of each other and no. 4 honeycomb cardboard legs of 40×40 cm base, 40 cm high. The measurements of the pallet and honeycomb cardboard are shown on the side. The game board is movable, so that it can be moved, even on the floor, to allow even a group of children to play together. The leapfrogs (little horses) can be made of plexiglass with special backing and numbered (file for lasercut of the leapfrog, to be scaled) or of wood on the side. Horseshoes should be numbered from 2 to 12.

“REDUCED” HORSE RACE VERSION

To make the game in a scaled-down version, simply print out the board and use small horses cut out of cardboard or plywood.

Download: ALL HORSE RACE PANEL TEXTS (.pdf) (Italian, German, French, English) 

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