## Tuesday, January 22, 2008

### Eleven Plus Aces

I am always amazed by the speed some children are able to grasp a complex system of rules. When we are working through Eleven Plus exercises it is sometimes a great help to all concerned if some basic rules are assimilated and then applied.

We know for example that there are many basic variations on the game of poker. The object of the game is to try to assemble the highest ranking cards into a hand. The winner takes the `pot’.

Before any cards are dealt each player has to put some money into the pot. One person is the banker and takes charge of the chips or the money. The players cut cards for the dealer and the player with the highest card deals the first hand. Cards are dealt clockwise – and the betting is in the same order.

In order the value the winning cards are:

Royal Flush – ace, king, queen, jack and ten of the same suit.

Straight Flush – five consecutive cards of the same suit.

Four of a Kind – any four cards of the same value.

One pair – two cards of the same value.

So it is easy to see how quickly a set of rules can evolve.

The highest cards win.

Players have to put money into a pot.

There is a banker.

Cards are dealt clockwise.

A Royal Flush is the best hand.

Now not all families and Eleven Plus children will want to learn to play poker. For those families who do play the basic rules are reasonably simple and quick to learn.

What takes time and noisy arguments are the extraordinary collection of variations on the basic game. Working through Eleven Plus papers is reasonably simple – but there are a wide variety of questions and types of questions that the children will meet. Just as poker can become addictive we would all like some children to become equally addicted towards Eleven Plus papers.

The poker term `Ace High’ comes from an ace being the highest ranked card. We all want our children to be `Little Aces’, don’t we?