The memory game

Uri Zwick*, Michael S. Paterson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The memory game, or concentration, as it is sometimes called, is a popular card game played by children and adults around the world. Good memory is one of the qualities required in order to succeed in it. This, however, is not enough. When it is assumed that the players have perfect memory, the memory game can be seen as a game of strategy. The game is analysed under this assumption and the optimal strategy is found. It is simple and perhaps unexpected. In contrast to the simplicity of the optimal strategy, the analysis leading to its optimality proof is rather involved. It supplies an interesting example of concrete mathematics of the sort used in the analysis of algorithms. It is doubtful whether this analysis could have been carried out without resort to experimentation and a substantial use of automated symbolic computations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-196
Number of pages28
JournalTheoretical Computer Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Mar 1993


FundersFunder number
European Commission3075


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