PLYT Options

PLYT Game Options

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By the end of these options players should be able to recognise numbers, know their number bonds and do basic addition of 2 numbers. A fantastic start to maths!

Number Recognition

You may have a young member of the family who also wants to play PLYT but is not yet up to adding or multiplication – they can still join in and have the same chance of winning!

They would simply throw the master dice only. If they can recognise the number on the dice they can count that many spaces forward – in the same way as all other players. You will have to help them with the chance cards and you can also encourage them to recognise the larger numbers on the board where they land – up to 113.

This teaches number recognition and basic counting.

Simple Addition

Once a child has mastered number recognition they could move on to a fixed dice addition. Simply fix a red dice on say a 2 and they throw the master dice. If they can add 2 to the master score they can move forward by the master score in the same way as the other players. The fixed number can be changed as their confidence with addition grows.
This teaches basic addition.

Number Bonds

To practise number bonds a child could just throw the master dice. If they can correctly shout out the number bond up to 10 (or 20, for 10, 11 & 12) they can move forward by the master score. For example if they throw a 6 and can correctly say that the number bond that goes with 6 is 4 to make 10, they would move forward by the 6 on the master dice.
This teaches addition and number bonds (which all children have to know in the infants)

Addition

If a child is happy with basic addition, they can freely throw and add any number of the dice, making sure one is the master dice. If they can correctly answer within the time they can move forward by the master score
Check out our tips for helping your child to add the dice together.
This teaches addition

 

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By the end of these options players should be able to add & subtract up to 6 dice and know their times tables up to 12. Well done – that’s great progress and the basics are now in place!

Addition

If a child is happy with basic addition, they can freely throw and add any number of the dice, making sure one is the master dice. If they can correctly answer within the time they can move forward by the master score.
Don’t forget to check out our tips for adding dice together
This teaches addition

Addition and Subtraction

A slight variation on the above option but this time instead of just adding, you can also include subtraction. As an example a player might throw 4 dice, add the 3 red dice (5,11,4) and subtract the black master dice (8) – if they call out 12 within the time then they would move forward as normal by the master score. Again the number of dice thrown is up to you.
This teaches addition and subtraction

Negative Numbers

Another variation on the straight addition/subtraction, but this time the subtraction can take you into negative numbers. As an example you might throw 4 dice, and the idea is to subtract the 3 red dice (6,9,4) from the black master dice (12) – if you call out -7 within the time then move forward as normal by the master score. Again the number of dice you throw is up to you.
This teaches addition, subtraction and negative numbers

Fixed Dice Multiplication

If your child is just learning to multiply, they may want to practise a specific times table. You can fix a red dice on that number and they just throw the master dice. If they correctly provide the answer they move forward by the master dice.
Don’t forget to use the tips “fixed dice multiplication” helping your child to eventually learn all of their times tables by playing PLYT.
This teaches Times Tables

 

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By regularly playing PLYT and using these options players will be more confident with mental maths and have lots of strategies for multiplying more than 2 numbers. National Numeracy states that there is a high correlation between good maths skills and being employed, higher wages and good to excellent health – happy days!

Basic PLYT game

As per the instructions in the box – throw and multiply any number of dice, including the master dice, and move forward by the master dice plus any bonus for a correct answer within the 30 seconds.
Don’t forget to challenge yourself and others once you’re confident, by attempting more than your standard number of dice – as this is where the most improvements occur! The game is best when it’s competitive and challenging – but remember to it’s also about helping people build confidence so a little encouragement is always welcome.
Why not try and use the top tips to help you find the easiest way multiply the dice?
This teaches all aspects of mental maths

Bridging the gap

It can be a big step to move from one standard to the next level up. So to make the move easier, why not alternate standards?
e.g. if you’re on a standard of 3 and want to move up to 4, play to a standard of 4 on your first go, 3 on your second, 4 on the third and so on to build up your confidence.

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If you want a bit of variety in the PLYT game then why not try out some of these options – remember there is no right or wrong way to play – whatever works for you (but we’d love to hear any new ideas!)

Shorter Games

There are many different ways to reduce (or increase) the length of a game by combinations of standards, bonus and penalties. For example reducing the player’s standard and/or increasing the bonus for additional dice normally speeds the game up considerably.
However, if you want to have a shorter game you can always choose to start from a different square (e.g. why not start from square 40?).

First answer only

When a player provides their answer you can choose whether to accept their first answer only or give them the opportunity to try again – provided it is within the time limit.

This could be applied to all players, or just specific players that you choose.

Anyone answers

If you are playing a game with a reasonably level playing field, ie. players are using the same standard, if one player answers incorrectly on their turn, you can throw open the answer to the other players.
You can choose an order in which the other players are allowed to provide the answer (e.g. clockwise) and if they give the correct answer they will move forward by the master score (and any applicable bonus). Play then resumes as it would have done originally.

Penalties for throwing less than the standard

In the original game you don’t normally throw below your standard number of dice, but you may choose to play a version allowing this. In this case you may have a penalty for throwing less than the standard.
For example, if you are playing with a bonus of 5 and a player has a standard of 4 dice they may choose to throw 3 dice, on one of their turns, to make it easier for themselves. They will then incur a penalty of 5 for throwing 1 dice below their standard. This would then be subtracted from the Master score, which could result in the player moving backwards if the Master score was below 5.

No cards - the best performer wins

The chance cards are used to bring a bit more of the unknown into the game and keep the result in doubt right until the end. However you can always play without the cards, to give a slightly more real test of which players are performing better than others.
Please note the chance cards can help keep children engaged in the game right until the end – it can be disheartening if you find yourself at the back and unable to get back into the game, especially if one player is a long way ahead

 

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Elimination PLYT

Elimination PLYT is a game where each round sees the player in last place on the board eliminated. You decide how many rounds you want based on the number of players involved and how many turns in each round. At the end of the final round, it’s the player furthest ahead who wins the game. Elimination is a game that allows you to set a time limit on how long you’ll play for by having a fixed number of turns. The basics are the same as a normal PLYT game, but this is a more strategic game that offers greater risk and reward and where every single turn you take requires a decision! How many dice will you need to throw to stay in the game? How to use the cards to get you through the rounds and in with a chance of winning?

e.g. 5 players start in the game. We decide to have 3 rounds of 2 throws each. So after 2 throws each and the end of Round 1, the player in last place is eliminated. After a further 2 throws each and the end of Round 2, the player in last place is eliminated. The remaining 3 players have another 2 throws each and the player furthest ahead at the end of the round wins the game.

Mini Knockout PLYT

A short game that just requires the dice, tray and sand timer – a good quick game when you’re out and about.

Knockout PLYT is a game where each round sees the lowest scorer leaving the game until there is a winner. Each player throws the master dice only (starting with the youngest first). Then in the same order, the players throw as many dice as they think will get them through to the next round. Players play to their Standard with a bonus for throwing more. If you get it right, you score the original master dice plus any bonus. If you get it wrong, you score zero points.

e.g. Players A, B and C with Standards of 3, 4 and 4, playing with a bonus of 4.

Each player rolls the Master Dice and this reveals 5, 7 and 2.

Player A decides to throw 4 dice to try to earn a bonus score to try to put pressure on player C. Getting their answer correct gives them a score of 5+4 = 9. Player B follows but sticks with 4 dice and ends up with a score of 7. Player C now knows they must throw at least 2 dice above Standard to get through to the next round. Player C attempts 6 dice, but unfortunately runs out of time.

Player C leaves the game and A & B continue.

The game continues with the next youngest player being the first to throw the master dice and take their throw. This continues until there is a winner. In the event of a tied score, those players only take another turn throwing a new master dice and their chosen number of dice.

We usually play with 4 players and it takes about 5-10 minutes to determine the winner. So it’s very quick, but obviously once you’re out, you’re out.

Fractions Plus

Instead of multiplying the dice why not try to add them as fractions within the time.

Assume each dice is the denominator of a simple fraction. The task is to add them within the time.  Again you can choose how many dice “fractions” you add – making sure one is the master dice – and if you get it right within the time you move forward as normal. You can play to standards and have a bonus exactly like the normal game

e.g. if you throw 3 dice – a 6 (the master dice), an 8 and a 2 the task is to add up 1/6 + 1/8 + 1/2 withing the time. If you call out 19/24 you can then move forward by the master dice of 6.

Fractions and whole numbers

This is where you practise multiplying a fraction by a whole number and then reducing it to its lowest common denominator within the time.

Firstly you need to set your fraction so start by throwing the master dice plus one red dice. The master dice is the denominator and the red dice is the nominator creating your basic fraction, then throw any number of other dice and multiply those dice by this fraction.

If you get it right within the time you move forward as normal. You can play to standards and have a bonus exactly like the normal game

e.g. if you throw a master of 7, and a red dice 5 you start with the fraction 5/7. If you then throw another red dice of 8 you need to multiply 5/7 x 8. If you calculate that is 40/7 and then reduced that to its lowest level of 5 5/7 you can then move forward by the master dice of 7.

Team PLYT

This is a more strategic game than conventional PLYT and is ideal for 3 teams (each of 2 players), but can easily be played with 2 teams.

The principles are exactly the same as conventional PLYT but each team has two playing pieces. Turns are taken as normal in a clockwise manner – Team A player 1, then Team B player 1, Team C player 1 and then back to Team A player 2 etc – and each player must answer their throw as an individual, playing to their own Standard, without any help from their team mate.

If a player on their turn gets the question right they can move either of their playing pieces as they wish and the game is won when both pieces have made it to the Winner square at the top of PLYT mountain.

The key to the game is working out which piece is better to move strategically. Do you make a dash to try to get one piece in first or do you move both so they work their way up the PLYT mountain together?

To add a little more spice you can also include the option where one member of a team chooses the number of dice their partner will throw. Do they trust you to go for the bonus ? Will they push you too hard ?

Head to Head challenge - Quick game

A highly competitive fun game, loved by older kids and adults that only takes about 5 minutes to play – and can get a bit loud.

It is best played if you have more than one tray and set of dice – in other words if you and your friends have more than one copy of the game.

Two or more players will start from square 90 (it can really be any square depending how long you want the game to last). Each player has an agreed standard. One player gives the signal to throw “3-2-1 go” and the players throw their dice into their tray simultaneously. The first player to shout out their answer stops the game. If the answer is correct they move forward by the master score, but if they get it wrong they move back by the master score.

The first player to make it to Winner square at the top of PLYT mountain wins the game.

 

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Beat the Year 6/6th Former - Quick game

A highly competitive fun game that pits players against each other in a head to head challenge (as described above).

The game really needs 2 sets of trays and dice and is best if you have a team of 2 or 3 Year 6 players ready to be challenged.

A challenger pays a small fee and decides which Year 6 player to take on.

The players start from square 90 (it can really be any square depending how long you want the game to last – you can even dispense with the board altogether and simply have a one question shoot out) and it’s a race to the Winner square at the top of PLYT mountain.

Each player has an agreed Standard that they play to (e.g. for primary school it could be yr 6 on 4 dice, yr4 & 5 on 3 dice, yr2 & 3 on 2 dice, younger players can add 3 dice and anyone older than yr 6 has to throw 5 dice – this is just an example and you can make it whatever works best for you).

A player can choose to throw at Standard or try to earn a bonus (we’d suggest a bonus of 4) per dice thrown over Standard. One player gives the signal to throw “3-2-1 go” and the players throw their dice into their tray simultaneously.

The first player to shout out their answer stops the game. If the answer is correct they move forward by the master score plus bonus, but if they get it wrong they move back by the master score plus bonus – so not only do they need to be quick, but they can’t afford to risk too much.

The players keep going until the first player makes it into the winner square and wins the game – and if the challenger wins, they usually get a small prize.

Family PLYT Tournament

This is a great way to encourage parents and children to play against each other and can make for a great evening’s entertainment.

The basic idea is a tournament where the winners of each game move forward to a final. For example you have 6 games of 6 players competing in Round 1, with the 6 winners moving onto a Final (and usually the others are mixed up to play 5 other games just for fun).

Depending on time available you might want to start the games off at square 0 or alternatively move up a level to start at square 40 to shorten each game. As with all games of PLYT, players have agreed Standards that they play to and we recommend a sticker for each player so everyone knows what their Standard is (e.g. for primary school it could be yr 6 on 4 dice, yr4 & 5 on 3 dice, yr2 & 3 on 2 dice, younger players can add 3 dice and anyone older than yr 6 has to throw 5 dice – this is just an example and you can make it whatever works best for you).

A player can choose to throw at Standard or try to earn a bonus (we’d suggest a bonus of 4) per dice thrown over Standard. There are 2 basic options that we’ve seen before, but in reality you can modify as you wish

Option A) Individual competition: This is a game that has adults competing against children. Generally speaking children love playing against parents and really push themselves to win and we’d normally expect some of the children to make it through to the Final.

Put the names of all the adults and all the children into 2 separate hats and pick them out at random so that each game includes a mix of both adults and children (e.g. if you have an even number of adults and children then a game of 6 players should have 3 adults and 3 children). The players play a conventional game of PLYT with the winner being the first player to reach the Winner square at the top of PLYT Mountain.

Option B) Team competition: This is a game where teams of adults and children compete against each other. It’s a conventional game of PLYT but each “player” is really a parent and child team.

So as an example, if you have 4 teams making up a game, you effectively have 8 active players and 4 playing pieces on the board.

The first turn for a team is taken by the child, but the parent chooses how many dice they will throw – and it’s a question of how much the parent trusts their child ? Turns pass as normal through each team, so in the example, the 4 children would take turns first. Then it’s down to the parents and the child has to choose how many dice the parent will throw – and it’s a question of how much the child trusts the parent, and that can be very interesting. The first team to move their playing piece to the Winner square at the top of PLYT Mountain is declared the winner and moves on to the Final.