The Unbeatable Game from the 60s: Dr NIM

  • Published on:  1/26/2016
  • Buy a modern version of Dr NIM!

    The game of (single pile) Nim can be won by anyone who understands a simple trick. A trick so easy, a 1960s mechanical plastic computer can play with perfect strategy, defeating all humans.

    Learn the method and proceed to beat your friends, family and colleagues.

    Read more about single-pile Nim on the Maths Busking site:

    My Domino Computer. The Domputer.

    Dr NIM at the Computer History Museum:

    And someone has put the whole instruction booklet online:

    MATT PARKER: Stand-up Mathematician

    Music by Howard Carter
    Design by Simon Wright


  • Finn Underwood (Jun 27, 2016)

    So... to win when you go first, you discretely add a coin?Correct me if I'm wrong, but that sounds an awful lot like cheating...

  • Miguel The kewl kid (2 days ago)

    Finn Underwood yall calm down, just take away 1

  • Steel- XL (6 days ago)

    Its not cheating, your just playing a different game without notifying the other player.

  • okrajoe (Jan 31, 2018)

    Story of my life - getting beat by a 1950s plastic computer.

  • Guyspy21 l (Feb 2, 2019)


  • Jeff McKenzie (Jan 1, 2019)

    +cloudynas yes it's a computer. A simple one. But a computer none the less.

  • Sean Hub (Dec 11, 2017)

    Thank you for this explanation. I have a new proffession as a NIM gambler and have won alot of money using this strategy to outwit people on the playground, those year 7s will never see whats coming.

  • Evan Gluck (Mar 13, 2019)

    British folks+Sqeechy Squuchy

  • voltare2amstereo (Mar 5, 2019)

    That's what Rolf Harris thought

  • TABBY (Aug 1, 2018)

    “Casually racist instruction manual”

  • kartoffelmozart (Feb 14, 2019)

    +Katie R and here you are, pointing out that Matt pointed out that the manual was casual racist :p instead of not saying it, since it was bloody obvious. this was not redundant though?

  • Matt Mcghee (Jan 25, 2019)

    What racist about the manual?

  • Reny Putman (May 23, 2018)

    It's 3AM, not sleeping and what am I doing? I'm watching a video about a guy explaining the strategy of a game from the 60s and I'm enjoying it.

  • Alvian Ekka (4 hours ago)

    Also me now, at 01.30 am

  • Bradley McP (Mar 7, 2019)

    3:40 am here watching this video.... Close.

  • Haxor inator (Jan 14, 2017)

    PSA: It was patched last update :/

  • • Karma • (Jan 23, 2019)

    Nah dude, they tried to patch it, but some dude on the programming team fucked it up again. Good for us!

  • Mister Apple (Nov 21, 2017)

    Why is everyone insulting his hair? It might be less good than other people's hair, but it is Parker Hair, after all.

  • Joshmamama (6 days ago)

    Im lookin thru the first 20 comments and this is the only one about hair..

  • Ben Swiger (Mar 14, 2019)

    +jesus bastidas I think he got it... He capitalized Hair...

  • TryMe (Feb 22, 2018)

    The knight who say NIM

  • Witthawin Waemama (21 hours ago)

    +Mr. Spock (Reverse Card aka no u)

  • Wizz15 (Mar 10, 2019)

    +Francis X. Saburov I don't know, but I'm Brian and so is my wife.

  • AlterEgo (Sep 21, 2018)

    NIM upside down is WIN hmmmm...

  • Tombro (Mar 10, 2019)

    dusty Actually NIM upside down is WIN, but NIM reversed is MIN but with a backwards N...

  • Minceraft I. Minecraft (Feb 10, 2019)

    Ohhhhhh! that's why

  • Asa Mckaig (Dec 9, 2017)

    2+2 is 4 minus 1 is 3 quick maf... Oh Dr.Nim won again

  • HazMat Kid (Dec 10, 2018)

    Nim needs to go first

  • Sya (Dec 2, 2018)