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Popcorn Kernels (a.k.a. Odd or Even)

This is a simple, relatively short game that requires only some popcorn kernels. It can work good as an ice-breaker as it requires one-on-one interaction. Everyone starts the game with ten popcorn kernels in their left hand. Each person secretly chooses any number of kernels from this left hand and puts them in his right. He then approaches any other person and challenges them, asking “Odd or even?” The other person must then guess whether the number of kernels in his right hand is an odd number or an even number.

If he guesses correctly, he wins all of the kernels in the challenger’s right hand. However, if he is wrong, he must give the challenger that number of kernels from his own collection. If the challenger was holding more kernels in his right hand than the other person had in total, the other person gives all his kernels to the challenger and is now out of the game. He can no longer challenge or be challenged. This goes on repeatedly until one person has won all the popcorn.


Near the end of the game, the remaining players can have many kernels that take a long time to count out and make the game progress rather slowly. To speed things up a little bit, make a rule that at least half of the players kernels must be offered in a challenge so that it is more likely for people to be eliminated. If it’s still taking too long, make a rule that ALL of the players kernels must be offered in a challenge.

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