XACTIKA Skill Connections
XACTIKA is an original card game, with three ways to play. Students can PLAY TO WIN: take the most tricks, high score wins. Or they can PLAY TO LOSE: take the fewest tricks, low score wins. Or PLAY TO BID, where the student must win exactly the number of tricks he/she bid (hence the name XACTIKA).
The three ways to play all teach critical thinking, math skills, and social and personal skills; however each way to play emphasizes different skills:
- When students PLAY TO WIN, they must understand how to play each card so it has the highest probability of winning.
- When they PLAY TO LOSE, students must understand the inverse of the rule and play each card so it has the highest probability of losing.
- When students PLAY TO BID, XACTIKA challenges and builds their ability to estimate the outcome of a series of processes. Each student must evaluate the probability of being in a position to take other players’ cards that are laid down each round, based on the cards in his or her hand. The game is designed such that cards that appear to be likely to take a trick initially may become less likely to take a trick as cards are played and those cards that do not initially appear likely to take a trick, may now be viable to do so. Developing the ability to correctly bid their hands involves analytical reasoning and following the evolution of the play develops patterning skills. Students must recognize the value of their hand, not just from having the highest point cards in one of the four suits on each card, but also from an understanding of the chances that opponents may or may not have cards of similar value.