Toma Todo

This game is from Mexico, and is played by children and grown-ups. The six-sided top (topa or pirinola) provides an opportunity to learn about probability. You can purchase a wooden topa or make one out of paper (see links below). The game can be played in pairs or with a small or large group. Sometimes adults play with coins. Other versions of this game are played in other countries and other cultures.

MATERIALS:
Topa (six-sided top)
Beans or chips (enough for ten per person)
Pot (anything that can hold chips)

TO PLAY:
Each person is given ten beans or chips
. Each person puts two beans in the "pot". Take turns spinning the topa, following the instructions on the top section when it comes to rest. When the pot is empty, the winner is the person with the most beans.

Pon uno Put 1 bean in the pot
Pon dos Put 2 bean in the pot
Toma todo Take all beans from the pot
Toma uno Take 1 bean from the pot
Toma dos Take 2 beans from the pot
Todos ponen Everyone puts 1 bean in the pot

ACTIVITY:
Play the game for a while until familiar with the rules and outcomes. Now have each group spin the topa 30 times and record the outcomes on a table. Total all the group counts and record on a class table. Calculate the experimental probability of each outcome.

DISCUSSION:
1. What is the sample space for the pirinola (what outcomes are possible)?
2. Is the pirinola fair (are all outcomes equally likely)?
3. What is the theoretical probability that a spin results in Toma Todo?
4. Compare the theoretical probability with the experimental probability from the previous activity.

Pirinola pattern
Another style of top