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How to Win the "Jump All But One Game"

You've seen this game on every table at every one of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. (Yes, it's a fact, and while you can ask for "smoking" or "non-smoking" you can't ask for "game" or "no-game" sections; it just isn't fair.) Called the "Jump All But One Game," it's a triangular piece of wood with 15 holes and 14 golf tees that is designed to frustrate and humiliate parents in the eyes of their children. 

The game seems simple enough: you start by leaving any one hole empty and then proceed to jump over a tee (which you then remove from the board) until there is only one tee left (in which case you are a "genius" according to the score results branded into the game). 

The problem is that most of us aren't inherently geniuses. Since this is a family restaurant, leaving three or four tees and repeatedly proving to your children that you are an ignoramus is something that you probably try to avoid (and if this has never occurred to you, and it might not have if you truly are an ignoramus, then I'd strongly recommend that you consider this piece of wisdom). And this is also the reason why many games only have 13 of the 14 tees (I've heard confessions made by humiliated parents who stole a tee just to give the parents in the next family to sit at the table an excuse for not playing the game.)

But now the tables have turned. After playing this game for hours and recording every move (and drinking 17 gallons of unsweetened tea) we accidentally won a game. So here is the secret. Print this page and cut out the wallet-sized chart below. Laminate it and carry it with you, and the next time you find yourself at Cracker Barrel with the kids, slip the chart into your lap and proceed to show the kids that parents really are the geniuses they knew they were.

Start with position 5 empty
14 jumps to 5
7 jumps to 9
12 jumps to 14
2 jumps to 7
11 jumps to 4
3 jumps to 8
10 jumps to 3
1 jumps to 6
4 jumps to 13
14 jumps to 12
6 jumps to 13
12 jumps to 14
15 jumps to 13

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