Equate Frequently
Asked Questions 

Can Equations Be
Formed Diagonally? 
No, all equations must be formed
horizontally across from left to right or vertically from up to down.

What If a Player
Cannot Make an Equation? 
A player has three alternatives to
creating an equation. One option is to use a turn to trade in as many
of his/her nine tiles as he/she wishes for new ones. After the player
draws the new tiles, put the returned tiles in the draw pile and
reshuffle. The player receives no score for this turn.
A second option is to use a turn to
form a number or a numerical expression horizontally or vertically on
the board. This play will not earn the player any points but it might
be used to set up a possible future play, to get rid of tiles without
putting them back into the draw, or to help the player go out at the
end of the game when the draw pile has no more tiles. the value of the
expression must not be negative. Also, strings of adjacent tiles on
the board may not form incomplete numerical expressions, such as 6 +,
or incomplete equations, such as 8  2 =.
A third option is simply pass. This
play may be necessary at the end of the game if the player can neither
make an equation nor a numerical expression and the draw pile is out
of tiles.

Can Equations Contain
More Than One Equal Symbol? 
No, in the game Equate,
an equation cannot be extended to contain more than one equal symbol.
For example, a player cannot extend the equation 5 x 6 = 30 to be 5 x
6 = 30 = 25 + 5.

Can a Player Alter an
Existing Equation? 
Yes, a player can play on one or both
ends of an existing equation to form a new equation as long as the
player does not move any of the previously played tiles. Each side of
the new equation must have the same numerical value and the equation
is allowed only one equal symbol. Here are some examples.

Original Equation 
New Equation 
54 = 9 x 6 
2 x 54 = 9 x 6 x 2 
16 + 4 = 20 
16 + 4 = 20  3 + 3 
2 + 5 = 7 
72 + 5 = 77 
24 ÷ 6 = 4 
24 ÷ 6 = 4 + 0 x
567 



The player receives
all of the individual symbol scores for the entire equation. The board
position affects the score of only the player that originally places
the tile on that position.

How Can a Blank Tile
Be Used? 
There are three blank tiles in the
game. A blank can be used to represent any one of the 31 different
operation or number symbols in the game Equate. Note that the
blank cannot be used to represent the number 20 or the fraction 3/8
because these are not number symbols in the game. Once a player uses a
blank to represent a particular symbol, it must remain that symbol for
the remainder of the game.

What If All Nine
Tiles Are Played in One Turn? 
In case a player forms an equation
using all nine tiles in one play, the player adds an extra 40 points
to the score for that play. Of course all the tiles played must be
within one horizontal equation or one vertical equation, and the
equation is allowed only one equal symbol.

How Do the Board
Positions Affect the Score? 
The legend along the left side of the
board specifies how the premium board positions affect the score.
There are two types of board positions that affect the individual
symbol score. these are labeled 2S and 3S, respectively.
There are two more types of board positions that affect the entire
equation score. These are labeled 2E and 3E,
respectively. The individual symbol score awards are computed before
the entire equation awards. Also, if a player places tiles on two 2E
or 3E board positions in one turn then the calculation is
applied twice.

Can Players Trade
Tiles with Other Players? 
No, a player cannot trade tiles with
another player. However, a player may use a turn to trade in as many
of the nine tiles as he/she wishes with the draw pile. The score for
that turn is 0.

Are Numbers
Containing More Than One Digit Allowed? 
Yes, a player may form numbers with
any number of digits by simply placing the single digits adjacent to
one another. Here are some sample plays that utilize twodigit
numbers.







3 


6 
4 
 
8 
= 
5 
6 


3 



= 

6 
5 
= 
1 
3 
x 
5 



4 



x 



3 



7 










Are Unnecessary Zero
Digits Allowed? 
No, in the game Equate a
player is not allowed to represent a number, such as 5, as 05 or 005.
Unnecessary zero digits are not allowed.

Are Negative Numbers
Allowed? 
No, negative numbers are not allowed
in the game Equate. The symbol  in this game is a subtraction
symbol, not a negative symbol. For example, the expression 5 that
represents a negative number in mathematics is not allowed in this
game. As a subtraction symbol, the symbol  is always placed between
two numbers.
Because the subtraction result is not
allowed to be a negative number, players must position numbers about
the subtraction symbol in such a way that the result is a positive
number or zero. Here are examples.
Valid
Equations 

15  12 = 3
7  7 = 2 x 3  6

Each
side equals 3.
Each side equals 0. 
Invalid
Equations 

3  5 = 2

The
left side equals  2, not 2. 
Invalid
for Equate, but True Equality Statements 
 5 =  5

Negative
numbers are not allowed. 
4  6 + 7 = 5

Both
sides equal 5, a positive number; however, when computing the
left side one encounters the negative number 2. 



Can an Addition
Symbol Be Used as a Positive Symbol? 
No, a player may not represent a
number such as 32 as +32. The symbol + in the game Equate is an
addition symbol and is always placed between two numbers.

What If a Play Is
Incorrect? 
If a player makes an invalid play and
the other players convince the player that the play is invalid, the
player simply removes the tiles played and tries again. In case there
is a disagreement among the players, we suggest that a careful reading
of the rules will settle the dispute. A scientific or graphic
calculator may be used to help settle disputes; however, be aware that
many basic calculators are not programmed to compute all strings of
operations correctly and do not handle numbers in fractional form. If
there is an unresolved question, players may contact Conceptual Math
Media for assistance.

What If Two Equation
Are Created in One Turn? 
It is possible to create two
equations in one turn. This can happen even though in a single turn
the player must place all the tiles within one horizontal equation or
one vertical equation and must use no more than one equal symbol.
In case a player does this, the
player gets the full score for each of the equations formed. If the
tile that is common to both equations is positioned on a premium board
position then each of the equation scores is affected.

Is There a Time Limit
for Each Play? 
For social play, we suggest no time
limit for each play. If you play until the draw pile is out of tiles
and one player goes out or each player passes, the game can take from
two to five hours. Serious players with both experience and
mathematical maturity use more time. If continuous play is not
feasible, then leave the game set up to be finished at a later time.
If you want the game to end at a
specific time, you can declare the player with the highest score at
that time to be the winner. Make certain that each player has had the
same number of turns before ending. If the game is terminated in this
way, you may want to put a time limit on each play so that the person
who is ahead will not be able to monopolize the time left in the game.
A reasonable time limit for each play, in this case, is from 5 to 10
minutes. do not rush a player too much. You want to reward the thinker
who is checking out many possible plays carefully before deciding on a
play. This game is not about speed; it's about thinking.
For tournament play there will need
to be time limitations, but serious players should definitely not be
rushed. A serious, experienced player that is advanced mathematically
needs more time for he or she sees not only more possibilities but
also more complex plays, and therefore has more to think about.
Using a time clock that keeps track
of the total time for each player is a possibility. To encourage
players not to waste time, there could be a loss of points for using
more than a designated amount of total time and/or bonus points for
the player who uses the least amount of total time.

Are Calculators
Allowed? 
Players are not allowed to use a
calculator while making a play except to help settle disputes;
however, players may use paper and pencil. Since many basic
calculators do not handle numbers in fractional form and are not
programmed to compute all strings of operations in the correct order,
a basic calculator could cause confusion. For checking calculations
players should use a scientific or graphics calculator that handles
fractions and uses algebraic logic.
