School-Safe Puzzle Games

Moving Cards

card number puzzle

Last weekend we were going through some old items, and came across a pack of number cards. After removing several, and laying them on the floor in a manner you can see above, I then challenged my oldest son to move as few cards as possible so that the left and right columns add up to equal sums. After struggling for about 5 minutes, he said, “Impossible!”

What do you think? Can it be done?

Answers to this challenge can be entered into the section below; submissions will automatically be revealed when time is up!

32 Comments to “Moving Cards”

  1. zhoku | Profile

    NO??? becz if u add all the numbers as shown above.. it will have a total of an ODD NUMBER.. 1+2+3+4+5+7+8+9=39


    and the total divided by two will appear to be on decimal..

  2. .mau. | Profile

    you just need to swap (and rotate…;) the two cards at the bottom of the columns.

  3. joe | Profile

    you could move the 8 to the left column and the 9 to the right column but turning it upside down so that it forms a 6.
    Both columns would then add up to 18

  4. MarkS | Profile

    Switch the 2 and the 4 and turn the 9 upside down.

  5. suineg | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    Ok , my answer is depends on what moving and number patterns means:
    If moving includes moving away or removing, you can do it: one way will be to remove the 3 from the right column and move in the 1 from left column to right column, both columns now will add 18.

    If you can turn the yellow 9 into a 6 then you can rotate the 9 to convert it to a 6 and then swapping this 6 in the left column with the 8 in the right column. Now both columns will add 18 ( I think this is the answer you were looking for).

    However, If none of the above options are possible, then is impossible to get the same sum, because the difference between both columns is 1 initially and swapping numbers without removing would change the amount in each column by an even number, so you would never be able to match the difference with this restrictions.

    I vote for the option on turning the 9 into a 6, for the sake of creative solutions, cool.

  6. Jimmy Anders | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    It can. At first I thought, well he could just remove the 2 and the 3, and that doesn’t seem to be against the rules to me, but if he has to keep all of the cards in the 2 columns, then it would be impossible (the difference between the two sums is odd and moving a card from one column to another gives an even number change in the difference) IF he maintains the face value of each card. Instead he can switch the 8 and 9 and rotate the 9 so that it becomes a 6, yielding a sum of 18 in both columns.

  7. auntmei | Profile

    Remove the 4. Flip the 9 and make it a 6. Both columns = 16! (Thank you, Car Talk, which had a similar puzzler recently.)

  8. Bobo The Bear | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    I see two ways it can be done by moving two cards.
    1) Move the 8 card into the left column. Turn the 9 card upside down to make it a 6, and move it into the right column. Both columns will equal 18.
    2) Move the 7 and 8 cards off the floor altogether. Both columns will equal 12.

  9. Shawn | PUZZLE GRANDMASTER | Profile

    Switch the 8 & the 9, flip the 9 to become a 6.


  10. Hex | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    Turn the 9 into a 6
    Swap the 7 and 8
    Total of each column will be 16

  11. Hex | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    Oops, when I solved the puzzle, the top row (1 and 3) was out of view :D
    Turn the 9 into a 6
    Swap the 6 and 8
    Total of each column will be 18

  12. JustPlainDan | Profile

    Says nothing about removing cards so I’d say take the 3 completely away and move the 1 to the other side for a total of 2 moves.

    2+7+9 =18
    1+4+5+8 =18

  13. dmto59 | Profile

    there is no answer for this puzzle – it cannot be done

  14. Mashplum | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    Switch the 9 with the 8 and turn the 9 upside-down.

  15. RK | Founder | Profile

    It can be done, and several approaches are detailed above.

    The lateral thinking answer involves flipping the 9 into a 6 :)

  16. Hendy | Profile


    Switch 8 and 9 turning 9 over to make 6!

  17. jhammill81 | Profile

    how do you move them

  18. jhammill81 | Profile

    switch the two bottom cards.

  19. Chris Edwards | Profile

    clearly, as the total is odd, it cannot be done.

  20. Chris Edwards | Profile

    Props to MarkS for turning one of the cards upside down and changing it from even to odd! yeah!!!!!!! smart, and thinking outside the proverbial box! you rock! :D

  21. Chris Edwards | Profile

    oh, man, it seems props to y’all! sorry, didn’t read ’em all. U guys all Rock!

  22. hawleyj | Profile

    The cards total 39. There is no way to divide that evenly so there is no way to arrange the eight cards to get equal sums.
    One the other hand, if you threw away the 3 and moved the 1 to the right column, they would each total 18. That is, if you are allowed to “move” cards completely out of the arrangement.

  23. SteveRoo11 | Profile

    Hey Guys, how about a single move – just pick up the 2 and cover the 5 with it. Two totals of 17.

  24. Shawn | PUZZLE GRANDMASTER | Profile

    I think SteveRoo’s answer is the best one yet; one move that simultaneously lowers the totals of both the left and right columns.

  25. aishusathyakumar | Profile

    rotate the card ‘9’ to get ‘6’.
    add up 6+4+8=18
    and 7+3+5+3=18 B-)

  26. DonDust | Profile

    I don’t really know if this is valid but I came up with a solution that is both logical and will only be possible (to be logical that is) with a lateral thinker’s perspective (which is my own unconventional view for thee for this.) That way it is out of the box but not too much that it’s too childish or ridiculous like turning the card upside down, no offense, that’s cool too but a little no brainer.
    I placed the cards 9,5,3 and 1 (vertically from left to right) and 1,8,7 and 4 (horizontally, 1 is at the top and 4 is at the bottom).
    Though maybe you can’t call the vertical or the horizontal row a side. But maybe it’s what the Buddhists call “a question wrongly asked”. Maybe he didn’t meant sides or at least that’s what he thought the answer should be, with sides. Probably that is, because under stress, getting jaded and with little fatigue over something you repeatedly work on, people tend to have a hard time changing paradigms.

  27. DonDust | Profile

    Just to support my previous solution, yes the vertical and the horizontal rows share cards one.

  28. my2livers | Profile

    Remove the 2 and the 3.

  29. my2livers | Profile

    After 1st ‘solving’ this and then reading the old posts, I realized that I’d tried this one eons ago. This time, as I learned from the bucket filling puzzle, sometimes semantics make a big difference. I’d 4gotten how much I love these puzzles! thx. ;))

  30. my2livers | Profile

    SteveRoo in 1 move! yeah!!! U rule. Props.

  31. soumen023 | Profile

    1. move 3 and 2 away
    2. move 8 and 7 away

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