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Mastermind or Master Mind is a code-breaking game for two players. The modern game with pegs was invented in 1970 by Mordecai Meirowitz, an Israeli postmaster and telecommunications expert, but the game resembles an earlier pencil and paper game called bulls and cows that may date back a century or more.
The game is played using:
The two players decide in advance how many games they will play, which must be an even number. One player becomes the codemaker, the other the codebreaker. The codemaker chooses a pattern of four code pegs. Duplicates are allowed, so the player could even choose four code pegs of the same color. The chosen pattern is placed in the four holes covered by the shield, visible to the codemaker but not to the codebreaker.
The codebreaker tries to guess the pattern, in both order and color, within twelve (sometimes eight or ten) turns. Each guess is made by placing a row of code pegs on the decoding board. Once placed, the codemaker provides feedback by placing from ...