Seven Up (game)
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Seven Up (sometimes called "Heads Up, Seven Up", "Heads Up, Thumbs Up", "Thumbs Up, Seven Up" or "Heads Down, Thumbs Up") is a traditional children's game that is played in primary schools, and to a lesser extent at parties. The goal is for each selected participant to correctly guess the person who pressed down his or her thumb. The game was known prior to 1859, where it was referred to as "seven up" in the Mark Twain story "River Intelligence".
The game is often used by teachers as a relatively quiet indoor pastime for schoolchildren when they cannot go outside to play at recess or lunchtime due to rainy or other inclement weather.
To start the game, seven children are selected and come to the front of the room. In another version, two children are selected. The teacher (or selected player) says, "Heads down, thumbs up!" or "Heads down all around!". The children who are not selected then put their heads down, close their eyes, and put up one thumb each. The chosen seven (or two) circulate through the room, secretly pressing down one thumb each and then returning to the front of the room. A variation is simply tapping the person. This part of the game takes about one minute.
The teacher/selected player then calls, "Heads up, seven up!" or "Heads up, stand up!" All children raise their heads and the seven (or two) whose thumbs were pressed stand up. Each in turn names the person they think pressed their thumb. If they are correct, the thumb-presser sits down and the winning child takes their place. The game then starts again.
Children who go later have an advantage, especially if one or more pickers have been eliminated. To make the game fair, the teacher can alternate the order in which the children are called each time (e.g. front to back, or left to right of the room, or around the room).
Benefits of Game Play
- Play provides opportunities for children to develop speech and language abilities and also to practice listening. Whether their play is companion-based with a sibling, peer, or parent, or solo play using imagination, children talk and listen while playing. 
- Teachers recognize students who tend to cheat.
- Murray, Harold James Ruthren. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. New Ed ed. New York: Hacker Art Books, 1946. Print.
- "Heads Up Seven Up". Games Kids Play.