Finger Count

How high can you count on 10 fingers?

It is possible to count to 1023 if you set each finger to a different value. For example,

The Left Hand:

Fist = 0

Thumb = 1

Pointer = 2

Middle = 4

Ring = 8

Pinky = 16

The Right Hand:

Fist = 0

Thumb = 32

Pointer = 64

Middle = 128

Ring = 256

Pinky = 512

I figured this out because I used the binary numeral system that we learned in Sophomore year. In this system, 2 is taken to the power of 0, all the way up until we reach the power of 9. We have 10 fingers, and if we start counting at 0, we can only reach the power of 9 with our fingers.

This system is valid because any number can be reached from 0 – 1023 with these values for each finger. For example, If you hold up your left thumb and right thumb, you get the number 32 when you add both the values of the fingers together. If you hold up your left middle finger, left pinky, and right pinky, you get 532. There is a combination for every single number in the range from 0-1023.


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