Move One Match Puzzle Stumps Facebook: Two Solutions You May Have Overlooked

Jonathan Franks

Can you move one match and solve the equation?

That was the question asked on a now-viral puzzle that has been making waves on Facebook recently.

The puzzle, which was first posted on Facebook by the popular entertainment website Brain Dare, consists of a simple math equation: 6 + 4 = 4. Even a young child that is familiar with basic arithmetic will more than likely figure out that this equation is absolutely wrong almost immediately after seeing the "Move a Match" puzzle.

However, the beauty of the puzzle is that it has more to do with the matches used to make the equation than it does with the actual equation itself.

As mentioned within the instructions, you have to rearrange the matches in order to make the equation read correctly. At first glance, you might think of just starting from scratch and rebuilding the equation by moving multiple matches...and that is where the madness starts!

Since you are only able to move one match, your brain will eventually shift into hyper-drive trying to determine which match to move and where to move it.

The primary objective is to move one match so that the equation is correct. Which match is the golden match that will solve this brain-stumping picture puzzle? Before you dive into trying to solve this problem, you need to first focus on your initial impulse...and realize that it's probably wrong!


Which equation are you trying to solve? When you first stare at the puzzle, your mind may play tricks with you. Therefore, it's important to realize that you are more than likely being manipulated by your own natural impulse.

Looking at the equation, you may automatically think, "6 plus 4 equals 10, not 4." With that in mind, you will more than likely try to move one match to turn that final "4" into a "10," right? Wrong! That is the brain-stumping trap to which you have just become a victim!

What, though, if you decided to change the equation?

It is true that 6 +4 does not equal 4. However, 8 - 4 does!

Since you can only move one match, focus on the vertical match used in the "plus" sign. You can take that match and move it slightly to the left - turning the 6 into an 8.

Now, instead of reading 6 + 4 = 4 (which is incorrect), you finally have the correct equation 8 - 4 = 4!


The "8-4" solution is the most popular solution for the "Move One Match" brain teaser; it is even posted on the official Brain Dare website. However, if you pay attention to the vast number of Facebook comments, there is apparently a second solution that slipped through the cracks.

What is it? Once again, you have to realize that the equation that you notice first is wrong. However, you don't necessarily have to change the entire equation to make it correct.

6+4 does not equal 4, but 0 + 4 does.

If you move the horizontal match in the center of the "6" and flip it vertically, you can turn the "6" into a "0" - creating an equation that reads "0 + 4 = 4."

Before you smack yourself in the face with your palm, keep in mind that many people on Facebook were stumped by the same "move one match" brain teaser.

Brain Dare confirmed on Facebook Friday that the "Move One Match" puzzle set a new record for Facebook comments. The now-viral Facebook post has generated over 22,000 comments (as of Saturday morning). Quite a few of the funny & interesting comments have generated buzz on their own!

For instance, Clinton Cochran received over 4,600 likes with his "idea" about how to solve the "Move One Match Puzzle."

"Remove one match to ignite then set the whole math problem ablaze. Boom, always more than one way to solve a problem."

[Image Credit: Brain Dare Facebook]