Basic strategy games are particularly suitable as starting points
for investigations. Players instinctively try to discover a winning
strategy, and usually the best way to do this is to analyse. . . .
This article supplies teachers with information that may be useful in better understanding the nature of games and their role in teaching and learning mathematics.
This article, the second in the series, looks at some different types of games and the sort of mathematical thinking they can develop.
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
Unmultiply is a game of quick estimation. You need to find two numbers that multiply together to something close to the given target - fast! 10 levels with a high scores table.
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
In this article for teachers, Liz Woodham describes the criteria she uses to choose mathematical games for the classroom and shares some examples from NRICH.
A game for 2 players. This could be played outside with people instead of counters. Try to trap or escape from your opponent.
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
A game for 2 players. Draw a daisy with at least 5 petals. Shade 1 or 2 petals next to each other. The winner shades the last petal.
Take turns to place a decimal number on the spiral. Can you get three consecutive numbers?
A game somewhat similar to 'noughts and crosses' on a much larger
Interactive game. Set your own level of challenge, practise your table skills and beat your previous best score.
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
The game uses a 3x3 square board. 2 players take turns to play,
either placing a red on an empty square, or changing a red to
orange, or orange to green. The player who forms 3 of 1 colour in a
line. . . .
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
Try this version of Snap with a friend - do you know the order of
the days of the week?
This is a game for two players. Can you find out how to be the first to get to 12 o'clock?
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
A game for 1 person to develop stategy and shape and space awareness. 12 counters are placed on a board. Counters are removed one at a time. The aim is to be left with only 1 counter.
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
A game for two players on a large squared space.
Not all of us a bursting with creative game ideas, but there are
several ways to go about creating a game that will assist even the
busiest and most reluctant game designer.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
A fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
Use the tangram pieces to make our pictures, or to design some of
This is a game for 2 players. Each player has 4 counters each, and
wins by blocking their opponent's counters. A good follow-on from
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
A game for 1 person. Can you work out how the dice must be rolled from the start position to the finish? Play on line.
Who said that adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing
couldn't be fun?
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
Gillian Hatch analyses what goes on when mathematical games are
used as a pedagogic device.
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the
site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to
develop the skills of strategic planning.
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.
A game for 2 players. Given a board of dots in a grid pattern, players take turns drawing a line by connecting 2 adjacent dots. Your goal is to complete more squares than your opponent.
How good are you at estimating angles?
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
A game for 2 players. Using 2 dice, some counters and a games board, can you form a line of counters from one side of the board to the other?
An ordinary set of dominoes can be laid out as a 7 by 4 magic
rectangle in which all the spots in all the columns add to 24,
while those in the rows add to 42. Try it! Now try the magic
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Everthing you have always wanted to do with dominoes! Some of these
games are good for practising your mental calculation skills, and
some are good for your reasoning skills.
A game for 2 players. Take turns to place a counter so that it
occupies one of the lowest possible positions in the grid. The
first player to complete a line of 4 wins.
Stop the Clock game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you always win this game?
Totality game for an adult and child. Be the first to reach your agreed total.
Board Block Challenge game for an adult and child. Can you prevent your partner from being able to make a shape?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Spiralling Decimals game for an adult and child. Can you get three decimals next to each other on the spiral before your partner?
An extension of noughts and crosses in which the grid is enlarged
and the length of the winning line can to altered to 3, 4 or 5.
A game played with a standard pack of cards.
The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?