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.
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
This article, the second in the series, looks at some different types of games and the sort of mathematical thinking they can develop.
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.
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.
A game for 1 or 2 people. Use the interactive version, or play with friends. Try to round up as many counters as possible.
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.
A fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
A game for two players on a large squared space.
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
A game for 2 players. This could be played outside with people instead of counters. Try to trap or escape from your opponent.
Interactive game. Set your own level of challenge, practise your table skills and beat your previous best score.
This is a game for two players. Can you find out how to be the first to get to 12 o'clock?
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.
A game somewhat similar to 'noughts and crosses' on a much larger
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.
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. . . .
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.
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red
counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the
other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
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.
Use the tangram pieces to make our pictures, or to design some of
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
Take turns to place a decimal number on the spiral. Can you get three consecutive numbers?
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.
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
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
Gillian Hatch analyses what goes on when mathematical games are
used as a pedagogic device.
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
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.
A game to make and play based on the number line.
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
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.
A game for two players. You'll need some counters and somewhere to draw a board.
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.
This is an adding game for two players.
A fun game for two. You'll need some counters.
A number card game for 2-6 players.
How good are you at estimating angles?
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 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.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
A game played with a standard pack of cards.
A game for 1 person to play on screen. Practise your number bonds
whilst improving your memory
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?
An activity based on the game 'Pelmanism'. Set your own level of challenge and beat your own previous best score.
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.