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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Games

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Going for Games

Stage: 1 and 2

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.

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Learning Mathematics Through Games: 3. Creating Your Own Games

Stage: 1

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.

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Using Games in the Classroom

Stage: 2, 3 and 4

Gillian Hatch analyses what goes on when mathematical games are used as a pedagogic device.

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Learning Mathematics Through Games Series: 1. Why Games?

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

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.

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Learning Mathematics Through Games Series: 2.types of Games

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

This article, the second in the series, looks at some different types of games and the sort of mathematical thinking they can develop.

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Learning Mathematics Through Games Series: 4. from Strategy Games

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

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. . . .

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Pentanim

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A game for 2 players with similaritlies to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.

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18 Hole Light Golf

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The computer starts with all the lights off, but then clicks 3, 4 or 5 times at random, leaving some lights on. Can you switch them off again?

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Nim-like Games

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A collection of games on the NIM theme

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Sprouts

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.

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Tower Rescue

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Help the bee to build a stack of blocks far enough to save his friend trapped in the tower.

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Diagonal Dodge

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Game of PIG - Sixes

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you beat Piggy in this simple dice game? Can you figure out Piggy's strategy, and is there a better one?

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Dominoes

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Games Related to Nim

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

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.

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Diagonal Sums Sudoku

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.

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Online

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game for 2 players that can be played online. Players take it in turns to select a word from the 9 words given. The aim is to select all the occurrences of the same letter.

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Sprouts Explained

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5

This article invites you to get familiar with a strategic game called "sprouts". The game is simple enough for younger children to understand, and has also provided experienced mathematicians with. . . .

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Square It

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Winning Lines

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.

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Sliding Puzzle

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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 moves.

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The Remainders Game

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A game that tests your understanding of remainders.

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Nim-7

Stage: 1, 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?

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First Connect Three

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Nim-7 for Two

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?

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Advent Calendar 2010

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.

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Low Go

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Square it for Two

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?

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Intersection Sums Sudoku

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.

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Making Maths: Birds from an Egg

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?

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Shut the Box

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An old game but lots of arithmetic!

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Making Maths: Happy Families

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and play.

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Board Block

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?

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Fractions and Coins Game

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of money.

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Horizontal Vertical

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Take it in turns to place a domino on the grid. One to be placed horizontally and the other vertically. Can you make it impossible for your opponent to play?

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Fraction Card Game 1

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Match the halves.

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Making Maths: Snake Pits

Stage: 1, 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game to make and play based on the number line.

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Wild Jack

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit the target score.

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Odds and Threes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.

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Train

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A train building game for 2 players.

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Domino Magic Rectangle

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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 square...

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Sliding Game

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.

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SHOO

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.

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Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...

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Fifteen

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you spot the similarities between this game and other games you know? The aim is to choose 3 numbers that total 15.

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9 Hole Light Golf

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

We think this 3x3 version of the game is often harder than the 5x5 version. Do you agree? If so, why do you think that might be?

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Train for Two

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Train game for an adult and child. Who will be the first to make the train?

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Four Go for Two

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Four Go game for an adult and child. Will you be the first to have four numbers in a row on the number line?

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Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for Two

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.

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Factors and Multiples Game for Two

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Factors and Multiples game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you win this game?