An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
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.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players
take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single
pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.
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
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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.
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful
inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of
knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
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. . . .
Match pairs of cards so that they have equivalent ratios.
Can you be the first to complete a row of three?
Match the cards of the same value.
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Help the bee to build a stack of blocks far enough to save his
friend trapped in the tower.
Can you beat the computer in the challenging strategy game?
A game in which players take it in turns to try to draw
quadrilaterals (or triangles) with particular properties. Is it
possible to fill the game grid?
Can you beat Piggy in this simple dice game? Can you figure out
Piggy's strategy, and is there a better one?
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.
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.
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the
surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this
A simple game of patience which often comes out. Can you explain
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.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
A Sudoku with a twist.
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. . . .
Collect as many diamonds as you can by drawing three straight
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
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
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.
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
This article, the second in the series, looks at some different types of games and the sort of mathematical thinking they can develop.
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.
A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.
This is a game for two players. You will need some small-square
grid paper, a die and two felt-tip pens or highlighters. Players
take turns to roll the die, then move that number of squares in. . . .
A game for two players on a large squared space.
A game for 2 players. Given an arrangement of matchsticks, players
take it is turns to remove a matchstick, along with all of the
matchsticks that touch it.
All you need for this game is a pack of cards. While you play the
game, think about strategies that will increase your chances of
A game to make and play based on the number line.
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 game that tests your understanding of remainders.
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
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. . . .
A game for 2 players. This could be played outside with people instead of counters. Try to trap or escape from your opponent.