To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

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.

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

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.

Show that for any triangle it is always possible to construct 3 touching circles with centres at the vertices. Is it possible to construct touching circles centred at the vertices of any polygon?

The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?

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 loser is the player who takes the last counter.

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.

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

A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.

A counter is placed in the bottom right hand corner of a grid. You toss a coin and move the star according to the following rules: ... What is the probability that you end up in the top left-hand. . . .

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.

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?

What is the volume of the solid formed by rotating this right angled triangle about the hypotenuse?

It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?

ABC and DEF are equilateral triangles of side 3 and 4 respectively. Construct an equilateral triangle whose area is the sum of the area of ABC and DEF.

If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.

Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?

Can you find a general rule for finding the areas of equilateral triangles drawn on an isometric grid?

Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

Investigate sequences given by $a_n = \frac{1+a_{n-1}}{a_{n-2}}$ for different choices of the first two terms. Make a conjecture about the behaviour of these sequences. Can you prove your conjecture?

Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?

The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?

What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?

Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

A red square and a blue square overlap so that the corner of the red square rests on the centre of the blue square. Show that, whatever the orientation of the red square, it covers a quarter of the. . . .

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

These gnomons appear to have more than a passing connection with the Fibonacci sequence. This problem ask you to investigate some of these connections.

Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.

Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?

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

The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?

Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?