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

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

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?

Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?

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

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

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.

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.

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

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.

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.

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.

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?

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.

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

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.

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

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

Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .

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?

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.

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?

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.

Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.

Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?

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. . . .

Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...

What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by 99 square board?

Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?

Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?

Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.

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

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

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?

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

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.

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

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

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

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?

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?

The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .