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.

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.

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?

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

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?

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

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?

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

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

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

Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .

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

Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”

Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.

Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?

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

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. . . .

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

Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?

List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?

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.

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.

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

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

An account of some magic squares and their properties and and how to construct them for yourself.

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?

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

You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .

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. . . .

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

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

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 an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

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