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.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
A game for 2 players with similarities 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.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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.
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.
Use your knowledge of place value to try to win this game. How will you maximise your score?
A game for two people, who take turns to move the counters. The player to remove the last counter from the board wins.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
Try to stop your opponent from being able to split the piles of counters into unequal numbers. Can you find a strategy?
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
Train game for an adult and child. Who will be the first to make the train?
Have a go at this game which has been inspired by the Big Internet Math-Off 2019. Can you gain more columns of lily pads than your opponent?
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?
Calculate the fractional amounts of money to match pairs of cards with the same value.
Can you match the halves in this interactive game?
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. . . .
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
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 two stones.
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. . . .
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
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 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.
Who said that adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing couldn't be fun?
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
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.
This article, the second in the series, looks at some different types of games and the sort of mathematical thinking they can develop.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
A train building game for two players. Can you be the one to complete the train?
Can you spot the similarities between this game and other games you know? The aim is to choose 3 numbers that total 15.
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Here are some more upper primary strategy games for you to play.
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?
These games use ten-frames to develop children's 'sense of ten'.
How long does it take to brush your teeth? Can you find the matching length of time?
Stop the Clock game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you always win this game?
Totality game for an adult and child. Be the first to reach your agreed total.
Board Block Challenge game for an adult and child. Can you prevent your partner from being able to make a shape?
Take turns to place a decimal number on the spiral. Can you get three consecutive numbers?
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.
Spiralling Decimals game for an adult and child. Can you get three decimals next to each other on the spiral before your partner?
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.
This article outlines how strategy games can help children develop logical thinking, using examples from the NRICH website.
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
These tasks and games are written for a child and adult to try together.