This is a simple version of an ancient game played all over the world. It is also called Mancala. What tactics will increase your chances of winning?
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.
A game for 2 players
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.
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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.
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 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 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 collection of games on the NIM theme
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. . . .
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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. . . .
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
A game for two players based on a game from the Somali people of Africa. The first player to pick all the other's 'pumpkins' is the winner.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this sudoku.
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. . . .
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
A Sudoku with a twist.
This game is known as Pong hau k'i in China and Ou-moul-ko-no in Korea. Find a friend to play or try the interactive version online.
Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?
A game in which players take it in turns to turn up two cards. If they can draw a triangle which satisfies both properties they win the pair of cards. And a few challenging questions to follow...
This is an interactive net of a Rubik's cube. Twists of the 3D cube become mixes of the squares on the 2D net. Have a play and see how many scrambles you can undo!
A game from Italy. Play with a friend and see if you can be the first to get five pieces in a line.
A game in which players take it in turns to choose a number. Can you block your opponent?
A Sudoku with a twist.
How good are you at estimating angles?
This Chinese game for two players is a simple version of Wei ch'i or Go. Each player has 20 distinctive pieces - try coins, pebbles, shells. You could try marking the board out in wet sand.
Add or subtract the two numbers on the spinners and try to complete a row of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
A game for two people, who take turns to move the counters. The player to remove the last counter from the board wins.
Try playing this game from New Zealand at the beach by drawing the board in the sand. Find an opponent and see if you can win by ending up with your shell in the centre space.
This sudoku requires you to have "double vision" - two Sudoku's for the price of one
Here is a machine with four coloured lights. Can you develop a strategy to work out the rules controlling each light?
An ancient game for two from Egypt. You'll need twelve distinctive 'stones' each to play. You could chalk out the board on the ground - do ask permission first.
This game for two, was played in ancient Egypt as far back as 1400 BC. The game was taken by the Moors to Spain, where it is mentioned in 13th century manuscripts, and the Spanish name Alquerque. . . .
This second Sudoku article discusses "Corresponding Sudokus" which are pairs of Sudokus with terms that can be matched using a substitution rule.
This article shows how abstract thinking and a little number theory throw light on the scoring in the game Go.
A Sudoku based on clues that give the differences between adjacent cells.
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?
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 or more people, based on the traditional card game Rummy.
Factors and Multiples game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you win this game?