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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Games

Charlie's Delightful Machine

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Here is a machine with four coloured lights. Can you develop a strategy to work out the rules controlling each light?

Squayles

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players. Given an arrangement of matchsticks, players take it is turns to remove a matchstick, along with all of the matchsticks that touch it.

Spiralling Decimals for Two

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Spiralling Decimals game for an adult and child. Can you get three decimals next to each other on the spiral before your partner?

Diagonal Product Sudoku

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?

Lambs and Tigers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Investigations based on an Indian game.

The Remainders Game

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Play this game and see if you can figure out the computer's chosen number.

Property Chart

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A game in which players take it in turns to try to draw quadrilaterals (or triangles) with particular properties. Is it possible to fill the game grid?

Nice or Nasty

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...

Snail Trails

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

This is a game for two players. You will need some small-square grid paper, a die and two felt-tip pens or highlighters. Players take turns to roll the die, then move that number of squares in. . . .

Patience

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A simple game of patience which often comes out. Can you explain why?

Square It

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

Quadrilaterals Game

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 or more people, based on the traditional card game Rummy. Players aim to make two `tricks', where each trick has to consist of a picture of a shape, a name that describes that shape, and. . . .

White Box

Age 7 to 18 Challenge Level:

This game challenges you to locate hidden triangles in The White Box by firing rays and observing where the rays exit the Box.

Shapely Pairs

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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...

Fifteen

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you spot the similarities between this game and other games you know? The aim is to choose 3 numbers that total 15.

Estimating Angles

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

How good are you at estimating angles?

Dicey Operations

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Who said that adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing couldn't be fun?

Twinkle Twinkle

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.

Spiralling Decimals

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Take turns to place a decimal number on the spiral. Can you get three consecutive numbers?

Nim-7 for Two

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?

Sliding Puzzle

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

Sufficient but Not Necessary: Two Eyes and Seki in Go

Age 14 to 18

The game of go has a simple mechanism. This discussion of the principle of two eyes in go has shown that the game does not depend on equally clear-cut concepts.

Stop or Dare

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

All you need for this game is a pack of cards. While you play the game, think about strategies that will increase your chances of winning.

Latin Lilies

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

Have You Got It?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Turnablock

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A simple game for 2 players invented by John Conway. It is played on a 3x3 square board with 9 counters that are black on one side and white on the other.

FEMTO: Follow Up

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Follow-up to the February Game Rules of FEMTO.

Winning Lines

Age 7 to 16

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

Behind the Rules of Go

Age 14 to 18

This article explains the use of the idea of connectedness in networks, in two different ways, to bring into focus the basics of the game of Go, namely capture and territory.

Learning Mathematics Through Games Series: 4. from Strategy Games

Age 5 to 14

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. . . .

Got it for Two

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?

Intersection Sudoku 1

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

A Sudoku with a twist.

Twin Corresponding Sudoku III

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.

Ratio Sudoku 2

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

A Sudoku with clues as ratios.

Making Maths: Snake Pits

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

A game to make and play based on the number line.

Seasonal Twin Sudokus

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?

18 Hole Light Golf

Age 5 to 16 Challenge Level:

The computer starts with all the lights off, but then clicks 3, 4 or 5 times at random, leaving some lights on. Can you switch them off again?

Low Go

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

Twin Corresponding Sudokus II

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.

Quadruple Clue Sudoku

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

9 Hole Light Golf

Age 5 to 18 Challenge Level:

We think this 3x3 version of the game is often harder than the 5x5 version. Do you agree? If so, why do you think that might be?

Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

Ratio Pairs 3

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Match pairs of cards so that they have equivalent ratios.

Fractions and Percentages Card Game

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Match the cards of the same value.

Dominoes

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

Everthing you have always wanted to do with dominoes! Some of these games are good for practising your mental calculation skills, and some are good for your reasoning skills.

Going First

Age 14 to 18

This article shows how abstract thinking and a little number theory throw light on the scoring in the game Go.

Learning Mathematics Through Games Series: 1. Why Games?

Age 5 to 14

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.

One, Three, Five, Seven

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

Slippery Snail

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for two people, who take turns to move the counters. The player to remove the last counter from the board wins.

Nim-like Games

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

A collection of games on the NIM theme