There are 99 NRICH Mathematical resources connected to Combinations, you may find related items under Decision Mathematics and Combinatorics.Broad Topics > Decision Mathematics and Combinatorics > Combinations
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
Have a go at this game which involves throwing two dice and adding their totals. Where should you place your counters to be more likely to win?
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
How many six digit numbers are there which DO NOT contain a 5?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4 units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different cuboids can you make?
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same colour are next to each other in any direction?
Three children are going to buy some plants for their birthdays. They will plant them within circular paths. How could they do this?
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.
In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
Can all but one square of an 8 by 8 Chessboard be covered by Trominoes?
A man has 5 coins in his pocket. Given the clues, can you work out what the coins are?
Four friends must cross a bridge. How can they all cross it in just 17 minutes?
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up with the same arrangement?
Using only the red and white rods, how many different ways are there to make up the other rods?
Four children were sharing a set of twenty-four butterfly cards. Are there any cards they all want? Are there any that none of them want?
Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go. Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?
George and Jim want to buy a chocolate bar. George needs 2p more and Jim need 50p more to buy it. How much is the chocolate bar?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
I start my journey in Rio de Janeiro and visit all the cities as Hamilton described, passing through Canberra before Madrid, and then returning to Rio. What route could I have taken?
When you think of spies and secret agents, you probably wouldn’t think of mathematics. Some of the most famous code breakers in history have been mathematicians.
The machine I use to produce Braille messages is faulty and one of the pins that makes a raised dot is not working. I typed a short message in Braille. Can you work out what it really says?
Semaphore is a way to signal the alphabet using two flags. You might want to send a message that contains more than just letters. How many other symbols could you send using this code?
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
Three beads are threaded on a circular wire and are coloured either red or blue. Can you find all four different combinations?
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the triangle adds to the same total.
Consider all of the five digit numbers which we can form using only the digits 2, 4, 6 and 8. If these numbers are arranged in ascending order, what is the 512th number?
A game that demands a logical approach using systematic working to deduce a winning strategy
Using all ten cards from 0 to 9, rearrange them to make five prime numbers. Can you find any other ways of doing it?
Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more than way to do it?
Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?
Three dice are placed in a row. Find a way to turn each one so that the three numbers on top of the dice total the same as the three numbers on the front of the dice. Can you find all the ways to do. . . .
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
A lady has a steel rod and a wooden pole and she knows the length of each. How can she measure out an 8 unit piece of pole?