Eggified - a maths strategy game

maths strategy gameThis is a simple game for two players. The focus is on logical deduction and strategic thinking.

The children pay on a board that consists of an 11-sided polygon (a hendecagon). They start the game by placing a counter on each of the eggs.

Then, they take it in turns to remove either 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The player who picks up the very last counter is the winner.

It is as simple as that!

encourage the children to play the game a few times to see what happens. There are some prompts on the board itself to help the children to identify a winning strategy. There is one... since this mathematical game is not totally fair!

The second player has an unfair advantage in the game. For example, imagine the first player chose to remove two counters, like this.

maths strategy game


In order to force a win the second player needs to take a single counter on his turn. He also needs to choose a counter which is exactly opposite the first player's original selection.

teaching strategy game - maths


Since players can only take away one or two adjacent counters on each turn, this breaks the chain of counters into two separate, but equal sections. The second player now follows whatever the first one does, clearing one side away at a time – they will find they can take the last counter, thereby winning.

Should the first player only take one counter on their initial go, then the second player takes two adjacent ones at the opposite side of the board – mirroring the first two goes of the earlier play. The result is the same. Consequently, the second player (with a little bit of concentration) can always win the game.maths strategy board game

The game has some clear connections with the game of Nim.

The strategy fails if the board contains an equal number of starting points.

The one page pdf file attachment, below, contains a simple black and white game board, instructions and prompts to help the children think about developing a winning strategy.



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Happyday28's picture

Great resource for Easter

Great resource for Easter activities at the end of term. A challenge for the more able in the class.
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sazzle's picture

A lovely activity that will

A lovely activity that will definitely promote problem solving, logical thinking and reasoning. I will use this with my class in our Maths lessons during our Easter themed week next week. Thank you! 
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suzieprof's picture

Thanks for this useful

Thanks for this useful resource. I like the extension activities in the centre.
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Games to make them THINK!!

Games to make them THINK!! Fabulous!
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DidaBurrell's picture

 A great end of term resource

 A great end of term resource that is practical, yet useful maths rather than the usual tenuous link!! Thank you
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dma3kb1's picture

A good idea to get pupils

A good idea to get pupils thinking, at any age! I will use with low ability year 9's.
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mayj01's picture

I'll try this with my

I'll try this with my learners next week. Thanks for the idea!  
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skb's picture

 Thank you for sharing - I

 Thank you for sharing - I will use for Egg Day on Friday
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 Have played a similar game

 Have played a similar game with my class using 15 counters but this is an improvement as it uses a proper game board and restricts number of counters to remove. 
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yoyo123's picture

Have added this to the games

Have added this to the games box , for the  children who have completed their work.    Also very useful to get children talking about strategies and thinking more deeply.
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Catherine Cole's picture

A nice idea for use as a fun

A nice idea for use as a fun but thoughtful part of a lesson.
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