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Mathematical game

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The wagon must travel a path that is given by a mathematical function.

A mathematical game is a game whose rules, strategies, and outcomes are defined by clear mathematical parameters.[1][verification needed][clarification needed] Often, such games have simple rules and match procedures, such as tic-tac-toe and dots and boxes. Generally, mathematical games need not be conceptually intricate to involve deeper computational underpinnings. For example, even though the rules of Mancala are relatively basic, the game can be rigorously analyzed through the lens of combinatorial game theory.[citation needed]

Mathematical games differ sharply from mathematical puzzles in that mathematical puzzles require specific mathematical expertise to complete, whereas mathematical games do not require a deep knowledge of mathematics to play. Often, the arithmetic core of mathematical games is not readily apparent to players untrained to note the statistical or mathematical aspects.[citation needed]

Some mathematical games are of deep interest in the field of recreational mathematics.[2][verification needed]

When studying a game's core mathematics, arithmetic theory is generally of higher utility than actively playing or observing the game itself. To analyze a game numerically, it is particularly useful to study the rules of the game insofar as they can yield equations or relevant formulas. This is frequently done to determine winning strategies or to distinguish if the game has a solution.[citation needed]

Additionally, mathematical games can aid children in grasping fundamental concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication,[3] and division, enhancing their arithmetic skills in an engaging manner.

List of games[edit]

Sometimes it is not immediately obvious that a particular game involves chance. Often a card game is described as "pure strategy" and such, but a game with any sort of random shuffling or face-down dealing of cards should not be considered to be "no chance". Several abstract strategy games are listed below:

Lattice board[edit]

Non-lattice boards and other games[edit]

Chance involved or imperfect information[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Games, theory of - Encyclopedia of Mathematics". encyclopediaofmath.org. Retrieved 2021-08-11.
  2. ^ Sumpter, Lovisa (January 2015). "Recreational Mathematics – Only For Fun?". Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. 5 (1): 121–138. doi:10.5642/jhummath.201501.07. S2CID 16590762. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Easy Multiplication". Play123.