NRICH: Games from Around the World

Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.

Age 5 to 11

Here’s a dectet of strategy games from around the world for you to play over the ‘Olympic’ summer when athletes from many nations will be gathering in Rio for the 2016 Olympics.

Try playing outdoors – at the park, on the beach, in the garden – and use stones, pebbles, shells or acorns for ‘counters’.

See if you can find a winning strategy – can you an become the Achi champion, for example, amongst your family and friends?

Each game is great for developing ‘gold-medal’ strategic thinking muscles – enjoy!

Two Stones

Age 5 to 18

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.


Age 5 to 18

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.

Mulinello Quadrupio

Age 5 to 18

A game from Italy. Play with a friend and see if you can be the first to get five pieces in a line.

Pumpkin Patch

Age 5 to 18

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.

Mu Torere

Age 5 to 18

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.


Age 5 to 18

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.


Age 5 to 18

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 derives from the Arabic El- quirkat. Watch out for being ‘huffed’.

Scissors, Paper, Rock Chinese Style

Age 5 to 18

Try the Chinese version of this well-known game with a friend. Great to play in the garden or in the park.

What English games would you add to this collection?

What is your favourite strategy game?

Can you find some more strategy games from other countries?

Math Topics
K-6, Middle School, High School
Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade

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NRICH (University of Cambridge)

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Type of Resource

Group Game
Outside Activity

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