NRICH: Subtraction Squares

Using 2 dice, some counters and a games board, can you form a line of counters from one side of the board to the other?

Age 5 to 11

A game for 2 players.


To create an unbroken line of counters from your starting square to the opposite side of the board.

Gme board.

Number of Players:


Materials Needed:

Copy of the game board (or download one)

2 numbered cubes
About 20 yellow and 20 red counters.

How to Play:

Decide who will go first.
Choose one of the coloured starting squares.
Close to your place, stack the counters that are the same colour as your starting square.
The person with the yellow starting square will travel down the board.
The person with the red starting square will travel across the board.
Take turns throwing the two numbered cubes.
Find the difference between the two numbers showing on the cubes.
Collect the same number of counters of your colour.
Place the counters in a line one next to each other on the board beginning at your starting square.
The line does not need to be straight – you can place the counters to the side of each other.
You cannot skip a square. You cannot move diagonally.
If you come to a counter of the other player’s that is blocking your line, you will have to travel around that counter!
The first person to reach the other side with an unbroken line of their counters is the winner.

Deductive Reasoning & Logical Thinking

What are you looking for?


NRICH (University of Cambridge)

Website URL

Type of Resource

Board/Card Game
Dice & Dominoes
PDF File

Assigned Categories

Description of PDF

Game board.