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I am a graduate math student and I believe that a nice way to raise the mathematical skills of people(especially students!) is to familiarize them with games and encourage them to use their minds and think on their own ideas. I have studied too many puzzle games and I have found too many excellent puzzle games. But I believe that board games and card games are more effective and I want to find a board game or a card game which have almost all of the following properties:

  • The game can be played by 8-9 players; almost all of them are 9-12 years old. (preferably 8 players!)
  • I Prefer that the game can be played physically, without the use of any computer!
  • The time of the workshops is Limited to 60-90 minutes. Let's assume the time is 90 minutes! (I must learn them the rules in at most 10-15 minutes, and I want a game such that we can do it 2 or 3 times in one workshop.)
  • Also, after the first round that the game was played, I want to give them a low-level analysis of the game.
  • Also, I Prefer the games, which had a possibility to make some low-level riddles and challenges to involve their minds. (For example, Yahtzee gives me the opportunity to give them some simple probabilistic problems. Also by a problem, I do not mean a mathematical problem, every exciting challenge is welcome.)

I know so many exciting board games but most of them cannot be played by 8 players, and the others are not fit in the limited time of the workshop, because they have too many rules, I prefer a game with simple rules! For example, Kriegspiel is a very nice board game, but it is played by only two players and it is very hard to handle it in workshops! If the number of players was 2, then I could reduce chess to a very very simple board game, and then they can play it like Kriegspiel!

Also, I have a trouble to find a suitable tag!

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I taught elementary school for many years and had games every Friday for large groups of kids in grades 3-6 at lunchtime. Here are some of the favorites.

  1. Midnight Party from Discovery Toys (now called Escape from the Hidden Castle by Ravensberger. It teaches negative numbers and is good for 2-8 kids.
  2. Bazaar It teaches algebraci thinking and is for 2-4 kids BUT I usually had 8 kids and they played in pairs.
  3. Presto-Change-o It teaches making change and is for 2-4 kids but again you can play in pairs.
  4. 24 My all time favorite'

If you like these and want ones similar to these, let me know. If these aren't what you are looking for, let me know more specifics

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  • $\begingroup$ Special thanks, dear Amy. At first, I apologize for my very late response. I am familiar with 24, but I was not familiar with the other 3 games you have introduced! Special thanks for introducing them, especially Bazaar and Midnight Party seems very interesting! and I searched for them. Are you sure that we can do it in 90 minutes with 8 players? $\endgroup$ – Davood Khajehpour Jun 20 '18 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ For related games similar to 24 one can have a look at this article by Dave Kirkby. $\endgroup$ – Davood Khajehpour Jun 20 '18 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ @accursed. I am not sure that you can do it 90 minutes with 8 players. I think you can but it will vary with the players and the luck of the dice/cards. You can certainly play enough of the game to understand it (eg one round of Midnight Party) We often had only 25 minutes and didn't finish and would write down our progress and continue next time. $\endgroup$ – Amy B Jun 21 '18 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Accursed My second comment is do you want more games like Bazaar and Midnight Party - I will edit my answer to include more games if you want. $\endgroup$ – Amy B Jun 21 '18 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ The link of Math Cartoons in your website does not works! Can I have your email address to connect you more academically? I have asked the manager of the workshop and he says that we do not have any limits for games with laptops and video projectors or any other video projections. According to your second comment, yes, of course, we need more games like them, but could we continue this discussion in the chatroom or by email? Also, our budget is very limited and we cant buy too many games! $\endgroup$ – Davood Khajehpour Jun 21 '18 at 22:11
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Almost any board/card game can be converted to play with 8 players by simply making the children/students play in pairs.

For example, if playing a board game, each pair has one pawn and together they decide where to move on each turn. If playing a card game, one hand of cards between two.

Playing in a pair means that students have to discuss their strategies with their partner, making the thinking and problem-solving more explicit.

Games that could be useful are:

  • Go Fish
  • Prime Climb
  • Cluedo
  • Any basic board game like Snakes and Ladders but with two dice and the rule that you choose one of the two options to go forward or backward.
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    $\begingroup$ Sometimes I do this by putting them in the pairs, it has the advantage to increase their community relations. But it causes some defects; for example, I prefer every one thought himself/herself alone, and the experience says that when we put two students in a pair one of them becomes the passive and the other becomes the active one. Also, I believe that putting students in the pairs, makes the shy student, to be more embarrassed! $\endgroup$ – Davood Khajehpour Jun 24 '18 at 12:12
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A very combinatorial game is Ricochet Robot, and any number of player can play (from $1$ to $\aleph_0$).

An interesting game involving probabilities is Can't Stop; the number of player is more limited in the commercial edition, but it is not difficult to add more players (although the waiting might be problem). One could make teams, and possibly split the roles (e.g one throws and groups the dice, the other chooses to launch again or not, with or without communication between them).

Both have simple rules, suitable for kids, but are interesting for adults too.

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  • $\begingroup$ At first, I apologize for my very late response. Since you answered my question until now, I have searched about the game Ricochet Robot, and I find it very very very interesting, and we will use it in one workshop. I think I should play and read more on Can't Stop. I think it has good capabilities to increase the probabilistic skill of the students. Special thanks for your excellent offers! Do you know more interesting games (for 8-9 players)? $\endgroup$ – Davood Khajehpour Jun 23 '18 at 10:07

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