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Strategy Games to Enhance Problem-Solving Ability in Mathematics

Alfred S. Posamentier and Stephen Krulik
World Scientific
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
Problem Solving in Mathematics and Beyond 5
Problem Book
[Reviewed by
Terry McDonald
, on

The purpose of this book is to improve one’s ability to problem-solve by playing strategy games. It encourages readers to play games that require critical thinking to develop strategies that consistently win the games. To accomplish its goal, the book begins with a brief introduction on strategy games. In this chapter, the authors highlight the important connection between strategy gaming and the process of problem-solving. This chapter concludes by offering some quick tips on how to find and create strategy games. Each chapter that follows is devoted to a particular type of strategy game: Tic-Tac-Toe games, blocking games, games that require changes in strategies and miscellaneous strategy games. The final chapter includes some hints and winning strategies for some of the games. Finally, there is an appendix containing a copy of most of the game boards.

I feel that this book may be used by an instructor to energize his or her classroom with fun and challenging problems. The games do not require any special equipment. Most can be played with paper, pencil and a copy of the game board. Some require pieces that are easily identified by each player. Each game contains a Sample Simulation. During these simulations, the authors ask questions to help the reader focus on developing a winning strategy. The simulations will serve as a helpful time management tool in the classroom by keeping the students focused on winning the game rather than just playing the game.

In summary, Strategy Games to Enhance Problem-Solving Ability in Mathematics is a good collection of different types of strategy games. By design, each game fosters mathematical growth. Many of the games originate from various countries around the world. This will allow the reader to experience a bit of cultural growth as well.

Terry McDonald is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.

  • An Introduction to Strategy Games
  • Tic-Tac-Toe Games
  • Blocking Games
  • Games Requiring an Ongoing Change of Strategies
  • Miscellaneous Strategy Games
  • Suggestions and Strategies for Selected Games
  • Game Boards for Various Strategy Games