# Mathematical game

**Mathematical games** include many topics which are a part of **recreational mathematics**, but can also cover topics such as the mathematics of games, and playing games with mathematics. As far as two-player games are considered, what distinguishes a mathematical game from ordinary games is the emphasis on mathematical *analysis* of the game, rather than actually *playing* it.

*Mathematical Games* was the title of a long-running column on the subject by Martin Gardner in Scientific American. He inspired several new generations of mathematicians and scientists through his interest in mathematical recreations. *Mathematical Games* was succeeded by *Metamagical Themas*, a similarly distinguished but shorter-running column by Douglas Hofstadter, and afterwards by *Mathematical Recreations*, a column by Ian Stewart.

## Contents

## Mathematics of games

This can be a more serious subject than the name belies. It can include the statistical analysis of Card games to understand and improve play techniques.

- Game theory has wide social and military applications for tactical and strategic planning.
- Conway's combinatorial game theory and surreal numbers

## Playing games with mathematics

The foremost popularizers of recreational mathematics in recent years have been

Other figures in recreational mathematics history have included:

## Specific mathematical games and puzzles

- Angels and Devils
- Chomp
- Domineering
- Dots and boxes
- Eight queens puzzle
- Fifteen Puzzle
- Four fours
- Hackenbush
- Hex
- Hexaflexagons
- Knight's Tour
- L game
- Life
- Monty Hall problem
- Nim
- No-three-in-line problem
- Penrose dominoes
- Pentominoes
- Philosopher's football
- Prisoner's dilemma
- Rhythmomachy
- Rubik's Cube
- Sim
- Soma cube
- Sprouts
- Squaring the square
- Sudoku
- Tangram
- Think-a-Dot
- Three cottage problem
- Tower of Hanoi
- Verbal arithmetic
- Wire-and-string puzzles (knot theory, topology)

Some sort of mathematics can be found in nearly all types of games.

Other games and pastimes of non-trivial mathematical interest:

See also:

## External links and references

- Journal of Recreational Mathematics
- http://www.mathpuzzle.com/ by Ed Pegg, Jr.
- The Unreasonable Utility of Recreational Mathematics by David Singmaster
- Bibliography: http://bruichladdich.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/mathrecsFolder/books.html
- Mathematical Games from Madras College, St Andrews
- Malba Tahan: The Man Who Counted
- Cliff Pickover. (2005) ISBN 0471690988 A Passion for Mathematics: Numbers, Puzzles, Madness, Religion, and the Quest for Reality.nl:wiskundig spel