What Are the Most Popular Math Puzzles and Games?

Puzzles and games are effective activities parents and educators can provide to their children or students as learning materials. These are very effective when trying to teach them about mathematics because in puzzles and games, their brains are really working and at the same time, they are enjoying themselves. There are several math puzzles and games created worldwide that students enjoy doing. But among all of those puzzles and games, what are the most popular math puzzles and games in the present day?

The most popular of all math puzzles, is the Sudoku puzzle. In Sudoku, the player is presented with a 9x9 grid block with numbers scattered in some of the boxes in the whole 9x9 grid block. The objective is to fill in the empty boxes with the appropriate numbers so that each row, column and sub-block (3x3 sub-grid) of the whole 9x9 grid block contains all the numbers from 1 to 9. No number from 1 to 9 should be repeated in the same row, column or sub-block. Sudoku is popularized by A Japanese puzzle company in 1986 and had its peak of international popularity in 2005. This puzzle is based on logic skills but it's also considered a math puzzle because of the numbers in the puzzle. Sudoku is definitely the number one answer in the question what are the most popular math puzzles and games.

Another popular math-and-logic puzzle is a puzzle called Kakuro puzzle. Like the Sudoku, Kakuro puzzle involves the numbers from 1 to 9 and a grid block but the objective is different. The Kakuro puzzle is actually more similar with crossword puzzles, only in Kakuro, numbers and sums are used instead of letters and words. Kakuro is played on a grid block that is usually 16x16. The Kakuro grid block has black boxes and white boxes. The black boxes are usually located in the edges of the grid block and don't contain any number. Some of the white boxes have numbers on them and those numbered boxes are located in the edges of the group of white boxes. The numbers serve as the clue for the answers. The objective of Kakuro puzzle is to fill in the empty white boxes with the numbers from 1 to 9 until the sum of each entry is equal to the clue associated with the entry.

What are the most popular math puzzles and games aside from Sudoku and Kakuro? Amazing math games that are also very popular are the Kaprekar's Constant and Magic Squares. Both of these games are way much older than Sudoku and kakuro but are still very popular today.

The Kaprekar's Constant is actually a math magic game where the player finds amazement in the number 6174, which is called the Constant in this game. The instruction for this game is simple.

1. The player has to choose any four-digit number with no repeating number on them.

Ex. 3962

2. Then he has to arrange the four-digit number in a decreasing order.

Ex. (Original: 3962) 9632

3. The player also has to arrange the original number in an increasing order which will be of course a number that is smaller in amount than the first rearrangement (decreasing order).

Ex. (Original: 3962) 2369

4. Now the player has to subtract the 2nd rearranged number (increasing order) from the 1st rearranged number (decreasing order).

Ex. 9632 - 2369 = 7263

5. After getting the difference, repeat the procedure until you arrive to the Constant 6174

Ex. 9632 - 2369 = 7263

7632 - 2367 = 5265

6552 - 2556 = 3996

9963 - 3699 = 6246

6642 - 2466 = 4176

7641 - 1467 = 6174

Magic Squares are the most commonly used games in many puzzle books and magazines worldwide. Magic squares are boxes which sizes can vary from 3x3 to larger ones. In magic squares, the numbers are placed inside the boxes such that the sum of each row, column or main diagonal entry is the same without repeating of any number inside the magic squares.

There are other answers to the questions what are the most popular math puzzles and games that are not limited to use of numbers such as the tangram which uses the geometrical aspect of mathematics. Games and puzzles are indeed very fun activities and they are sure ways to make the students get interested in the exciting world of mathematics.

Websites For Learning All About Math Puzzles

  1. Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles
  2. Puzzlemaker
  3. The Grey Labyrinth