Just For Kids |

The Different Ways to Play MathDice |

Let's start out this section by talking about motivation.

For you, our guess is that your best motivation is to make as many points as you can so your class can get their Ice Cream Party or other celebration. Right?

For your teachers and parents, their motivation is to help you play as much as you can, because when you play, you get better at math. Got that?

So...

The idea is, there isn't just one way you have to play MathDice with exactly the same rules every time. Instead, the idea is to try out a bunch of different ways to play, then decide the ones you like best and play them most! And when your teacher suggests a new way to play, go for it. More points!

Setting the Basic RulesBefore you start playing, you should agree with your partner on some of the basic MathDice rules. Here are the rules you need to agree on.

- How to get the Target Number. Will you add the Target Dice or multiply them together?
- What operations you're allowed to use. All games use addition, subtraction, and and multiplication. Will you allow division? Will you allow exponents?
- Can you use pencil and scratch paper to help you play? Can you use a calculator (not recommended)?
- What is the penalty for not being able to state a correct equation to back up your winning answer? Should the other player get the point? Should it be a do over? Should each player get one free missed answer per game before the penalty kicks in?
- What happens if two people call out the same answer at the same time? We recommend making this a do-over.

- Most of the play is the same as two-player MathDice. Any player may be first to call out their equation, any other player may then try to find a new equation that scores closest to the target, and if someone does find a better answer, all the other players (including the person with the first answer) may look for an even better answer. A point is awarded to the person with the closest answer first. That person must be able to state the equation they used to get their answer.
- First person to four points is the winner.

Once you're ready to go, here are some different ways MathDice can be played.

MathDice Chip Gamefor two or more players (great for small groups)

Equipment needed: MathDice dice, and 21 chips or counters. (Pennies, chips, even Cheerios will do).

Start game by putting three chips in the center of the table; then roll Target Dice and Scoring Dice like normal game. Any player can call out an answer, and state the equation they used to get it. That player gets one of the chips. All of the rest of the players then try to come up with another equation that gets closer to the Target Number; the first player to do this and correctly state their equation, gets the two other chips. However, if at any time, a player finds an equation that hits the target number exactly, that player collects all three chips, either from the table or collecting them back from players who had taken chips that round. If chips are left on the table at the end of any round, put them back in the pot. If there are fewer than three chips in the last round, make up a rule for playing with them.

Play until all chips have been captured. Player with the most chips is the winner.

Everybody Answers MathDicefor two or more players (great for small groups or full classroom exercise)

Equipment Needed: MathDice dice, and paper and pencil for recording answers.

Game starts like regular MathDice, but instead of players gaining advantage by being first to answer, everybody takes time to write down the best answer they can think of for the time period, from 30 seconds to a minute long. All players who share the best answer get two game points. All players who share the second best answer get one point. First player to 10 is the winner.

This version works great as a team game, where two or more players have to discuss what answer they think is best and then submit the one they agree on.

Back and Forth MathDicegood for younger players

Two players match off against each other. Designate one player to play first for the first roll (players may use their own system for determining this.) For the first roll of the dice, the first player evaluates the dice and announces his/her best solution, with a 30 second or so time limit. Second player then has a chance to find an equation with a better solution, also within a 30 second or so time period; then the round is over. For the next round (roll), the other player gets first chance to announce an equation, and the first player tries to do better.

The winner of each roll gets two points. First player to reach 10 points wins the game.

If you've got a new way to play MathDice that you want to share with us, please write us and describe how you play.