Please Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure (link) for more info.
How board games can teach probability?
The question certainly sounds interesting.
Actually, the board games involve various decisions like reaching to the Home, destroying a castle, building a business empire, etc. that compel players to apply probability.
With the help of probability principles, the game moves are not made entirely depending upon the choice. The players can apply the types of probability or probability concepts to see how these work as a guiding principle for any board game.
Probability is life’s essence!
Is there any place where probability is not working? We need to take decisions that depend a lot on estimations. Nothing comes to us in black or white. There are decisions to take which can be easy as well as tough.
So, we unconsciously use probability in life in almost everything we do, such as:
- finding percentage
- defining patterns
- making weather forecast
- data analysis
- betting and speculating in games, and a lot many.
Taking these pointers in mind, the designers have made interesting board games for probability learning and application. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting board games for the probability that teach us a lot about this math concept.
9 cool board games involving probability
1. Horse Racing Board Game
Horse racing board game involves the gameplay where the players select the horse to bet upon. They design strategies using their knowledge of probability. The rolling of dice adds to the suspense and on the basis of the number that comes up, the players may converse about which horse is the most likely to win the game.
This gameplay can be best described as ‘probability in action’ where the learners get to estimate and guess. With regular practice and playing often, the players may earn the proficiency of guessing which horse is likely to win just by looking at the number appearing on the rolled dice.
2. Lingxuinfo Wooden Shut The Box Game
Experts of probability feel much intrigued by the way Shut the Box employs probability. The game shows higher chances of winning when it is played using 1 dice (1 in 72), than when players employ two or three dice. Various strategies like choosing one dice or two, or where the chances go as bleak as 1 in 250.
In how many turns a player will be going to shut the box forms the strategy design of this board game. A noted analyst Martin has gone into finer details and created a table that shows the scores and the corresponding probabilities. There are certain computer projects also available to understand how coding can be used to determine the probability of winning this game.
3. Arrow-Spinning Board Game Activities
Spinning wheel is not just a board game but a probability activity designed for classroom environments. This board game can be used to entice children into learning the difference between theoretical and experimental probabilities. The spinner comes with nine sectors.
Children can reduce or increase the size and number of these sectors to create various possibilities and then find the probability of pointer stopping on any number. They compare the results obtained by experimenting with the one that results from applying the formula. This is how this board game gives a cognitive introduction of the concept of probability to children.
4. Skunk Bingo Board Game
Skunk is a very smart teaching aid useful for acquainting children with the application of probability in normal life. Means, the players are given certain real-life conditions. Then, they are given the data, a little bit of statistical analysis, based on which the players decide what decisions to take by deriving the probability of happening of the condition.
One of the examples is – ‘World is grappled by a pandemic, Share prices are going down. Should you invest or withdraw the investments?” This board game is designed for the people of all age groups. When designed for children, the conditions can be like – “It is raining heavily since yesterday. School may be closed.” Should I pack my bag or not? Game teaches how to use data to apply probability principles and make decisions.
5. Sagrada Board Game
Sagrada has a distinct chance element in it that allows the players to practically apply the concepts of probability. 9 dices of five different colors give rise to numerous probabilities, and so, the players get a chance to experiment with strategies.
Choose or take chance or combine chance with a choice – in any case, you are implementing some probability intelligence in moving the game forward. The prevalence of certain restrictions makes the player more aware of guessing the possibility of an event on the basis of given rules of playing. Thus, Sagrada teaches to guess, estimate, and take decisions and makes the players more math reasoning intelligent.
6. Unfair Board Game
Unfair is a very engaging board game where the players need to choose the strategy of moving between cards, choose from action alternatives, and take decisions like expand the fun park or consolidate the stake.
All these actions make use of a player’s ability to guess or estimate the results from the given set of conditions. All rounds of the game are making use of probability principles so that the players can turn their chosen strategy into a winning one.
The players strategize about going to the park choices given, choosing investment options, and so on. The backdrop of an amusement park compels players to engage deeply and focus on strategies better with an aim of winning lots of points and ultimately, the game.
7. Sorry Board Game
In the game Sorry, the players are taking two sides – red and blue, or as the color scheme provided in the game. The players have 4 pawns each of the colors they choose. They go round the board and accomplish tasks given before reaching the Home. The probability part arises due to 45 cards given in this game.
How soon you will be able to reach the Home or in how many turns are to be decided by taking or leaving the option given in the card. Reaching the Home is an event for which people make strategies and play the game using the principle of probability. Sending opponent pawn back to start and a few other actions like these require the understanding of probability to play this game, which is why it is a proven resource for practicing probability concept.
8. Castle Panic Board Game
Castle Panic is a game of pure strategy and a little bit of luck. There are various decisions to be taken in this game that is governed by probability. This is why this probability board game gives a practical view of the principles of probability.
You have to choose who to send, how far or near to the castle, and in how many steps, the final step or crushing of the wall of the castle can be attained. The slain soldiers decide the winner of this game, even when both sides are playing cooperatively to reach the ultimate aim. This board game for probability has cards, triangular chips, and other materials that give the players a chance to strategize the happening of a desirable outcome by a mix of guessing and planning.
9. Up 4 Grabs – A Card Playing Board Game
Up4Grabs is a card game played with 9 cards each of four suits. The players have to make a pair of 9 cards with an aim to have four cards of the same number. This strategy to pick and discard the card to complete the hand does give an introduction to the probability principles.
Conditional probability and multiplying probabilities are the two strategic calculations one can do to arrive upon a decision regarding how to move this game. The players get to learn a thing or two about the probability by the time the game is over if they build strategies and do not depend entirely on the chance.
Probability is needed to be in complete control of life. With the use of teaching resources like board games and activities, you can help children prepare for the life and the challenges that it throws, and tackle them with confidence by having probability intelligence in your math skills set.
Share the word
If you find this post helpful, then please help us spread the word. Share the post with your friends, family, and colleagues. Do not forget to subscribe to our updates. Any suggestions and recommendations are appreciated. You can reach us through the contact form and we will get back at you shortly.