Social Math Games?
October 30, 2008 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Can you think of any parlor games (not commericial games; I don't want to buy anything), for a bunch of players (5-15, give or take) that rely on math/strategy/logic skills? Haggle is a perfect example.

I'm hosting a games party, and there are dozens of guessing/literary/word games for groups, but not so many for the math-y among us. I'm wondering if there are any that are a little more involved and social than, say, Buzz/Fizz (where you say "buzz" or "fizz" rather than a multiple of an agreed-upon number). I know that dice and card games are of course math oriented...I guess I'm looking for something social, lively, and off the beaten path. Any thoughts?
posted by Ollie to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I appears that Haggle is from a book "A Gamut of Games." Maybe check that out.
posted by bdc34 at 9:39 AM on October 30, 2008

A little light on the math side, but I'd suggest at least one round of Mafia, though depending on what day the party is you might want to play the "Werewolf" variation. Tis the season!
posted by rhizome at 9:42 AM on October 30, 2008

Not mathy, but Mafia/Werewolf can be pretty strategic.

Though it's not inherently any of those things, 1000 Blank Cards can easily take on those characteristics depending on the crowd.
posted by mkultra at 9:43 AM on October 30, 2008

posted by Zed_Lopez at 9:47 AM on October 30, 2008

Oops, skimmed the not asking for literary/word game part. OK, better yet, Nomic.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 9:49 AM on October 30, 2008

My google-fu seems to be failing me (most of the hits are for computer versions) but Penta is a strategy-mathy game that can be played with any markers/tokens and a drawn-out board.

This suggestion would require buying a game, but I grew up playing WFF 'n Proof (WFF is pronounced 'woof'). It's about creating logical structures. Highly geeky, but fun nonetheless.
posted by workerant at 9:53 AM on October 30, 2008

There was a logic puzzle game that my godmothers' sons and I played once when we were kids - "I'm going on a picnic." You have one leader, and each turn, the leader and the players just take turns naming two things they'd bring on a picnic.

But there's a "rule" to the things they must bring -- the rule that my godmother's son used was that the names of the two things you brought had to start with your initials (for instance, I could bring an Elephant and a Cooler). The leader is the only one who knows this rule at the outset, and so he goes first; and after each person names the two things they'd bring, the leader tells them whether they guessed right by saying whether they can come to the picnic or not. If a player figures it out, they also keep it to themselves, and keeps playing following that rule. You just keep taking turns naming things you'd bring to a picnic, with the leader starting each round and telling you whether you can come or not, until everyone figures it out or people want to give up.

The initials one was the rule we used, but coming up with your own rule would also work.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:55 AM on October 30, 2008

This post is a great list of party games.
posted by Diskeater at 10:01 AM on October 30, 2008

bdc34: I have it, thanks! Trouble is, most logic/math games tend to be rather quiet--and I'm looking for something lively and social. Mafia is great, but we've played a LOT of that lately.
posted by Ollie at 10:05 AM on October 30, 2008

Farkle! An easy-to-learn dice game for any number of players. Doesn't take long to play.
posted by waxbanks at 10:24 AM on October 30, 2008

Can you splurge on a big bag (half-dozen per color, several colors) of dice? You would enjoy Stack. Definitely a lively and social game --- especially if you play with penalties for knocking stacks over or for swearing, and serve beer.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 10:37 AM on October 30, 2008

Eleusis is a lot of fun, although perhaps not as lively as you might want.
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:37 AM on October 30, 2008

If you've got some cards and several people who already know how to play, Mao might meet your requirements - the game involves working out the game's rules.
posted by Mike1024 at 11:17 AM on October 30, 2008

Liar's dice?
posted by fings at 8:01 PM on October 30, 2008

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