Learning Statistics with Risk – the Board Game

Playing board games can be beneficial for our children’s development, and games like chess offer extra benefits, like academic enhancement and brain development. Some board games, such as Risk – the board game – can help children learn about Math, in particular, statistics.

It can be difficult for some children to get into Math when they don’t see the real-life benefits to all that number crunching. Opportunities that show them the real-life applications of Math, for example, in a game of Risk, can help children understand the benefits of applying statistics in strategy planning for their game play.

The Math Behind a Game of Risk

Walter Hickey from Business Insider gives a fairly concise explanation

Risk involves both skill and luck. The objective of Risk is to take over the world by eliminating all of your enemies. You amass territory by attacking your adversaries’ armies. When you attack enemies, you roll dice. Since attacking and defending with dice define every interaction on the Risk board, knowing the ways to use the statistics of battle to your advantage give you a distinct advantage when playing.

Some take home messages:

  • take small continents first
  • attack conservatively
  • play defensively
  • Africa is the easiest to invade but difficult to hold
  • risk can be measured by the ratio of continental bonus armies per border territory and North America has the most favorable ratio.
  • the larger the battle, the larger the attacker advantage
  • if battle is inevitable, attack as soon as you have the same number of armies as the defending armies

For an in depth explanation of the math behind Risk, see Garrett Robinson’s paper on The Strategy of Risk.

Aside from learning strategy through statistics, playing Risk also helps to develop logical thinking and decision-making skills because everything you do has consequences. The ’cause and effect’ gameplay is highly beneficial to building your intelligence. – Life Hack: 15 Fun Board Games that Exercise Your Brain And Make You Smarter

About the Game of Risk

Risk a game where the aim is to conquer your opponents with superior strategy. Only the strong will survive in this exciting, unpredictable game of global domination. Use your troops to invade new territories and roll the dice for the increased rewards that come with bold moves. Will you attack with enough fierceness and luck to drive other troops out of their territories? If you can, you’ll expand your reach. If your opponent’s defense is too much, you’ll lose! You’ll earn bonus troops for more powerful attacks by turning in cards or taking over whole continents. If you conquer enough territories, you’ll be the victor, so Risk isn’t just the name of the game – it’s how you win! With 3 ways to play, you can learn the game, take on the classic game, or limit the game to 2 players. The decision is yours. The time is now. Do you have what it takes to dominate the world?

And if you enjoyed Risk, there are special editions, too! Here are some of them:

Maybe you can work out your own strategies for these Risk variations with statistics…

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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