Put 11 cards numbered 2 to 12 into a bag. Each player then draws a card giving them a horse. If  there are fewer than 11 players, they can draw more than one horse. To assign the last few horses, players throw a die and, if they throw a six, they draw another horse. To play the game, one player throws two fair dice and adds the numbers to decide which horse goes forward. On each throw, mark an ‘x’ in the next box or move the counter to show one horse going one square forward. The winner is the first to move 11 ssquares forward to cross the finishing line. 

Click here to download the gameboard for the HORSE RACE GAME.

Play the game a few times and record the numbers of the winning horses. Do some numbers come up more often than others? If so, why? Make conjectures about the favourite horses with the best numbers, who win most often, and the outsiders who win less often. Continue playing to see if there is further evidence that your conjectures might be true.


If it’s possible to mark out the eleven racetrack lanes on the ground the game can be played with with 11 players acting as the jockeys taking one step forward when their number comes up .


  1. Why is there no horse with the number 1?
  2. Why do certain horses (the favourites) win more often than others?
  3. Why do other horses (the outsiders) win less often?
  4. How many different scores are there?
  5. On average, over many games, how often does each score come up?
  6. If you play several games, would you prefer to keep the same horse or draw each time for which horse (or horses) you will have? Why?
  7. How would the game work out if you chose to play it with a tetrahedral die (numbers 1 to 4) or with an octahedral die (numbers 1 to 8). Would you change the numbers of the horses. Which horse would be the favourite?
  8. Why use a regular shape for a die (a cube, a tetrahedron or an octahedron) rather than a different cuboid?

Watch this space. More information will be added soon.



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