I recently wrote about Hooda Math’s Multiplication Game. There’s a couple of things I didn’t tell you in that post.

First of all, you don’t have to use a computer to play the game. (However, using one the first time you play will help you understand how to play). You can print a game board to play. I’ve created a game board below that you could use. Each player can use different items such as beads, pennies, nickels, and dimes as markers to mark the factors used and to claim the resulting products on the game board.

The second thing you should know is that getting four squares in a row, horizontally, vertically or diagonally is NOT equally likely every place on the board. If one particular number is all you need to get a win, you are less likely to get that number if it only has one factor (like the numbers marked in yellow have). As far as this game is concerned, the products have the number of factors that I’ve indicated, even though in reality most of them have more than that.

You can’t win unless your opponent gives you one of the factors you need to claim that winning space. If 4 of the 9 possible factors will get it for you, the odds are much better your opponent will give you what you need than if only 1 of the 9 possible factors will do it.

If you know which numbers have four possible factors, you may have an advantage over someone who thinks this game is really just a variation of tic-tac-toe. Of course, those products with four factors could also make you more likely to get blocked as well! And if you use my colorful game board, your opponent will know just as much as you do about how many ways they can get each square.