# 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

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