Books about Games
Mark Goadrich
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Conway
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In searching for simple abstract pencil-paper games, I've found a few books lurking amidst the game entries (and I added one myself today). This list is a way to find them all easily; if I've missed any, please add them.

All these books include rules for one if not many games that can be played with only a few extra components, so I think they're totally justified being listed here on the 'geek, but feel free to debate this in the general comment section below.
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1. Board Game: Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays [Average Rating:8.38 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.38 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Recently republished by A. K. Peters, Winning Ways is a classic for analyzing abstract mathematical games, from Nim and Peg Solitaire to Fox and Geese and Dots and Boxes.
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2. Board Game: Hex Strategy: Making the Right Connections [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
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A. K. Peters has come out with a few books on games, and Hex Strategy covers a basic and advanced understanding of this connection game.
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3. Board Game: Connection Games [Average Rating:8.50 Overall Rank:6839]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Connection games in general are covered here, including Twixt, Hex, Y.
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4. Board Game: A Gamut of Games [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Sid Sackson's classic Gamut of Games describes a number of games you can play with a deck of cards or checkers board, some of which are independently available, like Focus, Lines of Action and Haggle.
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5. Board Game: Beyond Words [Average Rating:6.45 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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These next five books are also by Sackson, each containing about 6 paper-pencil games: Beyond Words
 
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6. Board Game: Games of Art [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Beyond Tic Tac Toe
 
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7. Board Game: Beyond Solitaire [Average Rating:6.69 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Beyond Solitaire
 
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8. Board Game: Beyond Competition [Average Rating:6.55 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Beyond Competition
 
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9. Board Game: Calculate! [Average Rating:6.15 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.15 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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and Calculate.
 
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10. Board Game: The Book of Classic Board Games [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Sackson also compiled this book for the Klutz series, which includes boards and pieces for Go, Hex, Mancala, and Nine Men's Morris among others.
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11. Board Game: Super Sharp Pencil & Paper Games [Average Rating:6.91 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Andrea Angiolino of Wings of War fame wrote this book on paper-pencil games, including about 50 games along with strategy and complexity rankings.
 
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12. Board Game: The Big Book of Board Games [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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This looks like a large children's coloring book of game boards, such as Ur, Senet, Game of Goose, Chinese Checkers and Backgammon. I'm not sure if it includes any bits.
 
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13. Board Game: The Book of Cards for Kids [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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The rules to 35 card games for kids, and it comes with a deck of cards.
 
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14. Board Game: Hoyle's Games [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:7575]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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More game rules here from the classic Hoyle source, not just card games, but board games and parlor games too.
 
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15. Board Game: 100 Strategic Games for Pen and Paper [Average Rating:6.48 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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The rules to 100 paper-pencil games. Some overlap with Angiolino's book above, but enough original games to keep you busy.
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16. Board Game: New Rules for Classic Games [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:4741]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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If you're looking to breathe new life into your childhood staples, this book has the rule for you, as well as good examples of how to make some variants of your own.
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17. Board Game: Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:7428]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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A great history of board games, from the classics to things you've never heard of. Also, has 4 page description of Crokinole.
 
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18. Board Game: Card Games Around the World [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:8330]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Sackson does it again, this time with rules for 60 card games.
 
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19. Board Game: Dice Games Properly Explained [Average Rating:6.65 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.65 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Ok, enough Sackson, Knizia weighs in here with his treatise on dice.
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20. Board Game: Great Board Games [Average Rating:6.29 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.29 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Over 40 games here ready to play. No description on the geek of which games they are.
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21. Board Game: Games of the World [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Another comprehensive history of games from many civilizations, with instructions on how to make them.
 
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22. Board Game: Miscellaneous Game Book [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:9326]
Richard Irving
United States
Salinas
California
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Collection of Prprietary and non-proprietary games.
 
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23. Board Game: The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Richard Irving
United States
Salinas
California
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A large collection of chess variants.
 
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24. Board Game: The Book of Medieval Wargames [Average Rating:4.64 Unranked]
Jeff Binning
United States
Rollinsville
Colorado
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This is a fun book which gives a pretty good historical overview of the period. The 4 games included look to be simple, but the cardboard components are good, considering they came inside the book. I've read the book, but never set up the games, as I wanted to keep the book in its original condition.

 
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25. Board Game: Playing With Pyramids [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Jody Ludwick
United States
Indiana
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Playing with Pyramids

Includes the rules to 12 different games using Icehouse pieces from Looney Labs.

My personal favorites: Gnostica, Volcano, and Homeworlds.
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