Grab a Deck of Cards and Try These Fun Math Games

By: Teresa Evans


Looking for a way to get children practicing math skills?
You don’t have to have costly commercial math games.
For a fun math game that helps kids to practice adding or multiplying, just grab a pack of playing cards and you’re ready to go.

Yes, believe it or not there are heaps of math games within that one deck of playing cards. Try these to begin with and then why not try inventing your own. Kids can practice adding, times tables, number order and loads of other number skills.

Multiplication Over and Under
This is an easy way to practice times tables. Use a pack of cards with the colored cards removed. The Aces count as one. Deal all of the cards out to the 2 players. One player becomes the Under 30 player and the other becomes the Over 30 player.
Each player turns over a card at the same time and the two numbers are multiplied together. If the answer is below 30, the Under 30 player keeps the cards. If it is larger than 30, the Over 30 player keeps the cards. If the answer is exactly 30 each player takes back their card and places it back in their deck. When all the cards have been used the player with the most cards is the winner.

Highest Number
Children love this fun math game to practice comparing numbers. You only need cards from Ace (which is valued at 1) to 9 for this game. Next choose the number of digits to be used in the numbers for this game, e.g. 2 digit numbers like 24 and 79; 3 digit numbers like 713 or 921; 4, 5 or 6 digit numbers. Each player is dealt that number of cards. Players arrange their cards to make the highest possible number with the cards that they have been dealt, e.g. with cards 2, 5 and 8 a player could make 852.
The player with the biggest number in each round scores a point. The winner is the person who scores the most points.

First to Fifty Addition
Take it in turns to deal 2 cards to each person. Each person then turns over the two cards they have been given, adds the two values and tells how much this is, e.g. 5 and 7 make 12. The player with the highest total keeps the two cards while the other cards are returned to the deck which is shuffled and dealt again. Players total the value of the cards they have won until a player reaches 50 and wins.

First to Fifty Multiplication
Play this game the same as First to Fifty Addition however instead of adding the 2 cards to get a total, multiply the two values on the cards, e.g. 7X6 is 42. Players will still add the value of the cards that they win to get to fifty.

These fun math games can be used by a parent and child at home or in a classroom with children playing in pairs, in small groups or with the whole class being divided into 4 or 5 teams. So why not find an old pack of cards and start playing.

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Teresa Evans is a teacher and parent who uses fun math games to get kids excited about math. To receive your own seven part math games collection visit Making Math More Fun.

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