Who couldn’t use a quick and easy new game to practice addition and multiplication facts that is fun and involves a little bit of strategy? My eleven year old son, Ben, and I dreamed up this little game this evening. This is a game that you could use in your classroom OR played at home and can be adapted in lots of different ways.
Materials: You will need a standard deck of cards with jokers.
Card Values: For this game we designated the Joker as a wild card, meaning you could make it any number you want when it is played. We made all of the Aces = 1, Jacks = 10, and Queens and Kings = 11.
- Shuffle all of the cards and place them face down in a pile.
- Each person takes 3 cards (and hides them so that no one, but themselves, can see them).
- When each round begins, each player chooses a card from their hand and lays it face down in front of them.
- After both players have a face down card each player takes one of the remaining cards from their hand and places it face up beside their opponent’s face down card, as shown below. So, in fact you are giving your opponent a card which they will use to make an equation in the next round.
- Both players turn over their original card and multiply the card they were given by the card they had placed face down.
- The players both state their equation and product. For the hand show above Ben had 6 x 11 = 66 and I had 8 x 10 = 80 so I would win all 4 cards.
- The player with the highest product wins the round and takes all of the cards on the table (4).
- At the end of the round each player will have 1 card left in their hand. They will save this card for the next round.
- At the beginning of each round players take 2 more cards so that they have a total of 3 cards in their hand (this gives players some choice in what they play) and repeat steps 3-8 until all the cards from the face down pile are gone.
- When all rounds are complete players count the cards they won and the player with the most cards wins.
- If a player places a joker on the table they will state the number they want it to be when they state their equation and product.
- If the product is the same, play a second round and the player with the highest product will win all 8 cards instead of 4.
- For younger grades use addition. Players will find the sum of the two cards.
- To make the addition more difficult you could have players take 4 cards and lay 2 face down in addition to the one their opponent gives them. Then players would find the sum of 3 addends. In this variation, the player with the highest sum would take the 6 cards on the table instead of 4.
- You can always change up the value of the face cards. For example Jacks could be 10, Queen could be 11, and King could be 12.
The possibilities are endless! We made a little video to help explain the rules. We hope you enjoy the game and share it with your students!