Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dealing Up Some Fun in Math

Hi everyone! It is Teresa here from Fun Games 4 Learning. I'm excited to be back here blogging on Who's Who and Who's New!

Many of you will be winding down with the end of the school year and today I have some games that could be perfect for this time of year!

Did you know that a simple deck of playing cards can be a fantastic math resource?

There are loads of math games that can be played with an inexpensive deck of cards.

These games will get students adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing and comparing numbers and even fractions.

One of the best things about math card games is that children see them as a game and don’t consider themselves to be ‘doing math’ while they play.

Here are three of my favorite games below.

Each game is played with the picture cards removed and Aces are valued at 1.
Race to 27

This game has players adding cards until they reach 27.

2 - 4 players

Deal out all of the cards to the players. Players put their cards into a pile in front of themselves with cards face down.

The first player turns over their top card and places it in the center.

The next player turns over their top card placing it on top of the first card. This player adds the value of the two cards and tells everyone the total.

The next player does the same adding the value of their card to the previous total.

Play continues until the total reaches 27 or over. The player who puts down the card that takes the total to 27 or over takes all of the cards in this pile and shuffles them into their pile.

Play continues for a set time or until one player has no cards left.

The winner is the person with the most cards.

For a more advanced version you can play Race to 50 or Race to 100.
Fraction Draw

This game has players create and compare fractions.  

2 - 4 players

Shuffle cards and place them face down in a pile in the center of the players.

Each player draws two cards from the center pile. (Or someone can deal two cards to each player.)

Players create a fraction by placing one card above the other with the smallest valued card placed on the top.

All of the fractions are compared and the player with the largest fraction wins the round and keeps their cards.

The other players return their cards to the pile which is shuffled and placed in the center.

Each player keeps adding the value of the cards they have won until one player reaches 50 and becomes the winner.

(HINT: Fractions can be compared by using a calculator to divide the top number by the bottom number or by using a fraction model.)
Flip Three

This is a memory style card game with a twist. Players make equations from the three cards that they flip over.

2-4 players

The cards are all placed in rows face down.
Players take turns to flip over three cards and attempt to make an equation using the three cards. The equation can be an addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, e.g. 3+3=6, 8-5=3, 2x1=2, 10÷2=5.
If the player can make an equation they keep the cards. If they can’t make an equation the cards are flipped back over in the same place.
Continue playing until only 7 cards remain. The winner is the player who has the most cards.
Well I hope these games are enough to get you started dealing up some fun in math.
If you'd like more math games ideas or printables, make sure you visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store.     Till next time,



  1. These games are great. i loved fraction draw. Also, I came across this another card game "Monkey Fractions". It is so much fun for kids. Check it out on Amazon.

  2. Do you play the flip three game with all the cards in the deck?

    1. I played with my students. We used the following conditions.


  3. Awesome games. I too will play these games at my math center.

  4. My 8th grade students loved flip three. Thanks for the great ideas.

  5. I use rules from common card games to make games on my website. Many are free, some require membership (free with an email signup)., if okay to post that???

  6. Great resource! We play the "Forty Flapper" (Harry Potter themed...think Hedwig haha) which is similar to the "Race to 27" except it goes to 40 to help my 2nd graders add with regrouping! Give me a simple deck of cards over a worksheet any day! Thanks for this post!

  7. hi. do u sell these card games?

  8. These are excellent. I have some too, if you’d like them. I run a ‘play-based‘ learning program in my gr 1/2 classroom in North Vancouver, BC
    I teach all LA & math skills in small or large groups as usual, but practice is done with homemade, kid tested games that 2 or more play.
    It develops skills immensely, eye to eye contact, social interaction & is loads of fun.
    The bonus of it all...all 22 were exceeding in math by Feb. My LAC kiddies were all meeting in LArts by Feb.
    It’s the best way to practice learning. They are such happy campers during the game play, and they’re on task the entire time. So proud of them

    1. Lisa, I am interested in the games you do or at least a few of the most popular. I also teach 1st and 2nd grade.