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Discover the Wonders of Math together !!

                       Math Card Games to Play with your Child at Home                                

  1. Battle : (Grades K-3) 

Material needed : Deck of cards (Take out the picture cards like J,Q,K)

Instructions/How to play

  • Using a deck of playing cards play “Battle" to practice facts. 
  • Split the cards between the two players. 
  • Turn over the top two cards – you can choose to either add, subtract (keeping positive answers) or multiply the two cards to see who wins. 
  • The winner takes all 4 cards.
  • Whoever has the most cards at the end wins!
  1.  Close Call: Addicting 2-Digit Addition Card Game (Grades K-6)  

The object of this game is to accumulate the highest score by coming closer to the goal than your opponent.

          Material needed : Deck of cards  (Take out the picture cards like J,Q,K and number 10)

          Instructions/How to play : 

  • Start with a complete deck of cards. Ace = 1, Joker = 0 and all tens and other face cards are removed. Shuffle the deck and deal each player 6 cards.
  • Players then select 4 of the cards to create two 2-digit numbers. The object is to create two numbers that when added together come as close to 100 as possible, without going over.

For example, in this hand cards 2,3,4, and 5 were selected. They can then create the numbers 53 and 42, which when added together total 95.

How to Win Close Call: The player with the total closest to 100 wins the round and 1    point. In the event of a tie, each player receives a point. After playing 5 rounds, the player with the most points wins.

Variations to the Game (Grades 1-3): If you’d like to play this with younger kids, deal 4 cards to each and select 2 cards to get as close to ten as possible, without going over. Or to practice subtraction instead, change the rules to subtract 2 numbers to get as close to zero as possible. Or for a greater challenge for older kids, practice with integer operations. Make black cards positive and red cards negative, and again, challenge kids to combine numbers to get as close to zero as possible.

  1. I Spy with My Little Eye (Grades K-4)

Material needed : Deck of cards (Remove the picture cards like J,K,Q)

Players : 2 players 

Instructions/How to play

  • The cards are dealt face up in an array, either a 6 x 4 or 8 x 5 array. Just like in the pic below 

  • The first player challenges the other one to find two cards next to each other that add to make a particular number. The first player says, “I spy with my little eye two cards that add to make ______.”
  • The second player then looks for 2 cards that add to make the number. The two cards to be added need to be next to each other either horizontally or vertically. The player then picks the cards up to add them to their pile. They do this with any other pairs that add to make the number as well.
  • If the second player misses any pairs that add to the number, then player one may claim them.
  • The players alternate taking turns and continue until all the cards are gone.
  • The winner is the player with the most cards at the end of the game.
  • As large gaps appear in the array, move the cards closer together to fill those gaps.

              Here is a video for more clarification -

  1. Five - Sum - Memory  (Grades K-3) 

Materials needed : Take these cards out from a deck of cards -  4 ones or aces, 4 twos, 4 threes, and 4 fours.

Instructions : 

  • Create a deck from 4 ones or aces, 4 twos, 4 threes, and 4 fours. Deal out the cards face down. Players take turns turning two cards face up.

  • If a player turns a pair upward and that pair sums to 5, the player puts that pair of cards in their stash and plays again.
  • If the upward pair does not, when added togther, sum to 5, the player turns the cards back face down and the next player moves. 
  • The game ends when all cards are claimed. Whoever has the most cards wins. 

5.   Fast Facts ( Grades 3-6)

Materials needed: One deck of cards with the picture cards removed(like J,Q,K). In this game aces = 1. This card game is suitable for 2 players. 


1. Deal out half the cards to each player with the cards facing down in a pile. 

2. Both players take the card on the top of their pile and lay it face up in the middle.  3. The first player to call out the product of the two cards wins both cards. 

4. If it is a draw the cards are left on the table. Turn 2 more cards over and whichever player wins, picks up all the cards in the middle. 

5. The winner is the player with the most cards once all the card have been used

Variations : You could also use addition or subtraction.

6.  Target (Grades 5-6)

Materials needed: Deck of playing cards , pencil and paper for each player 

Number of Players: 2 - 4

Preparation: Remove the face cards from the deck. (Aces, Kings, Queens, and Jacks - but leave the two Jokers in.)

How to Play: 

  • Player 1 shuffles the deck of cards and then places the top five cards face up in a row in the middle of the players. Let's say they deal the five cards below.
  • Place the rest of the deck face down in middle of players. Turn over the top card of the deck and place this card face up next to the last card. This is the target number. So, let's say they turned over a nine card.

  • The players will try to reach this number by using the five cards and the order of operations. 
  • Each player will then use their pencil and scratch paper and try to come up with an equation that equals the target number (in this case 9). 

  •  Each player must use at least two of the numbers from the original five cards laid down.
  •  Each number can only be used once, unless that number was placed more than once in the original five cards. So, for our example above, 3 can be used two times if the player chooses to.

  • After a specified amount of time, each player will reveal if they were able to reach the target number and if so, the other players will check to make sure they performed the math correctly. 
  •  Whoever cannot come up with a correct equation to reach the target number receives no points for that round. 

Scoring - Players earn 3 points for a correct equation. Player earns 3 bonus points for using all five cards. If a player has an incorrect equation they lose 2 points. 

  • If no player can come up with an equation, pick up the five cards and put them off to the side in a discard pile. Pull the top five cards from the deck and lay them side by side and repeat the process as before with each player trying to reach the target number

7.  20 Sum Addition(Grades 2-6)

Materials: Deck of playing cards

How To Play:

Choose a player to shuffle the deck and deal five cards to each player.  Set the remaining cards face down in the middle of the table

Players take turns.  Let the dealer go first.  On each turn, players look for two or more cards that will add up to a sum of 20.  (The other players should check to make sure the cards add to 20.)

  1. After placing the cards aside, they pick up cards from the face down pile to replace the number of cards they placed down.
  2. If a player does not find two or mare cards that add to 20, they draw one card from the face down deck and place it face up next to their other face up cards.  Their turn then ends until the next round.
  3. Player take turns in the same way.
  4. The game ends when all of the cards in the face down pile are used up and players cannot find two or more cards that add to 20.
  5. To see who the winner is, each player counts the number of cards that are in their 20-sum pile, then subtract the number of cards they still have in their face up row.

Variations: You can use different sums instead of 20 for older grades and tailor the game to the level of the student.

8. Pyramid (Grades 1-6)

To Set Up Pyramid: A Math Card Game to Make Ten

First, remove all face cards (except Ace, which will represent the number one) and jokers from your deck of cards and shuffle well. Then arrange your cards into a Pyramid with 6 rows, as shown below, with each row slightly overlapping the previous row.

Place remaining cards in a deck, face down, off to the side.

To Play Pyramid: 

The goal is to remove cards in the pyramid by “making ten” with two cards. (Or removing a ten card, as it is already equal to ten). However, you can only remove cards that are completely uncovered. Therefore, at the start of the game, you can only use the bottom row of the pyramid to make ten. So, for example, in the picture shown on the last page, you could remove a nine and an ace to make ten.

Continue to draw until you can make another ten. Remove those cards and continue to play in the same way. If you make it through the entire deck, you can flip them over and begin drawing again. The game is over when you can no longer remove cards from your pyramid.

To Win the Game: Once you are stuck and can no longer remove any more cards, add all the remaining cards to determine your score. The person with the smallest number wins!

Here is a video for more clarification -

9) Easy card games videos that you can watch and play at home with your child-

  1. Various addition games
  2. Garbage
  3.  Go fish
  4. Memory card game -
  5. Card Game PIG -
  6. Divide and conquer -
  7. Operation -
  8. Target -

More Math Games Short Listed 

 “What books are to reading, play is to mathematics.” -Dan Finkel, 

We all want to support kids in developing their math skills, but how can we actually do it? 

A play-based approach is our best friend. Inviting kids to play games means quality family time, building math skills without stress. 

Supporting your kids through math games :

• Let kids do the work! The more kids do, the more they learn. Avoid explaining how to solve a puzzle or what the right move in a game is. Only give hints if they’ll keep kids engaged longer. Giving away the answer ruins the game. 

• Play Along! Show your kids that you’re having as much fun as they are! They’ll follow your lead. Show them how play and math go together.

 • Have fun first! The most important lesson we can teach kids about math is that it’s fun and empowering. If you or your kids are not having fun, take a break. 

A lot of games involve mathematical thinking, and are worth playing. The classics include a lot of great games for math: Chess, Go, Backgammon, Checkers, Chinese Checkers, Yahtzee, Pente, Connect 4, Sorry, Othello, poker, Mastermind, and so on. 

Games for free 

Pencil and paper games 

1-2 Nim— A perfect first game for kids. You can play with any object, or even your fingers. See for rules.

 • Dots and Boxes — Kids of all ages can play this game endlessly. There’s beautiful strategy, basic counting and geometry for young kids, and exposure to arrays and multiplication. Box the Numbers is an excellent extension.

Card games 

Sum-Memory. Just like classic Concentration, except you keep a pair of cards if they add to 10. This one is great with Tiny Polka Dot cards. Lots of other simple card games with video instructions can be found at the “Learn to Play” tab at

Dice Games 

Pig is an absolute classic. Check out Big Pig or Odd Pig Out for older kids.

 • Blockout is a wonderful game, perfect for practicing multiplication.


Board Games 

Prime Climb – The board is color-coded to give a completely different insight into how multiplication and division work, and it supports a much deeper understanding and flexibility of arithmetic. See  for more info. 

Multi - This delightful take on Tic-Tac-Toe is great for practicing multiplication. 

Kingdomino and its variations are wonderful.

Puzzle Games 

ThinkFun ( stands out as the top puzzle game publisher. Their entire portfolio is excellent, but I especially recommend Rush Hour, Chocolate Fix, and Laser Maze.

Books and Websites has a ton of free resources, including games and storybooks.

 • Kent Haines’ is ideal for finding the math game for your child. 

• Denise Gaskins has excellent resources for free and for sale at

Want a deeper dive? Check out Ben Orlin’s fabulous Math Games with Bad Drawings.

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