# CLASSIC CARD GAMES TO PRACTICE MATH SKILLS

May 15, 2024 | Bakersfield Southwest

School will be out soon and everyone will need fun ways to fill up the free time. Classic card games can be a fun way to keep kids learning about math all summer long. These classic games are fun, easy to learn and all you need is a deck of cards.

Kids won’t even know they’re practicing math!

Blackjack

Age of players: 1st grade and up (or the ability to add numbers up to and beyond twenty-one)

Math skills reinforced: adding and probability

How to play: Go to this website https://www.grandparents.com/grandkids/activities-games-and-crafts/blackjack for complete instructions.

War (with variations):

Number of Players: two

Math skills reinforced: addition, multiplication, greater than, and less than, fractions and more

How to play: Go to this website https://www.bicyclecards.com/how-to-play/war/ for the basic instructions.

Addition War - When a “war” occurs players put two cards face up. Players add the two cards. The player with the highest sum wins that war.

Multiplication War - When a “war” occurs, players put two cards face up. Players multiply the two cards. The player with the highest product wins that war.

Fractions War - When a "war" occurs, players each put two cards face up and create a proper fraction from their two cards (eg. 1/2 or 3/4 or 7/12, etc.). Players compare the two fractions and the fraction with the highest value wins that war.

Go Fish (with variations)

Number of Players: two or more

Math skills reinforced: addition, multiplication, addition, subtraction, order of operations, divergent thinking.

How to play: Go to this website https://www.bicyclecards.com/how-to-play/go-fish/ for the basic instructions.

Addition - Instead of trying to make pairs of the same number, players attempt to make pairs that make 10. (example 8 and 2)

Variations for more advanced players: Before looking at their cards, players agree on a target number. Then they must find four cards that will equal that target number. Use the following values for face cards: jack = 12, Queen= 13, King = 14 and Ace= 1 or 11. When a player gets the cards to equal the target number, they have to explain how they got to it. For example, if the group agrees to use twelve as the target number, a player could win the round with the cards 2, 2, 3 and an Ace by saying, (2+2)3 x 1=12, or they could win with a jack, 3, 6, 4 by saying,(6x4+12)/3. They win that round and they get to choose the next target number, again, without looking at their cards.

Math Fact Practice

Playing cards are also great for numerical fluency practice. Flip over two cards and add, subtract, multiply or divide them. Kids can work on this alone or even race to see who can get the most correct answers in 1 minute.

Here at Mathnasium of Bakersfield, we love using games to reinforce math skills. In fact, we have our own Mathnasium cards. Mathnasium cards are similar to regular decks, except cards are numbered 0-12 and there are no face cards. This helps make card games like the ones above easier for kids to understand because they don't have to translate face cards to numbers.

We hope you enjoy these variations on classic card games this summer and maybe even make up your own!