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Graig-y-Rhacca Primary & Nursery Community School

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Graig-y-Rhacca Primary & Nursery Community School

Card Games

Card Games


If you have a pack of playing cards, here are some games you can play to practice your maths skills.


Make Ten Solitaire (1players)

Practise number bonds to 10.

Deal the cards into three rows of five face up, the rest are in a pile face down to the side. If you can add two cards that equal the sum of 10, you collect the cards. New cards are dealt into the holes that were left from the cards that were picked up. Face cards (K,Q, J, 10) can only be picked up if you have a matching pair. You win if you can pick up all the cards in the entire deck without getting stuck!


21 (2+ players)

Object: be the closest to 21 without going over! Each player is dealt two cards to start. Each player can choose to take another card to get closer to 21 or to ‘stick’ with the 2 cards they have.  If they go over 21 they get 0 points. If they are the closest to 21 without going over, they get 1 point. If there is a tie, all the players that are tied get 1 point. If they get 21 on the first 2 cards dealt, they get 2 points. First player to 10 points wins.


Remove all picture cards.

Deal all the cards out to all the players. Players flip the top card in their pile over. The larger number wins the battle and collects all the cards. Play stops when one player has no more cards.

Addition WAR

Turn over two cards and find the sum. The person with the largest amount wins the cards.


Subtraction WAR.

Turn over 2 cards and find the difference. Th eplayer with the greatest difference wins.


Card bingo


Remove the face cards and have each player lay out a 4 x 4 playing “board” of cards. Remaining cards (or another deck) are placed face down, and a caller flips over a card. Any player who has that number on their board turns the card face down. Play continues until one player has a row flipped over horizontally, vertically, or diagonally and calls “Bingo!”


Number Bond Snap – 2 to 4 players

  1. Decide on the number bond to work towards.
  2. Shuffle the cards and share them equally between all of the players. All cards are worth the number that appears on them. An ace is worth 1 and picture cards (Jack, Queen, King) are 0.
  3. In turn, each player places one card into the playing pile. The card should not be visible to anyone (including the holding player) until they have flipped it onto the top of the pile.
  4. If the card that is on top and the card you put down are equal to the number bond, you can snap (for example, if working towards 10, a 3 placed on a 7 or a 10 placed on a picture card).
  5. The player who successfully snaps first gets all of the cards.
  6. Keep playing until one player has all the cards and wins. If you have no cards, you are out.
  7. Adapt the game by making the Jack worth 11, the Queen 12 and the King 13 – this would allow you to play to a higher number bond.



I spy with my little eye

This card game is for two players. You will need one deck of cards with the picture cards removed (40 cards remaining).


  1. The cards are dealt face up in an array, either a 10 x 4 or 8 x 5 array.
  2. 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 ______.”
  3. 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.
  4. If the second player misses any pairs that add to the number, then player one may claim them.
  5. The players alternate taking turns and continue until all the cards are gone.
  6. The winner is the player with the most cards at the end of the game.
  7. As large gaps appear in the array, move the cards closer together to fill those gaps.








Fast facts

This card game is suitable for 2 players. You will need one deck of cards with the picture cards removed. In this game aces = 1.


  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 sum (or difference) 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.


Pick a pair


You will need  -  Pack of playing cards - select a number of matching pairs of cards appropriate to your child.

How to play :

Shuffle, and spread all the cards out face down on the table between the players (you can either choose a random arrangement, or lay the cards out in grid form; the latter makes it easier to remember where cards are placed). The object of the game is to find matching pairs. Players take it in turns to turn over 2 cards. Let both the players see them and study them. If they are not a matching pair, try to remember what and where they are, then turn them back over. Play then passes to the next player. If they are a matching pair, that player removes them from the table and keeps them, and then has another turn. When all cards have been removed from the table, each player counts up the number of cards they have collected. The player with the most cards is the winner. Step up the challenge Use more pairs of cards – up to the whole pack of 52!


Nifty 50 (2 players)

The object is to come up with a math equation that has a sum or difference closest to the number 50. First player to five points is the winner!

Deal all the cards between all the players. Each player turns over four cards and makes a two digit + two digit number sentence or two digit – two digit number sentence that has solution is closest to 50. The equation that is closest to 50 gets one point. IF you can create an equation that is exactly 50, it’s worth 2 points. If both players have the same answer, no one gets a point.

During play, Aces are worth 1, and picture cards and 10s are worth 0, other cards are face value. After the cards are used, they are put in a discard pile.