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Eureka Math Card Games
Math is everywhere. It's in everything we do, when we estimate the money we’ll make this summer or when we're estimating the number of stars in the sky. That's why Eureka Math teaches students to experience math, to understand it conceptually and in application. We feel it’s best to teach students math the way they use it in the real world. Our Eureka Math card games are intended to help build fluency in math in a fun and engaging way.
Here you’ll find the rules and instructions for a wide range of math skills games using our Eureka deck or any standard deck of playing cards. We’ve assembled ten games for skill levels ranging from grades K through 12, all with an educational math twist.
For a great counting and numeric table game, try One More, One Fewer. For a game to help students develop efficient addition subtraction strategies, check out Make Ten. To build fluency with order of operations, try Hit the Target. And for all kinds of math exercises, have a look at the several number battle games throughout.
Purchase our exclusive Eureka Math playing cards from our Manipulatives partner, Didax.
Download a PDF of all the games here. Access the games in Spanish here.
This game, which is sometimes called “Speed,” works on fluency in counting forward and backward. This is not a “taking turns” style of game, but rather a speed-based game, in which each player tries to play his cards as fast as he can. As players become more and more fluent in their play, they play their cards in rapid succession.
Preparing to play
Shuffle the full deck of cards. Place two cards face down in the playing area (next to each other, with at least a card width’s space in between). Each of the two cards should be within equal reach of the two players.
The suits hold no importance in this game, only the numbers matter.
Divide the remaining cards evenly between the two players. Players pick up five cards from their own pile to hold in their hand and leave the rest of their cards in one pile face down in front of them.
When both players are ready, each player turns over one of the two cards in the playing area, so that both cards are now face up, forming the two “playing piles”.
Playing the game
Either player can play a card from his hand onto either of the two playing piles in the center, at any time, by placing a card that is either one more than, or one fewer than, the card that is on the top of that pile. So for example, if the top cards are currently a King and an Eight, only a Ace or an Queen can be played on the King, and only a Seven or a Nine can be played on the Eight.
An Ace is treated as both greater than a King and less than a Two; thus it can be played on a King or a Two.
Each player can only pick up and play from the five cards in his hand. Each time he plays a card, he can pick up the next card in his pile and place it into his hand.
A player can only lay down one card at a time, so for example, if there is a Three on the playing field and he holds in his hand a Two, a Three, and another Two, he has to take the time to lay the cards down individually, not as a compact stack of three cards.
If there is a stall in the game, when neither player can play, there are two options. The first option is that each player can take the top card off his own pile and place it face up on one of the two playing piles to reset the playing piles. The second option is that each playing pile can be picked up, stacked neatly, and placed face down on the side of the playing area. The players can then pull a card off the top of each of those piles and place them face up to reset the playing piles. Players can draw from those piles on the side each time there is a stall in the game.
Winning the game The first player to play all the cards in their pile wins.
This game works on students’ fluency with identifying number compositions that make 10.
Preparing to play
Remove the Tens, Jacks, Queens, and Kings from the deck, leaving only Ace through Nines, and shuffle the remaining cards.
The suits hold no importance in this game; only the numbers matter.
Lay out 10 cards face up, non-overlapping, in a single row.
Playing the game
Players look at the cards in front of them, searching for a pair that combine to make 10. When a player finds such a pair, she says aloud, “I made 10!”
Play pauses while the player pulls the two cards she found, allows the other player to confirm that she has indeed made 10, and places the two cards in front of her.
Two new cards are dealt and play resumes.
Play continues until all the cards have been dealt and all combinations that make 10 have been found.
Winning the game The player who found the most pairs that make 10 wins the game.
This is the classic card game commonly called “War.” It works on students’ fluency in comparing two numbers.
Preparing to play
Shuffle the entire deck of cards.
The Ace holds a value of 1, the Jack holds a value of 11, the Queen holds a value of 12, and the King holds a value of 13. The suits hold no importance in this game; only the numbers matter.
Decide how long the game will last and set a timer. Alternatively, play can continue until one player surrenders or until one player holds all the cards.
Divide the cards evenly between the players. Each player keeps his cards in a single pile, face down.
Playing the game
Each player picks a card off the top of his pile and places it face up in the middle of the playing area for all to see. The player with the card of the greatest value takes both the cards played and places them at the bottom of his own pile.
If both cards played have the same value, a battle ensues – each player places three cards face down in the playing area, followed by a new card face up. The player whose new face-up card has the greatest value collects all the cards in the playing area, placing them at the bottom of his own pile.
Winning the game The player who has the most cards at the end of the designated time period wins the game.
This is a variation of Basic Number Battle that reinforces understanding of place value, as it calls on students to form the largest number possible with the cards they’ve played.
Preparing to play
Remove the Tens, Jacks, Queens, and Kings from the deck, leaving only Ace through Nines, and shuffle the remaining cards.
The Ace holds a value of 1. The suits hold no importance in this game; only the numbers matter.
Decide whether to play the game in the tens, hundreds, or thousands.
Decide how long the game will last and set a timer. Alternatively, play can continue until one player surrenders or until one player holds all the cards.
Divide the cards evenly between the players. Each player keeps her cards in a single pile, face down.
Playing the game
Each player picks the designated number of cards off the top of her pile (2 cards if playing in the tens, 3 if playing in the hundreds, 4 if playing in the thousands), and places them face up in the middle of the playing area for all to see.
Each player arranges her cards to form the greatest-value number possible. (Optionally, provide a sheet of paper for each student that provides a labeled spot for the ones place, the tens place etc.) When the players are finished with arranging their cards and each says “ready,” the player who has made the number with the greatest value takes all the cards played and places them at the bottom of her own pile.
If the two players have created numbers with the same value, a battle ensues – each player places three cards face down in the playing area, followed by a new set of cards face up, and works to arrange the new face-up cards to create a number with the greatest value. The player whose new number has the greatest value collects all the cards in the playing area, placing them at the bottom of her own pile.
Winning the game The player who has the most cards at the end of the designated time period wins the game.
This is a variation of Basic Number Battle that reinforces addition skills.
Preparing to play
Shuffle the entire deck of cards.
The Ace holds a value of 1, the Jack holds a value of 11, the Queen holds a value of 12, and the King holds a value of 13. The suits hold no importance in this game; only the numbers matter.
Decide how long the game will last and set a timer. Alternatively, play can continue until one player surrenders or until one player holds all the cards.
Divide the cards evenly between the players. Each player keeps his cards in a single pile, face down.
Optionally, give each student a piece of scratch paper and a pencil.
Playing the game
Each player picks two cards off the top of his pile and places them face up in the middle of the playing area for all to see.
Each player adds the values of his cards to compute their total value and states the value out loud. Each player then checks the other’s sum for correctness. The player whose cards form the greatest sum takes all the cards played and places them at the bottom of his own pile.
If the two players have played cards with the same sum, a battle ensues – each player places three cards face down in the playing area, followed by a new pair of cards face up, and adds the values of his two new face-up cards to find their sum. The player whose new cards form the greatest sum collects all the cards in the playing area, placing them at the bottom of his own pile.
Winning the game The player who has the most cards at the end of the designated time period wins the game.
This is a variation of Basic Number Battle that reinforces multiplication skills.
Preparing to play
Optionally, remove the highest-value cards to reduce the difficulty. Shuffle the remaining cards.
The Ace holds a value of 1, the Jack holds a value of 11, the Queen holds a value of 12, and the King holds a value of 13. The suits hold no importance in this game; only the numbers matter.
Decide how long the game will last and set a timer. Alternatively, play can continue until one player surrenders or until one player holds all the cards.
Divide the cards evenly between the players. Each player keeps her cards in a single pile, face down.
Optionally, give each student a piece of scratch paper and a pencil.
Playing the game
Each player picks two cards off the top of her pile and places them face up in the middle of the playing area for all to see.
Each player multiplies the values of her cards to compute a product and states the value of the product out loud. Each player then checks the other’s multiplication for correctness. The player whose cards form the greatest product takes all the cards played and places them at the bottom of her own pile.
If the two players have played cards with the same product, a battle ensues – each player places three cards face down in the playing area, followed by a new pair of cards face up, and multiplies the values of her two new face-up cards to find their product. The player whose new cards form the greatest product collects all the cards in the playing area, placing them at the bottom of her own pile.
Winning the game The player who has the most cards at the end of the designated time period wins the game.
This is a variation of Basic Number Battle that builds student fluency in comparison of fractions less than 1.
Preparing to play
Optionally, remove cards (such as Jacks and Kings) to limit the difficulty. Shuffle the remaining cards.
The Ace holds a value of 1, the Jack holds a value of 11, the Queen holds a value of 12, and the King holds a value of 13. The suits hold no importance in this game; only the numbers matter.
Decide how long the game will last and set a timer. Alternatively, play can continue until one player surrenders or until one player holds all the cards.
Divide the cards evenly between the players. Each player keeps his cards in a single pile, face down.
Give each student a piece of scratch paper and a pencil.
Playing the game
Each player picks two cards off the top of his pile and places them face up in the middle of the playing area for all to see.
Each player arranges his cards as a fraction, using the smaller of the two cards as the numerator and the larger as the denominator. Each player calls out the value of his fraction. The player whose fraction has the greatest value takes all the cards played and places them at the bottom of his own pile.
If the two players have created fractions with equal value, a battle ensues – each player places three cards face down in the playing area, followed by a new pair of cards face up, forming a new fraction with the cards. The player whose new fraction has the greatest value collects all the cards in the playing area, placing them at the bottom of his own pile.
Winning the game The player who has the most cards at the end of the designated time period wins the game.
This is a variation of Basic Number Battle that builds student fluency in comparison of fractions greater than 1.
Preparing to play
Optionally, remove cards (such as Jacks and Kings) to limit the difficulty. Shuffle the remaining cards.
The Ace holds a value of 1, the Jack holds a value of 11, the Queen holds a value of 12, and the King holds a value of 13. The suits hold no importance in this game; only the numbers matter.
Decide how long the game will last and set a timer. Alternatively, play can continue until one player surrenders or until one player holds all the cards.
Divide the cards evenly between the players. Each player keeps her cards in a single pile, face down.
Give each student a piece of scratch paper and a pencil.
Playing the game
Each player picks two cards off the top of her pile and places them face up in the middle of the playing area for all to see.
Each player arranges her cards as a fraction. This time students are allowed to use either card as the numerator with the goal of forming a fraction with the greatest possible value. The player whose fraction has the greatest value takes all the cards played and places them at the bottom of her own pile.
If the two players have created fractions with equal value, a battle ensues – each player places three cards face down in the playing area, followed by a new pair of cards face up, and places the two new cards to form a fraction of the greatest possible value. The player whose new fraction has the greatest value collects all the cards in the playing area, placing them at the bottom of her own pile.
Winning the game The player who has the most cards at the end of the designated time period wins the game.
This is a variation of Basic Number Battle that builds student fluency in comparison of fractions greater than 1.
Preparing to play
Shuffle the entire deck of cards.
The Ace holds a value of 1, the Jack holds a value of 11, the Queen holds a value of 12, and the King holds a value of 13. Green suits represent negative integers and black suits represent positive integers.
Decide how long the game will last and set a timer. Alternatively, play can continue until one player surrenders or until one player holds all the cards.
Divide the cards evenly between the players. Each player keeps his cards in a single pile, face down.
Optionally, give each student a piece of scratch paper and a pencil.
Playing the game
Each player picks two cards off the top of his pile and places them face up in the middle of the playing area for all to see.
Each player adds the values of his cards to compute their total value and states the value out loud. Each player then checks the other’s sum for correctness. The player whose cards form the greatest sum takes all the cards played and places them at the bottom of his own pile.
If the two players have played cards with the same sum, a battle ensues – each player places three cards face down in the playing area, followed by a new pair of cards face up, and adds the values of his two new face-up cards to find their sum. The player whose new cards form the greatest sum collects all the cards in the playing area, placing them at the bottom of his own pile.
Winning the game The player who has the most cards at the end of the designated time period wins the game.
This is a variation of Multiplication Number Battle that reinforces multiplication with integers by using green suits to represent negative integers and black suits to represent positive integers.
Preparing to play
Shuffle the entire deck of cards.
The Ace holds a value of 1, the Jack holds a value of 11, the Queen holds a value of 12, and the King holds a value of 13. Green suits represent negative integers and black suits represent positive integers.
Decide how long the game will last and set a timer. Alternatively, play can continue until one player surrenders or until one player holds all the cards.
Divide the cards evenly between the players. Each player keeps her cards in a single pile, face down.
Optionally, give each student a piece of scratch paper and a pencil.
Playing the game
Each player picks two cards off the top of her pile and places them face up in the middle of the playing area for all to see.
Each player multiplies the values of her cards to compute a product and states the value of the product out loud. Each player then checks the other’s multiplication for correctness. The player whose cards form the greatest product takes all the cards played and places them at the bottom of her own pile.
If the two players have played cards with the same product, a battle ensues – each player places three cards face down in the playing area, followed by a new pair of cards face up, and multiplies the values of her two new face-up cards to find their product. The player whose new cards form the greatest product collects all the cards in the playing area, placing them at the bottom of her own pile.
Winning the game The player who has the most cards at the end of the designated time period wins the game.
This is a variation of Number Battle that builds student fluency in operations with rational numbers including exponentiation and mathematical reasoning, revealing the relative impact of each operation on positive and negative operands.
Preparing to play
Shuffle the entire deck of cards.
The Ace holds a value of 1, the Jack holds a value of 11, the Queen holds a value of 12, and the King holds a value of 13. Green suits represent negative integers and black suits represent positive integers.
Decide how long the game will last and set a timer. Alternatively, play can continue until one player surrenders or until one player holds all the cards.
Divide the cards evenly between the players. Each player keeps his cards in a single pile, face down.
Consider keeping a calculator nearby for comparisons involving exponentiation with high card values.
Playing the game
Each player picks two cards off the top of his pile and places them face up in the middle of the playing area for all to see.
Each player chooses any operation to use with his two cards – addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or exponentiation – and computes the resulting value, aiming for the greatest possible value.
If the two players have created expressions with equal value, a battle ensues – each player places four (or five) new cards to form a new expression of the greatest possible value. The player whose new expression has the greatest value collects all the cards in the playing area, placing them at the bottom of his own pile.
Winning the game The player who has the most cards at the end of the designated time period wins the game.
This game builds students’ fluency with the four basic operations and the order of operations, and exercises their mathematical reasoning skills.
Preparing to play
Shuffle the entire deck of cards.
The Ace holds a value of 1, the Jack holds a value of 11, the Queen holds a value of 12, and the King holds a value of 13. The suits hold no importance in this game; only the numbers matter.
Select a player to be the first dealer.
Provide the group with means of timing the game’s rounds at 2 minutes each.
Provide each student with a piece of paper and a pencil to write her expressions and tally her score.
Decide how the game will end – after a designated number of rounds, or after a designated time period.
Playing the game
The dealer selects a target number between 1 and 30, lays out five cards face up, and sets the timer for 2 minutes.
Using those five cards, each player works to form expressions that equate to the target number, writing each one down and calling it aloud once found. The more cards a player uses in her expression, the more points she earns; 1 card = 1 point, 2 cards = 2 points, etc. Once the expression is identified by a player, it cannot be reused by other players during that round.
At the end of the round each player tallies her score for that round. The player with the highest score from the round serves as dealer for the next round, choosing the new target number, dealing the next five cards, and setting the timer.
Winning the game At the end of the game, students tally their scores from each round. The player with the highest total score wins.