Close Call: Addicting 2-Digit Addition Card Game

Yesterday I began a fun, 5 day series of math card games. I hope that throughout this series you will find ways to practice facts in a fun way, work on mental math skills and challenge each other with unique games that can be played over and over. Today I’m sharing a simple 2-digit addition card game that is so addicting, your kids will be begging to play! Plus, with tons of variations, you’ll never get bored of it.

This 2-digit addition card game is a super simple way to practice addition skills, but also encourage problem solving and deepen an understanding of place value. Even though it's simple to set up and play, the math will challenge and strengthen your kids skills.

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2-Digit Addition Card Game:

Today’s game is called Close Call, and it’s perfect for Second or Third Grade. (Though it can be adapted for younger or older kids. See the variations at the end).

Skills Focus: Addition of 2-digit numbers, mental math calculations and problem solving

While the focus of this 2-digit addition card game is addition and mental math practice, it will also develop and encourage problem solving skills.

Because the goal is to get as close to 100 as possible, kids have to really think about which cards to choose and what numbers to make with them.

In addition, this will help deepen an understanding of place value as they begin to realize what values are better suited for the tens place, and what numbers are better for the ones place to achieve their goal.

How to Play Close Call:

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

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.

This 2-digit addition card game is a super simple way to practice addition skills, but also encourage problem solving and deepen an understanding of place value. Even though it's simple to set up and play, the math will challenge and strengthen your kids skills.

For example, in this hand I selected the cards 2,3,4, and 5.

I was then able to create the numbers 53 and 42, which when added together total 95.

This 2-digit addition card game is a super simple way to practice addition skills, but also encourage problem solving and deepen an understanding of place value. Even though it's simple to set up and play, the math will challenge and strengthen your kids skills.

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.

Alternatively, you could continue playing rounds until someone reaches 5 points.

To further aid with addition practice, you could also add the total from each round to calculate the total points. Then the player with the highest score wins.

Variations to the Game:

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.


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Whichever variation you try, I hope your kids love this super simple, yet challenging game! And if you’re interested in a printable copy of the directions, variations and answer recording page, sign up for the sample of “15 Fun & Easy Math Games” using the form below.

This 2-digit addition card game is a super simple way to practice addition skills, but also encourage problem solving and deepen an understanding of place value. Even though it's simple to set up and play, the math will challenge and strengthen your kids skills.

And if you want even more fun math card games, see this post with tons of games, sorted by topic!

A great collection of fun math card games! These are easy, and in most cases all you need is a deck of cards!

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3 Comments

  1. thanks a lot!! I like this too much. I hope my child will enjoy this card play. I will tell you next time.

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