Looking for simple and fun math card games to engage your learners? This list includes a huge variety, organized by skill, will help you find a “just right” game to practice math skills. And the best part? All you need is a simple deck of cards and perhaps some dice!
A great way to engage kids who would otherwise loathe math practice (and also just a fun way for anyone to review important skills!) is to play a game. My son has a hard time getting motivated to do school work, but he is always more excited and engaged when I turn whatever we’re doing into a game. Here you will find some of my favorite math card games, organized by topic!
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Benefits of Math Card Games:
Sometimes, board games can be cumbersome, have a lot of pieces, or require a lot of money. One thing you can always use that is easy, portable and cheap is a simple deck of playing cards. Just one set of cards can be used for countless games! And if you have two decks, it just adds to the challenge!
To help you, I have been searching for awhile to find the best math card games and round them up into one giant post so you can find something for virtually any math skill! I hope you find something just right for your kids!
And if you don’t have time to wade through this list, grab my “quick start” set with 15 different simple and fun math games, sent right to your inbox!
20+ of The BEST Math Card Games:
Sorting & Counting Card Games:
Helping young kids learn how to sort and count can be fun with a deck of cards. Although you probably don’t even need formal games, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Fan Tan (with multiple variations) – 2+ players (best with 4-6 players)
Builder’s Paradise (number sequencing)- 2+ players
Counting On – 1+ players
Here are some other simple ideas for letting your kids learn counting and sequencing through play:
- Let your kids sort the deck by suit. Then have them put each suit in order from least to greatest.
- Have your kids draw 5 cards. Then ask them to put them in order from least to greatest, or sort them between “less than 5” or “greater than 5”.
- Let your kids gather and sort a collection of various objects into piles (such as pennies, stuffed animals, cups, marbles, etc.). Then let them use cards to label each pile with “how many” are in each stack.
Addition & Subtraction Card Games:
What kids couldn’t use some extra practice with addition or subtraction? These are such essential math facts to master and grow in confidence that having a deck of cards handy is a simple way to review. There’s a wide variety of games listed below, so check them out and figure out which ones are your favorites!!
Pyramid – 1+ players (Found in Games for Math by Peggy Kaye)
Close Call (adding 2-digit numbers and mental math) – 2-4 payers
Addition War (and so many variations, your kids can practice math skills from Kindergarten through high school!) – 2 players
Once Through the Deck – 1 player
Thirty-One – 2 players
Blackjack Math – 2+ players
Gain or Loss – 2-4 players
Make Ten – 2+ players (This is also found in Games for Math)
Practice with Double Digit Subtraction – 2+ players
Hit Me! – 2+ players (addition and subtraction, absolute value)
Simple Place Value Card Games:
Place Value Game (with rounding) – 2+ players
Beat the Teacher (similar, but with a different point scale) – 2+ players
Hold the Line – 2+ players
Triple Digit Dare– 2+ players (easily adapted)
Prime Numbers Card Game:
Prime Number Challenge – 2+ players
Fractions and Decimals Card Games:
My Closest Neighbor – 2-4 players
Fraction Flip It (multiplying fractions) – 3-5 players
Make a Buck– 2-4 players (adding decimals)
Fun Multiplication Card Games:
Just like addition & subtraction, multiplication facts are so important and require lots of practice and review before kids gain mastery. These math card games are easy to set up and play again and again.
Spiral is especially useful because you rebuild the game board each time, so every game is different!
Spiral– 2+ players (can also be adapted to practice addition or subtraction)
Integer Flash (multiplication with integers) – 2 players
Once Through the Deck – 1 player
Exponent Battle – 2 players
Order of Operations:
24 Math Game – 2+ players
Target – 2-4 players
OrdOp – 2+ players
Let’s Convert– 2+ players
Plus, this post includes 6 more easy card games, covering a variety of concepts. 🙂
And don’t miss my resource, Math in the Cards, a huge collection of math card games! You’ll never pull out a boring worksheet again!
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Enjoy playing with math!
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Let kids be kids says
Great idea, my son hates math, but he would enjoy games like this.
Thanks for sharing #LetKidsBeKids
Great! I hope you find some fun ideas for him! My daughter really enjoys “doing math” by playing a card game with me. So much more fun than a worksheet!
Gina Pollard says
I was wondering if anyone has heard of a math card game for a single player called “Recycle”. My nephew taught it to me when he was in primary school. I used it in my middle school math intervention class. It’s been four years since either one of us have played it. Neither one of us can remember the rules. I have a colleague who would like to teach using it. I had taught it to her a few years ago as well. I have tried looking on the internet, but I just get games on recycling…instead of math skills. Any help would be FABULOUS!
Rebbecca Devitt says
Really a fun way to teach math.