PlayingCards
 

Playing Cards can be used for so many different games and I’m sure many of you already have some great games you play. So, if you’re looking for something new or need a game for a lesson you’re working on, here are some games that I’ve collected. Hopefully you can find one that you can use!


What’s My Pattern (Great for K-2nd Grade)

1. Divide students into groups of 2 (partners).

2. Give each group a deck of cards.

3. One player goes first and creates a pattern using the cards. The pattern can be repeating, growing, by number, by color, etc. (Example: I could lay down my cards in this order: 3 of clubs, 5 of hearts, 7 of clubs, 9 of hearts.)

4. The other player must identify the type(s) of pattern. (Example from above: The pattern is growing by 2 and by color - clubs (black), hearts (red), clubs, hearts)

5. Then the players switch roles. The second player gets to create a pattern and the first player identifies it.

Another way to play or after you practice with the top way:

1. Divide students into groups of 2.

2. Give each group a deck of cards.

3. Have students split the deck in half, giving each player a half of the deck.

4. When the teacher says “Go,” each player will try to create 3 patterns before the other player completes their 3 patterns. The patterns can be repeating, growing, by number, by color, etc.

5. The player to first complete 3 patterns correctly wins. Have players check each others’ patterns. If one is incorrect, keep going. The player with the incorrect pattern will try to fix it or change it and the other player will try to finish theirs. (Go as many rounds as you like.)


Closest to 24 (Great for 3rd-6th Grade)

1. Divide students into groups of 2-4.

2. Give each group a deck of cards.

3. The first player draws 3 cards from the deck and creates a number sentence using any operation to equal 24 (or as close as they can get without going over 24). Number cards are face value; Jack, Queen, and King all equal 10; Ace equals 1 or 11 (Example: If I drew 2, 10, and 5, my number sentence might be: 10x2-5=15. I couldn’t do 10x2+5 because that equals 25 which is more than 24.)

4. Students record the answer to their number sequence to keep score. (Example from above: I would write down 15 as my score for the first round.)

5. The first player to get a cumulative score of 500 wins.


War

Who Has the Higher Value

1. Divide students into groups of 2-4.

2. Give each group a deck of cards.

3. Students will split the deck evenly among each group member.

4. Holding the pile face down, each player turns over their top card and lays it face up on the table/floor.

5. Players must decide who has the card with the highest value. (Number cards equal face value; Jack, Queen, King equal 10; Ace equals 1 or 11 - teacher’s choice)

6. The player with the highest value card wins and gets to keep all cards played. Winner adds cards to his/her pile. (If all players tie, each player lays down three more cards face down. Then lay an additional card face up. The player with the highest value of these cards wins all cards. If another tie, repeat laying three cards face down, and one card face up, until someone wins. If there is a tie, but another group member has a higher value than the tie, the higher value wins.)

7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 until one player has all the cards.

8. When a player runs out of cards, they are out, until one player has all the cards. Whoever has all the cards, wins the game. (You could also set a time limit and the player with the most cards at the end of the time wins.)

Add

1. Divide students into groups of 2-4. (Group size depends on how many numbers you want students to add together. The more group members, the more numbers to add.)

2. Give each group a deck of cards.

3. Students will split the deck evenly among each group member.

4. Holding the pile face down, each player turns over their top card and lays it face up on the table/floor.

5. Players quickly add together, mentally or with scrap paper, the cards laid down by all players. (Number cards equal face value; Jack, Queen, King equal 10; Ace equals 1 or 11 - teacher’s choice)

6. The first person to say the answer out loud, wins all the cards played. Winner adds cards to his/her pile. (If multiple people say the answer at once and the group cannot decide who said it first, each player takes back the card they played, mixing it in with their pile. Play new cards.) *You may want give each group a calculator to check their answers.

7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 until one player has all the cards.

8. When a player runs out of cards, they are out, until one player has all the cards. Whoever has all the cards, wins the game. (You could also set a time limit and the player with the most cards at the end of the time wins.)

Subtract/Multiply/Divide/Operations Dice

(Teachers, you decide which operation to use depending on what you are teaching or what you want students to have extra practice.)

1. Divide students into groups of 2 (partners).

2. Give each group a deck of cards.

3. Split the deck evenly between the two players.

4. Holding the pile face down, each player turns over their top card and lays it face up on the table/floor.

5. Players quickly subtract, multiply, divide, or use the operations dice (depending on which version you are playing) to calculate the answers, mentally or with scrap paper, of the cards that were played. (Number cards equal face value; Jack, Queen, King equal 10; Ace equals 1 or 11 - teacher’s choice)

6. The first person to say the answer out loud, wins both cards played. Winner adds cards to his/her pile. (If both people say the answer at once and they cannot decide who said it first, each player takes back the card they played, mixing it in with their pile. Play new cards.) *You may want give each group a calculator to check their answers.

7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 until one player has all the cards. The player with all the cards, wins. (You could also set a time limit and the player with the most cards at the end of the time wins.)


Go Fish

1. Divide students into groups of 3-6.

2. Give each group a deck of cards.

3. The dealer deals out 5 cards to each player. The rest of the deck is placed face down on the table/floor, central to all players. The pile of undealt cards is called a ‘stock’.  

4. The player to the left of the dealer, goes first. That player picks a card from their hand and asks a specific player if they have the same card. (Example: If I had a King in my hand, I would ask “Sarah, do you have any Kings?” I can only ask for a King if I have one or more in my hand.)

5. If Sarah has any Kings in her hand, she must give all the Kings she has to me. I would then get to go again, asking players for cards that I have in my hand. (I can ask Sarah for a different card or I can ask one of the other players.)

6. If Sarah does not have any Kings in her had, she would say “Go Fish!” Then I would have to draw a card from the top of the stock. If the drawn card is the rank asked for, a King, I would show it and would get another turn. If the drawn card is not the rank asked for, I would keep the card and the turn would pass to the player who said ‘Go Fish!’, Sarah.

7. Players are trying to collect ‘books’. A book is 4 cards of the same rank. Once a book is collected, the player discards it face down. (Example: If I collect all 4 of the Kings, I now have a book. I would removed the Kings from my hand and place them face down on the table/floor.)

8. The game continues until either someone runs out of cards or the stock runs out. The player with the most books wins. (A variation of this would be to assign face value to the books to add up the score. So, if I had a book of 8’s, I would get 8 points. Jack, Queen, King = 10, Ace = 11. This would cause students to be more strategic with the cards they search for during the game, looking for higher value cards to get more points at the end.)


Memory

1. Divide students into groups of 2-4.

2. Give each group a deck of cards.

3. Students will lay out the cards, face down, on the floor/table in rows and columns - 7 rows and 7 columns with a row of 3 for the last few cards, making a square. (You could make the deck smaller by taking out the face cards or only selecting certain numbers.)

4. The first player turns over a card, laying it face up in its original position. Then the same player chooses one other card to turn over, trying to find the match to the card they already turned over. Each player only turns over two cards each turn. (Example: If the first card I turned over was a King, I would try to find a King as the second card I turn over. *You can have students match cards by number/face - any two Kings match OR by number/face and color - only red Kings match (hearts and diamonds) or black Kings match (spades and clubs)*)

5. If the first player turns over both cards and they match, the player picks up both cards and keeps them. The player gets to go again, repeating Step 4. This player gets to continue as long as they find matches each time.

6. If the cards don’t match, the player turns both cards back over. The player to the left gets to go next.

7. The next player gets to turn cards over repeating Steps 4 through 6. (All the players should take notice as cards are turned over and remember where certain cards are located in the square. As player learn where cards are located, they can more easily find matches.)

8. Play continues, repeating steps 4 through 6 for all players, until all the cards are collected.

9. Whoever has the most matches wins.