What it is: Another simple card game involving numbers; a great way to teach math and have fun while homeschooling

Best for: Young children learning to add or compare the values of two- or three-digit numbers

What you need: A deck of cards with the face cards removed (or we’ve been playing with Rook cards with everything over 9 removed)

How to play: This game is a variation of War, the classic two-player card game where you divide the deck of cards evenly and players each turn over a card at the same time. The player with the higher cards wins both cards, and the person who wins all the cards first wins.

In this game, you have to do some math first. There are two main variations.


If you want to teach addition, have each player turn over two cards at once. Each player adds their two cards together, and the player with the higher sum wins all the cards. You could also add three cards together.

Place value

If you want to focus on place value, each player turns over two or three cards at once. Players can choose how to order their cards to create the largest number they can. The player with the largest number wins all the cards.

Other variations

You could combine the variations and have players create more than one two- or three-digit numbers and also add them together. If you do this, you might need more than one deck of cards because you’ll go through them more quickly.

If your child is more advanced, you could even play with multiplication. That might be a great way to teach that in multiplication, it doesn’t matter which order the numbers go in.


Oh, first, on the rare chance two players flip over the exact same cards, a war happens, which, in this game, simply involves players flipping over another two or three cards (however you’re playing), and the winner of that round gets all the cards from both rounds.

During play, have players put the cards they win in a separate stack off to the side.

If you want a shorter game, play only until players’ main stacks are gone. Then count up how many cards each player has in their stack of won cards, and the person who’s won the most wins.

If you want a longer game, after players’ main stacks are gone, they shuffle and reuse the cards they’ve already won, repeating each time they use up all the cards in the stacks in their hands. (However, I’ve found that, even though it’s disguised as a game, my kids are smart and realize it’s still math, and they’re usually not up for a long game.)

If you want to encourage even more math, have the child write down each math addition sentence or greater than/less than fact on paper.

Can you come up with any other variations? Are there any other games you’ve created using math? Please share!

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