Last week I had the extreme pleasure of co-presenting the ERG Guided Math Institute with Laney Sammons in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We spent four wonderful days with over 100 educators from around the country and even Canada! It was a real pleasure to meet and talk with so many enthusiastic educators! During one of the breaks, I had a chance to talk with Maggie, a teacher from Virginia. She shared a place value card game that her son, now 21, created when he was in 3rd grade. The game is called Triple Digit Dare. This game plays very much like War, with students using the three cards they are dealt to create a 3-digit number.
Use a standard deck of playing cards with the 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings removed. Aces count as 1.
Note: I recently played with Queens as zeros, and Maggie keeps the Jokers in as Wild cards that can be used for any digit.
- Deal each player 3 cards.
- Players use the cards to create the largest 3-digit number possible.
- Players show their cards, and the player with the greatest 3-digit number takes all the cards.
- Play continues with 3 more cards for each player.
- You could easily vary this game to use 2-digit, 4-digit, or even larger numbers.
Once the students master the basic version, Maggie introduces a new version of the game, this one with an added twist of strategy.
- Same standard deck of cards with the same cards removed.
- Each player still gets 3 cards.
- Remaining cards are placed face down in the middle of the table.
- After each player looks at their cards and determines their greatest 3-digit number, the fun starts! Taking turns, each player has the option to…
- Stick–keep their 3 cards
- Swap–remove one card from their hand and take a new card from the pile in the middle of the table
- Steal–trade a card from their hand for a card from any other player’s hand (without looking at what card they are picking)
- After all players have had a turn to adjust their cards, players show their cards and the greatest 3-digit number wins.
As if this game isn’t engaging enough, Maggie has rules! Can’t you just imagine how much her students love playing this game?
I decided that the younger kids shouldn’t have all the fun with this card game, so I made a decimal place value version! Actually, I just made a little mat that kiddos can use to play a decimal version, because the rules would be exactly the same. One game board has ones, tenths, and hundredths and the other board has tens, ones, and tenths.