- 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, so I made a decimal 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.