You are here

Search form

Math Games
With Jane and Joanne

Place Value War



Grades 2-6


  • identification of two-digit numbers
  • comparing
  • place value


  • 2


  • playing cards Ace (=1) through 9
  • die
  • paper and pencil


Players divide the playing cards evenly between themselves. Each player turns over two cards to create a 2-digit number. The number on the first card turned over represents the number that will appear in the tens place; the number on the second card represents the number that will appear in the ones place.

Both players call out their numbers. (You might have them verbalize: "Six tens and two ones equals sixty-two.") The player with the largest number gets all four cards.

In the event of a tie (if each player has the same 2-digit number), war is declared.

  • First, each player places three cards face down.
  • Then each player turns over two more cards and adds the second number created by those cards to the first number.
  • The player with the largest sum gets all of the cards.
--- Player 1 pulls the cards 6 and 8 to create the number 68.
--- Player 2 pulls the cards 7 and 2 to create the number 72.
--- Player 2 collects all the cards.

--- Player 1 pulls the cards 4 and 3 to create the number 43.
--- Player 2 pulls the cards 4 and 3 to create the number 43.
--- In this "war" situation, each draws three more cards the are kept face down.
--- Then Player 1 draws two more cards and turns them over. He uses the cards, a 6 and a 2, to create a new number (62). He adds 62 to the original number (43) for a total of 105.
--- Player 2 turns over two more cards, a 1 and a 9. She adds the new number (19) to the original number (43) for a total of 62.
--- Player 1 has the larger total number, so he collects all of the cards.

Play continues until one player has collected all of the cards in the deck.


  • Players turn over three cards and build numbers into the hundreds.
  • Grade 2: have players compare their second number to the first (figure the difference) instead of finding the sum.
Joanne Currah and Jane Felling have created two best-selling math game books -- Shuffling Into Math (for teachers of grades K-3) and All Hands on Deck (grades 1-9). Each book includes simple instructions for more than 100 math games that help children discover math concepts and reinforce math skills. Education World is pleased to present a selection of those activities in this series.

Click to learn more about these books and other exciting products and service from Joanne and Jane's Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks.

More About Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks

Joanne Currah and Jane Felling created their company, BOX CARS & ONE-EYED JACKS, for the sole purpose of making math fun -- not threatening or frustrating -- for children. Joanne and Jane spend many days each year on the road as they train teachers to make math fun for kids and run Family Math Nights at schools. To learn more about the authors, their books, and the services they provide, visit them at or email them at [email protected].

Education World®
Copyright © 2007 Education World