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Math Games
With Jane and Joanne

Subtraction War



Grades 1 - 3


  • subtraction from 10


  • 2


  • playing cards Ace (= 1) through 10


Players divide cards evenly between themselves. Each player turns over two cards and subtracts the smaller number from the larger number. The player with the smallest answer wins all four cards.

  • Player 1 draws a 1 and a 9. (9 - 1 = 8)
  • Player 2 draws a 2 and a 7. (7 - 2 = 5)
  • Player 2 collects all four cards because she has the smallest answer.

In the event of a tie (if each player has the same answer), war is declared. Each player deals out three more cards face down. Then each player turns over two more cards and subtracts the numbers on those cards. The smallest answer wins all of the accumulated cards.

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

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].

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