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Math Games
With Jane and Joanne

Break 100



Grades 3 and up


  • subtracting 3-digit numbers


  • 2


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


Each player starts with 1,000 points on their paper. The goal of the game is to "break 100" before your opponent does it.

Player 1 turns over two cards from the deck. He uses the cards to create a 2-digit number. The first card drawn is used to represent the tens place in that number; the second card is used is used to represent the ones place. The player subtracts his number from 1,000.

Player 2 takes her turn. She does the same thing.

Play continues. Players alternate turns, each time subtracting from their difference -- until one player "breaks 100." The first player to break 100 is the winner. If Player 1 goes first, and is first to break 100, then Player 2 gets to take her last turn. If she breaks 100 too, the winner is the player who has the smallest number. In the rare instance when two players have the exact same "final difference," the game ends in a tie.

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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