November 28, 2011

Eleven: Fun Card Game for Practicing Math Facts to 20

Eleven - Fun Card Game for Math Facts

"Eleven" is my favorite card game to help students practice addition and subtraction facts up to 20. It's for any number of players, and all you need is a deck of cards.

Remove the face cards and jokers. Count aces as one. Shuffle the cards and place them in a pile face down. 

The goal of the game is to reach the number 11 exactly by adding and subtracting the value of drawn cards. The first player draws the top card and places it face down next to the  pile, saying  the number on the card. The next player draws a card, adds the two cards' values, says the sum of the two cards as a number sentence and places the drawn card on top of the pile. The next player draws and adds the number of the newly drawn card to the previous sum. Play continues until the total reaches 11.  If the sum exceeds 11, then players subtract the number on the drawn card from the total, and state the difference as a subtraction sentence. Play continues until the sum or difference is exactly 11. If you want to keep score, the player whose card makes exactly 11 gets the whole pile of cards.

A typical game might go like this.

First turn: With a 3 showing, player draws a 4 and says, "Three plus four equals seven."

Second turn: Player draws an 8 and says, "Seven plus eight equals fifteen" (This is more than 11, so the next player subtracts.)

Third turn: Player draws a 3 and says, "Fifteen minus three equals twelve."

Fourth turn: Player draws an 8 and says, "Twelve minus eight equals four."

Fifth turn: Player draws a 7 and says, "Four plus seven equals eleven!" This player takes all of the cards and play resumes again with a new card drawn.

There's nothing magical about the number 11. If you want to practice math facts with bigger numbers, you can play 21, 50, 100 or whatever number you want.

Questions or comments? They are welcome below.


  1. What a fun game for practicing math fact! Thank you so much for sharing on the The Homeschool Club:)

  2. I'm glad you like the game, Evelyn. Kids have so much more stamina for practicing math facts when they practice through games instead of traditional drills.