Addition War Card Game

One of my favorite tools for practicing math with my kids is a simple deck of playing cards.  There are so many fun things you can do!

You can count, compare numbers, subtract, or even multiply.

Today, we’re going to practice our addition skills with a few fun games of Addition War.

Practice addition with a buddy when you play this easy addition card game, Addition War. It's such a fun way to practice math!

There are so many other fun ways to practice math with playing cards, For example, you can start with the basics, like this greater than or less than activity.

Or, you can practice harder math like this 3-digit addition activity.

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How to set up your game of Addition War

You will need two people to play Addition War, no more and no less, and a deck of playing cards. Play with a friend or play with a parent.

Before beginning, you will want to pull all the jokers, jacks, queens, and kings from the deck.

Shuffle the cards and deal the entire deck to both players. Each player should have an equal amount of cards.

Now, it’s time to play.

How to play this addition card game

This game is similar to the classic card game War, but with a few twists. I’ve simplified the rules and incorporated addition into the game.

To start each player will turn over the top two cards in their stack and lay them side by side. Then, each player will add their two cards together.

The player with the largest sum gets all four cards. Put them in a discard pile. Each player will have their own discard pile.

Keep playing until the two piles of cards are gone.

After all the cards have been played, each player will count the cards in their discard pile. The player with the most cards wins.

What if the sums of both players cards are equal?

If the players’ cards are equal, leave them on the table and turn over the next two cards in the stacks and lay them on top of the first pair of cards.

The player who has the highest sum of their top two cards will take all eight of the cards.

Fun variations of Addition War

You can make the game a little harder by leaving the kings, queens, and jacks in the deck. When adding your cards together, each jack would equal 11, queens are 12, and kings are 13.

If you’re working on adding more than 2 numbers together, each player can turn over 3, 4, or even 5 cards at a time. The game will go quicker, but it will still be fun.

Finally, you can also play this game using multiplication. Instead of adding the two cards together, multiply them!

You may also like one of these fun math activities:

Subtraction with Loose Parts Math Activity

Domino Addition

Plus One Minus One Card Game

Addition Game with UNO Cards at Planning Playtime

Our favorite math resources:

When we practice math at home, we love to play games! If you want a few more games other than your playing cards, here are some I recommend:

Do you want to do more activities with your kids?

Join our fun Facebook community, Creative Family Fun for Busy Families, for daily activities that are great for kids and families. We’ll chat, share, and have fun. It’s a safe and private place to share ideas for family and kids activities.

I’d love for you to join me! Just click the link below, request to join, and answer the questions (they’re easy, I promise). Come join the fun! Join the Creative Family Fun for Busy Families community here.

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Terri is a writer and mom of two elementary-aged girls. She has a passion for learning and is always looking for ways to make learning fun. You can find her here writing about fun learning activities, art, craft, and family fun ideas.

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