Addition or Multiplication Pyramid: A Card Game to Practice Fact Fluency

This is a two-player card game that you can use as reinforcement for addition or multiplication. Below I have outlined the instructions for the addition version, but multiplication can be substituted. Near the end of this post I’ve included printable instructions for you to reference in your classroom.

If you’d rather watch the video version, I’ve included it after the written instructions.

Object: to get the most points

Materials: a deck of cards (it’s okay if some cards are missing)

Point Values: all number cards equal that number of points; J, Q, K equal 10,  and Aces can be 1 or 11


Set up a pyramid. There should be 7 rows and 28 cards in all.

Player 1 chooses two of the “uncovered” cards and adds them to make a sum. Since the object of the game is to get the most points, Player 1 should choose two cards that make the highest sum. For example, Player 1 could have chosen anything from the bottom row because those cards are uncovered. He chooses the 10 and 8 because that makes the highest sum. He says, “10+8=18, takes the cards away, and writes his answer on his paper.


Player 2 chooses two of the uncovered cards to make the highest sum possible. She writes the sum on her paper. In this example, she chooses the 5 and 5 to make 10.



Next, Player 1 chooses the 8 and the Jack (10) to make 18.



Players keep adding two uncovered cards and writing down the sums until there are no cards left.

Once all cards have been used, players add up all of their sums. The player with the most points wins.



In some cases near the end of the game, as shown here, there will only be one uncovered card available. In this case, the player must take the Queen, and will add 0 to it since there is no other card to take. So in this case, the player says “10+0=10” and scores 10 points.



To play the multiplication version of this game, players will multiply the cards to make a product rather than adding them to make a sum. Once all cards have been used, players add up all of their products. The player with the most points wins.

Here’s the video version:





One Comment

  • Thank you so much, Shelley, for your generosity! Your ideas are MARVELOUS and user-friendly!👌


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