August 4, 2014

***Congratulations to Charlama C., winner of the book giveaway!
Thanks for participating!***

Math Game - Divide and Conquer

This game is a little like Go Fish, where you try to match up cards and make pairs. Unlike Go Fish, however, you don’t just pick matching pairs of cards. Instead, you can make a pair if one number divides into the other. Well, that’s about it. There’s the game. You don’t need to read any further =).

…But go ahead. Cuz I went through the trouble of formatting it all nice for you and everything :).



Divide and Conquer

Math Skills Covered: Division, Factors
Materials: Deck of cards
# of Players: 2+
Grades: 4-6

Prepare the deck: Remove Jokers and face cards (King, Queen, and Jack)

Special card values:
Ace = 1
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 = their face value

OBJECT OF THE GAME: Get rid of all the cards from your hand first by finding cards that divide into each other without any remainder.


  1. Each player gets four cards. The rest of the deck is placed in the middle as the draw pile. Players can look at their cards while they wait for their turn.
    For example, suppose the following hands were dealt:
    -Priscilla was dealt a 4, 5, 6, and 9
    -Rachael was dealt a 2, 3, 7, and 9
    -Valentia was dealt an 3, 4, 7 and 10
  2. Priscilla goes first. She takes the top card from the draw pile and looks at it. It’s a 10. She recognizes that 5 goes into 10, so she pairs them up and announces, “10 divided by 5 is two,” and places that pair into the discard pile. She is now down to 3 cards: 4, 6, and 9.
  3. Rachael is next. She draws an ace: WOOHOO! She recognizes that aces are pretty much the wild card that will divide into anything, so she wisely saves it for another turn. For this turn, she pairs up the 3 and 9, announces, “Nine divided by three is three,” and places them into the discard pile. She is left with ace, 2, and 7.
  4. Valentia’s turn! She draws a 7. She quickly sees this as a great opportunity to get rid of her other 7, and quickly says, “Seven divided by seven is one!” and discards those two cards. She is left with 3, 4, and 10.
  5. It’s Priscilla’s turn again. She draws a 5. Since her cards are now 4, 5, 6, and 9, there aren’t any combinations possible so her turn ends here.
  6. Rachael draws a 4, and decides to pair up her 2 and 4 to discard. She is left with ace and 7.
  7. Valentia draws a 2, and tries to decide whether to pair it with the 4 or the 10. She goes with the 10, and is left with 3 and 4.
  8. Priscilla draws a 3, and decides to pair it with the 9, since there should be more options to get rid of a six than a nine later on. She discards her 3 and 9, and is left with 4, 5, and 6.
  9. The game continues in this way until someone is able to divide and discard all of their cards. (Read on if you want to see how this exciting game finished!)
  10. Rachael draws a two. She pairs off her 1 and 7 and is left with just a two. She will win the next round as long as she gets an even number!
  11. Valentia draws a 6. She pairs it with her 3, leaving her with just a 4. She will win the next round if she gets a 1, 2, 4, or 8!
  12. Priscilla draws a 10. She pairs it with the 5 and has two cards left: 4 and 6.
  13. Rachael prays for an even number, draws her card, and gets an 8! Hooray! She drops her last two card, the 2 and the 8, down and wins!
  14. Valentia is deflated. She had a good chance of winning if her turn came up, but alas, it was not meant to be. Shuffle and play again!



Q: What do I do if all the cards in the draw pile get used up?
A: Shuffle all the discarded cards and turn that into the new draw pile.

Q: Do I have to draw a card at the start of each new turn?
A: Yes.

Q: Do I have to announce my math fact, like “Eight divided by two is four,” every single time?
A: Yes. One reason is so others can double-check your math. Another is that it’s a math game, so you can practice your math facts just a little bit more!



(I got none. Ideas?)

Discuss Strategies:

See more fun math games in my series on Fun Math Games for Children!

6 responses to “Math Game: Divide and Conquer”

  1. Kristi says:

    Thanks so much!! I haven’t taught math these past few years, but will be teaching it this fall. Look forward to trying your games with my kiddos. 🙂

    • joellen says:

      Woohoo! I hope you like them! I’ll be sharing templates to create a math binder, complete with all the games, in a couple weeks, so keep an eye out for that so you have easy access to the games whenever you need :).

  2. lexi says:

    thanks for teaching me a new game!

  3. Todd says:

    This is great!

    I have started to use a deck of 500’s cards and count the Jack, Queen and King as 14, 15 and 16

    Joker makes a great Wild Card too.