7 Ate 9

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7 Ate 9 is a frenetic card game of basic math operations with a few tricks up its sleeve. The game consists of a single deck of cards which is dealt out to all of the players, except one card that is left in the center of the table to form the play pile. Students then race to be the first one to empty their hand of cards, playing them to the play pile. The first player to do so wins!
Each of the game's cards feature a value at the center with a +/- modifier in the corners that indicate which card can be played next. So, a card with a value of 5 that has a +/-2 modifier, can be followed by a value 3 or 7. While this is fairly straightforward mathematically, the game becomes challenging due to its pacing. Card play is simultaneous, meaning that all of the players are able to play their cards at any time. As a result, the top card of the play pile is constantly changing, requiring fast mathematical calculations by the students. To keep up with the pace of the game requires students to build a strong fluency with basic mathematical operations.
The other twist in the game that raises the bar, is the range of numbers used in the game. The value of the cards are between one 1 and 10, each featuring positive and negative modifiers. This means a card with a value of 9 and a +/-2 modifier can be followed with a 7 or a 1 because the integers would wrap around much like a clock.
In the end, there is a lot of value in the box despite being a simple and short game. 7 Ate 9's real strength comes from helping students work on basic operational fluency in an engaging and challenging way. While the box caps play at four, you could push that limit by a player or two in order to get more students in the game. Alternatively, you could pick up and combine several decks to make a larger group game. So put away your flash cards and get ready for a table full of students, slapping cards down as they race to do basic arithmetic while applying modular arithmetic to their calculations... good stuff!