Game: Tens Concentration

Math concepts: addition, number bonds for 10, visual memory
Number of players: any number, mixed ages
Equipment: math cards, one deck

Set Up

Each player draws a card, and whoever choses the highest number will go first. Then shuffle the cards and lay them all face down on the table, spread out so no card covers any other card. There are 40 cards in a deck, so you can make a neat array with five rows of eight cards each, or you may scatter them at random.

How to Play

Play proceeds to the left around the table. On your turn, you may flip two cards face up. If one of the cards is a 10, you may take it at once and flip another card face up. If the pair of face-up cards add together to make 10, you get to take the pair. If they do not make 10, leave them for a few seconds so all players can see what they are, then turn them face down and let the next player take a turn.

Optional rule: If a player finds a pair, he gets a free turn and may try for another pair right away.


When all the cards are claimed, whichever player has collected the most cards is the winner.


1 – Use a double deck for larger groups.

2 – If playing with a wide range of ages, you may want to let the younger players take a free turn whenever they find pairs, but limit the older players to one turn at a time.

3 – You might let the free turn option expire when there are only ten cards left on the table. The will keep one lucky player from running the table out, getting all the last pairs for himself.

4 – Concentration may be played as a solitaire game.


Concentration is a great ice-breaker game for Math Club meetings, because the whole group can play at once. It is also a game that older children and adults can enjoy as much as the beginning students do. More than once, when my teenage daughter walked through the room while the younger children were playing, she has asked to join in the game.

Addition-Games600x800This post is an excerpt from my book Addition & Subtraction: Math Games for Elementary Students, available now from your favorite online book dealer.

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