Fraction Game: My Closest Neighbor

[Feature photo above by Jim Larrison, and antique playing cards below by Marcee Duggar, via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).]

I missed out on the adventures at Twitter Math Camp, but I’m having a great time working through the blog posts about it. I prefer it this way — slow reading is more my speed. Chris at A Sea of Math posted a wonderful game based on one of the TMC workshops. Here is my variation.

Math concepts: comparing fractions, equivalent fractions, benchmark numbers, strategic thinking.

Players: two to four.

Equipment: two players need one deck of math cards, three or four players need a double deck.

How to Play

three-eighths-of-clubs

Deal five cards to each player. Set the remainder of the deck face down in the middle of the table as a draw pile.

You will play four (or more) rounds:

  • Closest to zero
  • Closest to one
  • Closest to 1/2
  • Closest to two
  • Closest to 3/4 (optional)
  • Closest to 1/3 (optional)

In each round, players choose two cards from their hand to make a fraction that is as close as possible (but not equal) to the target number. Draw two cards to replenish your hand.

The player whose fraction is closest to the target collects all the cards played in that round. If there is a tie for closest fraction, the winners split the cards as evenly as they can, leaving any remaining cards on the table as a bonus for the winner of the next round.

After the last round, whoever has collected the most cards wins the game.


multfrac-300This post is an excerpt from my book Multiplication & Fractions: Math Games for Tough Topics, available now at your favorite online book dealer.


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.


10 thoughts on “Fraction Game: My Closest Neighbor

  1. I played a similar game with two 10-year-old boys I was working with last summer and they asked to play it every day. But ours only involved comparing fractions to each other. I love the different rounds, and the fraction number sense this game promotes! I’m hanging on to this one.

    1. Hi, Amy,
      My math club kids have played Fraction War, which is similar to what you describe. But I agree with you, the extra features of this game make it special. It’s cool to watch the synergy when teachers get together. 🙂

  2. Looks like a great game. I am thinking of using this with our kids this week, if they are up for the fraction challenge. If so, I will write a post about how it goes.

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