Math Card Game – Tens Go Fish

#mathcardgame #tensgofish #mathfacts #mathstrategy #additionfacts

Are you looking for fun ways for your kids to practice their basic addition facts ? Then replace the routine pencil and paper tasks of solving printable worksheets with fun math card games. In fact, research have proven that mathematical games help develop strategies for fact fluency. The major strategies used for fluently deriving addition facts revolve around two main group of facts : doubles and combinations of ten. “Tens Go Fish “ is one such math card game, adapted from the classic game of “Go fish”.  It helps practicing combinations of ten. 


What you need

  • One deck of cards with Jacks and Kings removed. The Aces are 1 and the Queens are 0.
  • 2 or 3 players

How to Play Tens Go Fish

Deal each player 5 cards. Place the stack of remaining cards face down in the center of the table. This is your draw pile or “Go Fish” pile.

Like Go fish, the goal is to make a pair. However, here instead of making pairs of the same card, the goal is to make a pair of numbers that add up to 10.

Before starting to play the game, look for pair of cards in your hand that add up to 10. Place all pairs of cards that add up to 10 face up on the table in front of you. Draw new cards from the draw pile to replace them. For example, if you have the cards with numbers 4-2-5-6-8 in your hand, place the pairs 4-6, 2-8 on the table and pick 4 cards from the draw pile.

Players take turn and ask each other for a card that will make 10 with a card in their own hands. For example, if you had 2-1-6-3-5, ask the other player for a 7 to make 10.

If the player gets the card he asked for, he puts the pair down and picks a new card from the draw pile.

But, if the player does not get the card he asked for, then he must “Go Fish” and pick a card from the deck.

If the new card makes 10 with a card in the player’s hand, he puts the pair of cards down and takes another card from the draw pile.

The player picks two new cards, if he runs out of cards. His turn is over when he can no longer make a pair that sum up to 10.

The game is over when there are no more cards.


The Tens go fish is a very easy math card game to learn. For young kids, it is a perfect introductory math card game who are learning to do simple additions. You can extend this game by using 3 cards to add up to 20 once your kids have mastered their combination of tens fact.

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