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Wild Jack

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Wild Jack*
You will need:

A full pack of playing cards.

Number of players:

Two or more.

To prepare for play:

Take the kings, queens and jokers from the pack of cards. Jacks are WILD CARDS. You can use them at any time to represent a number from 1 to 10 (inclusive).

The goal:

To make up a sum to reach the TARGET NUMBER.

To be first to hit the score of 50.

To begin:

* Shuffle the pack and turn over the top two cards.

* If either of the cards is a Jack or a ten, put it at the bottom of the pack and turn over the next top card.

* The cards show your TARGET NUMBER , e.g. if you turn the 4 of hearts followed by the ace of clubs your TARGET NUMBER is 41.

* Deal 5 cards.

* Try to reach the TARGET NUMBER using all 5 cards, using all or some of your cards.

* You may add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers.

*For example, if you turned over cards that showed 4, 7, ace (1), 5 and 2 and your TARGET NUMBER is 41, you could: add 5 and 7 then subtract 2 giving a total of 10, then multiply by 4 and add 1 arriving at 41 as your answer.

(5 + 7 - 2) x 4 + 1 = 41

* Explain your calculations to the other players.

* If you are stuck, you can ask other players for help.


Making the TARGET NUMBER using all 5 cards, without help - 10 points

Making the TARGET NUMBER less than 5 cards, without help - 8 points

Make TARGET NUMBER with help - 6 points

Helping someone else to make their TARGET NUMBER - 8 points


The number of cards dealt can be varied according to the skill levels of the players.

To simplify the target number to be reached, children could be allowed to use the two top cards in any order to set the target.

To assist younger learners, a set of operation cards will help.

The sets of playing and operation cards can be laid out and this will also help youngsters see that they can only use each number once.

For children unable to calculate the answers mentally, paper and pencils should be available.

[copyright Microsoft]

*Wild Jack is taken from Totally Mental Maths...a book of games for home and school by Jennie Pennant, Michael Ray, Celia Richards and Fiona Sweet produced by the Department of Education and Leisure, Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.