Math Games Subtraction Wars SIFor a 2nd-grader, subtraction can be a challenging task. We, at Logic Roots, are aware of your concern to provide your little one with a learning experience that is not only less strenuous but also fused with fun. So today we present to you this interesting math game which will help your kid practice subtraction with lots of fun.

Subtraction War not only helps kids to practice subtraction but also makes them practice comparing numbers.

Math Game for Subtraction

What do you need for the math game?

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  1. One deck of playing cards
  2. Stopwatch or timer

How many players can play this math game?

Subtraction Wars Math Games

2 or more.

This game can be ideally played with 2 players. If there are many kids, you can add more than one deck and play the game. One deck of cards is good for 2-4 players.

How long does the game last?

Math Games Subtraction Wars 1


There are two variations of this math game:

  • The Timed Game – Set the timer for at least 10-15 minutes and let the game carry on till the timer buzzes.
  • The Unlimited Game- The game carries on till one of the players captures all the cards.

Who wins?

Subtraction War Math Game Winner
  • In the case of the timed game, the player with most number of cards at the end of set time wins the game.
  • In the case of the unlimited game, the player who captures all the cards or most number of cards wins the game.

Few things to do before you start playing

  • Explain the kids the value of each card.
    • Each card carries the value based on the number on it.
    • Aces carry the value of 1.
    • Assign all the face cards a constant value i.e. 10.

Alternatively, you can get rid of the face cards and just play with the number cards.

  • Demonstrate the kids how to play the game.
  • Decide the first player; from a set of cards containing 1-10, let each player pull out one card. The one with the highest number makes the first move and the game follows clock-wise direction.

How to play Subtraction War – Math Game?

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1. First and foremost, shuffle the cards.

2. Next, deal the entire set of cards, face down, equally amidst all the players. Combine another deck if there are more than 4 players.

3. The players are not allowed to see their cards and will keep their respective stacks in front of them face down at all times.

Math Game Subtraction Wars

4. The first player will pull-up two cards from her stack and place it face-up in front of everyone. She will read the number sentence and then provide the answer. For e.g. if the player draws a 2 and 7, she will say 7 – 2 = 5.

5. Similarly, each player will draw two cards from their respective stacks, say the number sentence, and give the answer.

6. The player with the highest answer will take away the played cards of all the players and will deposit them at the bottom of their card-stack.

It is war!

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  1. In a case of two players with the same winning answer to their number sentences, then it is war!
  2. At this point, each of the warring players will pull 4 cards from their card-stack, place them face down without looking at them, and then turn up any two cards. Now, they will announce the addition sentence formed by the two cards along with their answer. The player with the higher sum will take away all the eight cards.
  3. In case the addition answer is same, each player will turn up a third card from the four cards and add its value to the existing addition result and just like we said before, the player with the higher answer wins all the 8 cards.

Play this math game with your kids and help them to strengthen their subtraction skills. Do share your experiences with us and if you have any better idea for the game or a quick variation to make this math game more interesting you can always share them with us in the comment box below. We would love to hear from you.