Exploratorium
Playing Fantastic Four with Cards  

cardsCan you use the numbers on four cards to make up equations that equal the number on a fifth card? In Fantastic Four, you win the game by making the most equations.

What Do I Need?
A deck of cards
A few people to play with
Paper to write on
A pencil or pen
A timer or watch for keeping time
Here's How to Play
1 Take all the face cards out of the deck and set them aside.
2 One player deals out four cards, face up, and another card, face down.
3 Each player writes down the four numbers that are face up.
4 If you have a timer, set the timer for five minutes. If you are using a watch, have someone keep track of the time and let everyone know when five minutes are up.
5 When everyone is ready, begin the timer and flip over the fifth card.
6 For five minutes, each player now makes up and writes down equations that use the numbers on the first four cards to equal the number on the fifth card.
7 The goal is to write down as many equations as possible. You get the most points for equations that use all four numbers (and no points at all for using only one number).
 

Here's an Example
Suppose the four cards you turned over were: a four, a nine, an ace (which is a one), and a two. The fifth card you turned over was a seven. Can you make an equation that equals 7 using 4, 9, 1 and 2?

Can you think of any other equations that equal 7?

Here's how to Score

When the five minutes are up, all players stop working and figure out their score.


Equations using two of the four cards score 4 points
Equations using three off the four cards score 9 points
Equations using all four cards score 16 points!

 

Each player checks all the other players' equations. It's okay if some of you have the same equations. If a player made a mistake, the person who find the mistake gets 7 points-and the player who made the mistake gets no point for that equation.

 

The highest score wins!

 


You can also play Fantastic Four with the computer.

If you want to lead a class or group in playing Fantastic Four, go to the Teacher/Leader version.

 
Math Explorer Home

 

© Exploratorium