Card Probability Activity

3.7 based on 15 ratings
Updated on Sep 13, 2013

Your child won't need a crystal ball to guess the value of a face down card when she learns the rules of probability. With a friend and a deck of cards, she'll be well on her way to understanding how likely it is that her guess will be correct while practicing positive and negative integers. Whoever ends up with the most correct guesses wins!

What You Need:

  • Deck of cards
  • 2 Players

What You Do:

  1. Announce to both players that, in the first round, all cards are positive integers.
  2. Have one of the players shuffle the cards.
  3. Deal three cards to each player. The first and third card should be dealt face up and the middle card should be dealt face down. The middle, face-down card is the mystery card.
  4. Have the players discuss probability as it relates to the mystery card. What are the chances that it will it be a value between the two other cards?
  5. Each player should predict if his mystery card is higher or lower in value than the two face-up cards.
  6. If he guesses correctly, the player keeps the cards. If he guesses incorrectly, he must return his cards to the bottom of the deck.
  7. Continue dealing the cards until one player has amassed all of them.

Variation: Make this game more challenging by having the red cards represent negative integers and the black cards represent positive integers.