Salute the General: A Fast-Paced Math Card Game for All Ages

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Salute the General: A Fast-Paced Math Card Game for All Ages

“Salute the General” is a classic math card game that involves simple addition and subtraction. The game is usually played with a standard deck of playing cards, but it can also be adapted for a deck of math operation cards.


2 or more (best played with 3-5 players)


The goal of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all their cards.


Remove all Jokers from the deck.

Shuffle the remaining cards thoroughly.

Deal the entire deck of cards evenly among all the players.


Each player holds their cards facing down and does not look at them.

All players simultaneously turn their top card face up and place it in the center to form a central pile.

When a card is placed in the center, the player must quickly calculate the sum of the cards on the pile and say the result out loud. For example, if a 3 and a 5 are on the pile, the player must say “8”.

The game continues clockwise, and each player quickly places their top card on the pile and announces the new sum.

If a player makes a mistake in their calculation or takes too long to respond, they must pick up all the cards in the center pile and add them to their hand.

The game continues until one player runs out of cards. That player is the winner of the game.

Special Cards:

Aces are considered 1.

Face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) are considered 10.

If a number card matches the current sum on the pile (e.g., a 3 is played when the current sum is 3), players must “salute the general” by slapping the pile. The last player to slap the pile must pick up all the cards in the center.


For younger players or to focus on subtraction, you can adapt the game by using only subtraction or a combination of addition and subtraction.

You can also play with a deck of math operation cards (e.g., addition, subtraction) and number cards, where players must follow the indicated operation with the numbers played.

Salute the General is a fast-paced and enjoyable math game that helps improve mental math skills and enhances quick thinking. It’s a great way to make math practice fun for kids and can be easily modified to suit various skill levels.