Sorry about the title of the post, I couldn’t resist that pun. The name of the game is “No Thanks!“.
I called it a math game, but it is really just a good, quick game that involves some math. This truly is a fun game and the math practice is just a side benefit. Even if your kids’ math curriculum is far beyond the mathematics of this game, they will enjoy it because it is a great game.
What mathematics is involved?
- Addition of 1 and 2 digit numbers
- Subtraction of 1 and 2 digit numbers
Younger children can actually play just by estimating and having an adult calculate the final score. (My 5 year old beat all of us today even though he can’t add up his own score.)
How to play:
Set Up: The deck consists of cards with the numbers 3 to 35, but each game you randomly remove 9 cards. No one sees the cards that were removed, so you can not be sure if a card you want will appear in the game.
Each player starts with 11 chips. The whole deck (minus the 9 that you removed from the game) starts in the middle of the table.
Game Play: The first card is flipped up next to the deck. The first player has 2 choices: take the card, or say “No Thanks” and place a chip on the card. When a player takes a card, the next one on the deck is flipped up. If the first player does not take the card, then it goes to the next player who has the same 2 options. The game ends when the last card has been taken.
Scoring: Let’s look at the scoring so you will understand why you would want to take the card, or place a chip. At the end of the game you add up all of the points from your cards and subtract the number of chips that you have. The lowest score wins. When you have a run of numbers, you only score the lowest number in the set.
Strategy: You generally do not want to take cards, but you eventually have to take some because you will run out of chips. When I get low on chips, I might take a high card if it has chips on it. That way I don’t run out of chips and get stuck with a higher card later.
The Math: During the game players must estimate to see how much a card is worth. A 24 card with 16 chips is a net gain of 8 points, but during the game it is hard to count all of the chips that are piled on, so you need to estimate.
After the game, players must add up all of their cards (or just the lowest cards if they have sets). Then they must subtract the number of chips that they have to get the final score.
Elijah does not like math worksheets, but in a game like this, he wants to do the math so that he can know his score. The game plays quickly and is so fun that we usually end up playing 3 or 4 games in a row.
No Thanks! plays 3 to 5 people and take about 10 to 15 minutes. Our box says that it takes 20 minutes and is for ages 13+. That is crazy. You do not need to be 13 to play this game. The manufacturers website says that game is for ages 8+, but our 5 year old has no trouble. (Honestly there are only 2 choices in the game. It is not that hard to play.)
What I like:
- Good math practice
- Plays quickly, but you are not rushed
- Almost no set up time
- Inexpensive ($10-$15)
- It is $9.99 on Amazon as I type this
- You have to pay attention to what the other players are doing
Next time someone asks you if you want to play a game, just say “No Thanks!”