Fifty Plus/Minus

Brian Stovel contributed this game invented by his grand-daugher Dani. He writes: "At first it looks quite simple and just a matter of luck, but as we play it we realize how much strategy is involved.  As well, it is a very good exercise for kids to speed up their addition and subtraction skills as well as learning the concept of positive and negative numbers."

Fifty Plus/Minus is a game for two or more players, using a standard deck of 52 cards. (It has only been tested with 2 or 3 players but could work with up to 6).

Objective: To add or subtract card values to arrive at a winning score of exactly 50.

Start: Deal four cards to each player. Player at dealer's left plays first, and players take turns clockwise around the table.

Card values: Ten, Jack, Queen, King are all ten points, Ace is one, other cards are their spot value.
EXCEPTION:  6 counts as ZERO!

Play: Cards are played to a face up pile in the centre of the table. This pile begins empty (value zero). Each time a card is played, the value of the card is added to the value of the pile so long as the pile is worth less than 50. If the pile is worth more than 50, the value of the card is subtracted instead. If the pile value is exactly 50, play ends and the player who made it 50 has won.

At your turn, play any one of your four cards face up to the table, call out the new pile value, and draw a replacement card from the deck. Then it is the next player's turn. So every player will always have four cards in their hand at the start of their turn.

Usually, the pile value will go above and below 50 several times before someone wins.

Scoring: There is no scoring of points, just a Win or Loss. 

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Last updated: 23rd March 2016