Thirteen - Adding Game

Children practice adding playing the game Thirteen and don't even realize they are learning. Thirteen is played using Speed! cards and can be played with two to six players. The games last less than five minutes and are easy to sneak in at the end of a lesson.

Thirteen is similar to Speed! because it is also a race game. Players try to end with as few cards as possible in their hands. In addition, those who correctly add two cards which total thirteen and are the first to shout thirteen have a great advantage. In that case the other players must divide the played cards between them and add them to their hands.  


Required Cards
First create two stacks of cards from Speed!
  1. Addend Cards - Gather the four lowest cards from each deck of Speed! cards. In other words, get the 2's from Two Speed, 3's from Three Speed and so on. Thirty-two cards in all.

  2. Answer Cards - Gather the following cards; 
  • From the Two Speed Deck - two 4's, two 18's, all the 4's, 6's, 8's, 10's, 12's, 14's and 16's
  • From the Three Speed Deck - all the 9's, 12's and 15's
  • From the Four Speed Deck - all the 8's
  • From the Five Speed Deck - all the 10's
  • From the Seven Speed Deck - All the 14's
  • Divide the Addend Cards into two piles and place them face down in the middle of the play area.
  • Deal 10 Answer Cards to each player. If six people are playing deal only 8 cards. Set the remaining cards aside.
  • The players hold all ten cards in their hands.

Object - To be the player with the least number of cards in hand at the end of play.
Decide how many times to go through the Addend Cards. One time is a good number when learning the game.
  • Two players simultaneously flip the center decks completely over to start the game.
  • Players look at the cards in their hands and see if one of them is the sum of the two middle cards.
  • If it is they play it as fast as they can. Only one card can be played per flip.
  • If not they shout the sum of the cards.
  • Two players simultaneously remove one card from the top of each center deck and repeat the previous three steps.

  • If the sum is thirteen, the player who said thirteen first does not have to take any played cards. The other players must divide the played cards and add them to their hands.
  • When all the Addend Cards are removed the game is over unless players agreed to go through the Addend Cards more than one time.
  • The player with the least number of cards in his/her hand is the winner.

Note: There are no 5's, 7's, 11's, 13's or 17's in the 52 Answer Cards.

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  1. Love the speed game! Please do a video on this so I can see. I would love to play with my Daughter. She is 5 and is playing the 2s, 3s, and 5s really well now! Thank you.

  2. We will have to try this. My kids love the game and I love playing it on iPad not up to the Ace level still working on the Legend level:) My kids play the ipad version too:)


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