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Fraction War Card Game

Enhance fraction skills with an engaging fraction war card game! This game will give your students plenty of practice comparing fractions by finding common denominators.

fraction war card game

I created this fraction war card game for my math concepts students. Math Concepts was a class my school offered to 9th graders who had been identified as not being ready for Algebra 1.

Fractions was one of the main topics of practice for that course. And, I believe that the best way to improve student confidence and fluency with fractions is through fraction games. 

How to Play War

War is a common card game that is typically played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards. The deck of cards is shuffled and divided evenly between two players.

Players take their stack of cards and keep it face down in front of them. Each player turns over the top card from their deck at the same time. Higher numbers are better. 

The player who turns over the highest value card gets to both keep their card and claim the card belonging to the other player. These two cards are placed at the bottom of their deck.

Face cards are worth varying numbers of points. Jacks are worth 10 points. Queens are worth 11 points. Kings are worth 12 points. Aces are worth 13 points. 

If both players turn over cards with the same value, a tie break must be determined. My family always played under the rules that both players turn over a new card and the player with the highest value card claims ALL four cards that have been turned over.

The object of the game is to be the player with the most cards at the end of the game. 

cards for fraction war card game.

Printing and Prepping the Activity

This fraction war takes the basic set-up of the war card game and replaces the standard deck of 52 playing cards with 24 cards featuring fractions with range from 1/12 to 1.

The smaller number of cards produces a much shorter game that is suitable for a quick activity to be played in the math classroom. A traditional game of war with a deck of playing cards can last FOREVER.

I specifically chose fraction values for this activity that can be formed using the fraction tiles available from EAI Education.

I introduce my students to these fraction tiles with my equivalent fractions card sort activity.

cards for fraction war card game.

I print my decks of fraction war cards on various different colors of Astrobrights paper which I then laminate and cut apart. If you do not want to bother with lamination, I recommend that you use card stock for extra durability. 


drawing of laminator machine with text "laminating recommendations"

A laminator is a MUST-HAVE for me as a math teacher! I spent my first six years as a teacher at a school with a broken laminator, so I had to find a way to laminate things myself.

I’ve had several laminators over the years. I currently use a Scotch laminator at home and a Swingline laminator at school.

I highly recommend splurging a bit on the actual laminator and buying the cheapest laminating pouches you can find!

I learned years ago to print decks of cards on different colors of paper. This way, if I find a green fraction card on the ground, I can easily narrow down which bag of cards it came from instead of having to look through every single deck.

Fraction War Instructions

Place students in pairs and give each pair of students a deck of fraction cards. Instruct the students to shuffle the cards and deal the cards evenly between themselves.

cards for fraction war card game.

Each student should have a stack of 12 fraction cards which are face down in front of them. Both students should flip over their top card.

Instruct the students to compare their fractions to determine which fraction is larger. This deck of fraction cards will not result in any TIES since all of the fractions are fully reduced. If you would prefer to have unreduced fractions to make things a bit trickier, you could also use the sets of cards I shared in my Equivalent Fractions Card Sort Activity to play Fraction War.

fraction tiles from EAI Education

Students may choose to find common denominators to determine which fraction is larger. Often, my students would use our fraction tiles from EAI Education to build the fractions in order to compare them.

Whichever student turned over the larger fraction claims both of the fraction cards and adds them to the bottom of their pile of cards.

Play continues until one player runs out of cards. The player who ends up with all of the cards WINS.

If you want to control the length of time that students spend on this activity, you can also set a timer for five minutes and have students compete to have the most cards after five minutes.

If you want a longer (and much fairer) game, give students two decks of cards jumbled together.

More Versions of War Card Game

Over the years, I’ve created several different versions of this war card game that you might be interested in checking out!