Math Activity: Close to 100

Game Directions

  • “Close to 100” is played with a deck of 44 cards – four cards each of the digits 0-9, plus four wild cards. Each pair of players needs one deck; each individual player needs a score sheet.The point of the game is to create double-digit numbers that sum as close to 100 as possible. Each game has five rounds.For round 1, deal six cards to each player. Players choose any four of the cards to make two double-digit numbers that, when added, come as close as possible to a total of 100. Wild cards can be assigned any value. Players record their numbers and the total on a score sheet. The player’s score for the round is the difference between that total and 100. The used cards are discarded, and the two cards remaining in each hand are kept for the next round.
  • For rounds 2 to 5, deal out four cards to each player and repeat the steps in round 1.
  • At the end of five rounds, players total their scores. The player with the lowest total wins.
  • Scoring Variation
  • The rules of play remain the same; only the scoring is modified. If the payer’s total is above 100, the score is recorded as positive. If the score is below 100, the score is recorded as negative. The player with the grand total closest to zero after five rounds is the winner.


  1. 73+28= 101 [1]
  2. 90+10=100 [0]
  3. 59+40=99 [-1]
  4. 70+30=100 [0]
  5. 58+42=100 [0]
  6. Score = 0


  1. 75+26= 101 [1]
  2. 81+21=102 [2]
  3. 37+64=101 [1]
  4. 48+53=102 [2]
  5. 29+65= 94 [-6]
  6. Score = 0

Strategies used:

  • Conor- “The first game I didn’t have a strategy because I didn’t understand the game yet. There was a misunderstanding with the directions, I comprehended that we were supposed to make two 2 digit numbers who’s sum comes as close to 100 with out it going over. Therefor when I one of my numbers went over 100, we found ourselves buzzed, that was until we referred back to the scoring variation and resorted to that. The second game went much smoother. During this game my strategy was to continuously go above 100, and then in the last round go below 100, so that my scores  cancel each other out bring my total to zero.”
  • Katie- “As with Conor, I did not have a clear understanding of the directions in the first game. Though during the second game my strategy was to come up with sums who’s total was as close to 100 as possible. I used my numbers wisely issuing that I did not have two large or two small numbers left to be carried on to the next round. For my Wild card, I always chose a number that wasn’t close to one of the numbers in my hand, in order to save it for when if could be most beneficial.
  • We honestly enjoyed playing this game so much that we continued a few more games turing it into a contest.

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