This week’s game is about positive and negative numbers. Corners is one of our family’s favorite games and this variation is similar to the original game of Corners. Top and Bottom Corners is game S11 in the Math Card Games book.
Using the Corner cards, sums formed by joining top (green) and bottom (black) numbers are added. Sums formed by joining the side (red and blue) numbers are subtracted.
I like to think of it this way: The horizontal numbers are subtracted since the minus sign is like the horizon. The vertical numbers are added, just like the vertical line you have in the plus sign.
Each player starts off with three cards and draws another card after playing one. There is NO scoreless matching in this game. So if you can’t play a card, then your turn is skipped.
The two numbers still need to equal 5, 10, 15, or 20, then that total is added or subtracted to the accumulative scores.
Here we have 3 + 2, which is 5. But it’s going to be a negative sum because it is red “horizontal” numbers. Score is –5.
Did any of you notice the blue 8 and 7? Yes, that would be a valid play, but then we’d have –15. No thanks! We’ll stick with a –5.
Next, we added 9 + 1 for a sum of 10. And it’s a positive 10 because it’s vertical! So –5 + 10 is a positive 5. Notice that only the total is written. The –5 + 10 was done mentally.
Some of you may be wondering, if this is a multi-person game, why are they scores combined? Of course, they wouldn’t be when more than one person is playing, but that’s harder to show here. So we’re looking at this particular game as a solitaire game….. Work with me!
Now we added the black 4 + 1, giving us an additional 5 points for a total now of 10.
And another negative matched card, bringing us back down to a total of –5.
Of course, if a card is played to a corner, both positive and negative scores are incurred, so be cautious!
This is a fun game for strategy…. as well as playing with negative numbers!