Who’s Counting: FAQ

Who’s Counting™

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I play a Special Blue Card?
You play Blue Cards during your turn to help improve you score.  For example, you might play your expression followed by an extra turn card.  This allows you to draw so that you have 7 cards in your hand after you play, then play again.
Do I always need 7 cards in my hand?
Yes.  Even if you only play a single Red Card on an opponent, you immediately draw another card so that when it is your turn, you have 7 cards in your hand.
What if my hand has no number cards or no operations cards?
Any player can discard and replace some or all of the cards in their hand at their next turn.  The player cannot play an expression if they use their turn to replace cards. Some players use replacing cards as a strategy for winning the game!
What happens if I play a Split card and the value of the play is an odd number?
Round the score up to the next even number and divide it by two.  Half the points go to the player who created the expression, and half go to the player who played the Split card.
Which player calculates the Split?  Do they have to state their calculation aloud?
The person playing the split card must calculate how the points will be split, and they must explain their calculation aloud.
Are players allowed to use paper and pencil to calculate?  How about using calculators?
Players can only use math strategies to perform calculations. Adding up larger numbers without paper and pencil or a calculator is good practice in mental math.  For example, if your expression is worth 236 points and you have played a double card, there are several ways to make the double calculation easier.  Here are a couple:

  • You could add 200 + 200 = 400. Then add 36 +36 = 72. Then add 400 + 72 = 472.
  • You can again start with 200 + 200 = 400. Then add 30 + 30 = 60. Next add 6 + 6 = 12. Finally add 400 + 60 + 12 = 472

Note:  Sometimes teachers may want to allow students use a calculator to verify a solution.  It is surprising how easily children learn to add large numbers in their heads after they play Who’s Counting.
Can other players offer suggestions about how to solve difficult expressions?
Yes. When players offer each other problem solving strategies, everyone learns more about how numbers and operations work together to make math easier.
Why do players need to explain their calculations aloud?
New math standards require that students be able to explain their work when doing math.  By stating calculations aloud, players learn how to defend their solutions and other players can check the calculations.
Can Who’s Counting™ be played in teams?
Yes, Who’s Counting™ can be played in teams of two players on each team.  Teammates can assist each other to make sure they get the highest possible scores.

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