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24 Game is the first math game I really loved playing. I could sit for hours going through a deck, figuring out how to make the 4 numbers on each card equal 24.

It’s the type of game teachers keep in the classroom to keep students busy while still practicing valuable skills. But I remember being thrilled anytime I could take a break from my desk and play a game, even if it was ultimately an educational game. (My other school favorite was Mastermind, which is also really fun while being largely educational.)

I’m not the only one who loves the game. Apparently over 10 million students worldwide have played 24, according to the game’s creator, Robert Sun.

Currently, 24 is number five on Amazon’s top math games list. Not too shabby for a game that was created in 1988, especially considering the top games on the list are all relatively new: Prime Climb, Mobi, and Math Dice.

I recently bought a copy of 24 to keep in our game cabinet, and immediately I found myself back to wanting to go through an entire deck. Many cards have multiple solutions, meaning you can go through the deck multiple times and the game still feels fresh. Especially when you’re playing with other people — the formulas they see may not be the same ones you see.

How to play 24 Game

There are 48 two-sided cards in the box. Each side has four numbers on it. It also has a difficulty rating, indicated by the number of dots in the corner. (A card with 1 dot is easy, 2 dots is medium, and 3 dots is hard.)

24 Game difficulty rating on cards
Each card has a difficulty rating indicated by the number of dots in the corner.

The goal is to make the four numbers on the card equal 24. You can use multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction in any combination you want. Just make sure to use each number on the card once (and only once).

Every card has at least one solution, but many cards have multiple solutions. If you’re playing with friends, touch the card once you’ve found an answer. Explain how you found 24, and if you got it right, keep the card and move on to the next one or flip it over for another set of numbers.

What makes it a fun math game?

  • You can play on your own, with another person, or with a large group of friends.
  • You can start with the easy cards to learn the rules and techniques of the game before moving onto more challenging cards. This comes in handy when playing with kids.
  • It’s a card game, which makes it easily transportable. It’s a great option to take on vacation.
  • There are many versions, so if you love the game you can collect them all, including single digit, double digit, integers, and exponents.
24 Game cards and box

What makes 24 Game unique?

24 Game is more than just a fun math game. The more you play, the more you see patterns and shortcuts that help you do math more quickly in your head. Strengthening mental math skills comes in handy in every day life.

“Knowing the answer is always 24 alleviates a classic brand of math anxiety—getting the right answer—and instead puts the emphasis on the process and patterns, what I like to call the method behind the math.”

Robert Sun, 24 Game creator

What do you think about 24 Game? Send us a note at hello@mathgamesarefun.com and let us know!

24 Game box
24 Game is one of the most-loved math games.
Author

Lauren is a financial planner and former first grade teacher who loves math games.

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