The Integer Dot Game

by Patti Richards Google
The integer dot game helps students understand how numbers work together.

The integer dot game helps students understand how numbers work together.

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The integer dot game, or 24, uses three levels of playing cards to teach and reinforce the use of integers. Players use cards with mathematical problems on them to review and practice their understanding of integers. Negative and positive numbers in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division challenge players to remember their math facts and order of operations.


Inventor Robert Sum wanted to create a game that would teach children the relationship between numbers, so in 1988 he came up with 24. This game is a unique teaching tool in that it provides the right answer for the players. The goal then becomes finding the best way to get there. This is done by manipulating the operations and relationships that the integers on the cards have. There are now nine editions of the game as well as related products that parents and teacher can use to get children excited about mathematics.


The integer dot game uses different levels of integer challenges for players. Cards displaying one dot are easy. Cards displaying two dots are medium, and cards displaying three dots are challenging. Each card is double-sided with a different challenge on each part. The cards are brightly colored with large numbers and symbols so they're easy to read. Also known as the 24 game, each card displays four integers and players must use the integers to equal the number 24.

How to Play

Players must use all four integers on the card to equal the number 24. They can use addition, subtraction, multiplication and divisions to come up with 24, but they don't have to use all four operations. They must, however, use all four numbers to win the hand. Some 24 games play slightly differently, but there are instructions with each game. All 24 games use integers, the four different functions and the number 24 as the goal for each player.


The integer dot game, or 24, comes in several versions. Choose between 96-card decks and 48-card decks. There are both classroom and home versions available, and teachers can take advantage of classroom kits. Add extra challenges to your integer dot games by purchasing the 24 Challenge materials. These materials allow you to host mathematics tournaments within your school and district. Team shirts, hats, scorecards, awards and other incentives make competing with integers both challenging and rewarding.

About the Author

Patti Richards has been a writer since 1990. She writes children’s books and articles on parenting, women's health and education. Her credits include San Diego Family Magazine, Metro Parent Magazine, Boys' Quest Magazine and many others. Richards has a Bachelor of Science in English/secondary education from Welch College.

Photo Credits

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