Government Poker


by Robert Reaves

Robert teaches math at the Academic Skills Center at SDSU. He hopes someday to begin a lucrative career teaching high school math and science.

Instructional Objective Learners will be able to match the specific number of the Bill of Rights and the Amendments to the Constitution to their content.

Learners/Contect The learners are junior high school students in an U. S. History or Government class. The teacher uses the game Government Poker , as a break in the routine to reinforce the material in the Bill of Rights and Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Rationale Students often have difficulty making the association between the number of the right or amendment and the content of the right or amendment. This card game can revive the attention span of junior high students and help them practice the paired associations in this subject.

The design of this card game was to lessen the young student's 'pain' while learning the content of these important government documents. Competition between players provides a check on the accuracy of associations while laying down paired cards. Finally, this game socially motivates the player and helps them learn the topic.

Rules The rules for the game are as follows:

1. The player who picks the highest numbered card is the dealer. The play rotates clockwise. The dealer gives four number and four content cards to each player, starting with the player to his or her left. The dealer places both decks face down with the top card of each deck placed face up next to each deck.

2. Each player tries to pair the correct number card with its content card:

3. Starting with the player to the dealer's left, each player either picks up the face up card or top card from the number deck. Then, the player discards one number card onto the number pile, face up. The second round starts with the player to the dealer's left. Each player either picks up the face up card or top card from the content deck. Then, the player discards one content card onto the content pile, face up. During the third round, players draw from the number deck with succeeding rounds using alternate decks.

4. Play continues until a player lays down all their cards as pairs of matching number and content cards. A pair can be the following:

5. A player gets two points for a pair,plus two more points for a sequence of two pairs, or three points for a sequence of three pairs, etc.

6. When the first player has no cards left in their hand, the remaining players cannot count any number and content pairs they have not laid down.

7. Play continues until the one player reaches a 50 points.

Card Design

Deck Design Two decks: