Games & Play / Card Games / Game 4 Disponible en español

Number Neighbors

Identify numbers that are one more or one less than the number on the card in the center pile.


Activity Summary

The goal of this 2 player game is to get the most number neighbors (cards that are one more or one less than another number) in your saved cards pile.



  • Remove from the deck all face cards. Aces count as 1.
  • Shuffle the cards. Pass out four cards to each player.
  • Players put their cards in a row in front of them with the numbers showing.
  • The rest of the deck is put in a pile in the center.
  • Players turn over the top card from the center pile and put it, number side up, in the comparison pile, which is next to the center pile.


How a turn begins:

  • A player looks for a card in their row that is either one higher or one lower than the comparison card. If they find one, they say “1 MORE” or “1 LESS,” take their card and the comparison card, and put both cards in their own saved pile. If they cannot find a card that is one more or one less than the comparison card, they say “PASS” and their turn is over. 


How a turn ends:

  • A turn ends when the player either fills in the empty space in their row with a card from the center pile or says “PASS.” The next turn starts by the next player turning over another card from the center pile and putting it number side up in the comparison pile. They then look for a card in their row that is one more or one less than the comparison card at the top of the pile. 

How the game ends:

  • The game continues until the center pile is out of cards or no more plays can be made. The player with more saved cards wins.


Read the Mini Story

  • Make playing even more fun by telling a story about the game: the Queen is always curious to find out which numbers are neighbors. Number neighbors are numbers that are only one more or one less than the number she has chosen. Can you help her find lots and lots of number neighbors?

Support Learning

  • When your child is stuck, suggest counting from 1 to 10. This may help them identify the numbers just before and after as “one more” and “one less.
  • Suggest using pennies or other objects to show how to find one more or one less.

Adjust the Challenge

Make It Easier

  • Remove the cards from 6 to 10 from the deck, changing it to a 1-5 card game.

Make It Harder

  • On each turn, players can put more than one neighbor card in their saved pile. So, if there are two or three different cards that are one more or one less than the comparison card, they would also go in the saved pile.
  • Each player can have more than four cards in their row.
  • Players can look for cards that are two or three numbers more or less than the comparison card.


What to Play Next

If your child is still practicing the skills in this game, then continue having fun playing this game! Try the tips to support learning and ways to adjust the challenge. When your child is ready for a new game, play Easy Counting.

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