In our 13th June 2018 session we used ordinary playing cards to practise our knowledge of numbers.


  1. we ignored the suits for this game, only using the numbers;
  2. the dealer places one card on the table for a player, they have to say the number in  French e.g. 5 = cinq);
  3. They are then dealt a second card and they have to say this one in French and then add it to the first (e.g. 4 = quatre, so 4 et 5, c'est 9);
  4. Then they have to view the cards as "tens" and "units", so in the above, cards 4 and 5 together reads as 45, so they have to say 45 in French;
  5. Finally they are dealt a third card and they have to read this as hundreds, tens and units, so if card 7 was placed alongside 4 and 5, it reads as 745, and the player has to say 745 in French. We even added thousands by adding a 4th card...
  6. Then you move to the next player and repeat.
  7. to make the maths easier the picture cards dropped their "tens" value to only their "units" value - therefore: Jack which normally is 11, drops the ten and becomes 1; queen is normally 12 so drops the ten and becomes 2; King is normally 13 becomes 3, Ace becomes 1.


Some general French vocabulary for playing cards.

 Picture card names:

  • Le valet = the jack
  • La dame = the queen
  • Le roi = the king
  • L’as = the ace (pronounced “ass”)


  • Diamonds = Carreau
  • Clubs = Trèfle
  • Spades = Pique
  • Hearts = Cœur
  • So, Le deux de carreau = the 2 of diamonds
  • Le six de pique = the 6 of spades
  • Le roi de trèfle = the king of clubs
  • La dame de cœur = the queen of hearts