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What is the Card Game Concentration?

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  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2014
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Concentration is a card game that requires making pairs and remembering placement. The goal of Concentration is to pair all the cards and empty the array. It is often played with a standard 52-card pack, but there are also specialized sets available that feature story characters, animals, or other specialty items to make matching more interesting. Online games of concentration are also available.

How to Play the Card Game Concentration
The game of concentration is played with two or more players. A single deck of card, with jokers removed, is shuffled and dealt one at a time facedown either in an array of perhaps seven cards in a row, with the last row being uneven, or — to make the game more difficult — spread all over the playing surface without regard for order.

Players take turns turning over two cards in place—that is, without removing them from the playing are, simply flipping them faceup — seeking to find a match of rank, without regard for color. If the cards match, the player removes them from the playing area, stacks them in front of him- or herself, and takes another turn. If they do not match, the player ensures that all other players have seen them, and flips them facedown, without changing their position in the playing area. The next player to the left then goes, turning over two cards, which may include cards already viewed and/or new cards.

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Play ends when all the cards have been removed from the array. Players count their pairs, and the player with the most pairs is the winner.

Teaching Children to Play the Card Game Concentration

To help young children learn the game, concentration can be varied to suit players of a variety of ages. Ways to make the game easier include:

  • have children match identical items rather than items that have a feature in common, for example, two Aces of hearts rather than an Ace of hearts and an Ace of diamonds
  • use a smaller array, starting with as few as two cards in each row (making sure that there are two pairs used)
  • using cards that picture familiar items

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