BAT (Before and After the Target)


You can help your child to identify the number before and after numbers from 100-1000.

What you need:

  • Pack of cards with the Queens, Kings and tens removed. The Jacks are zero, and the aces are one. Included 2 Jokers which can be used for any value.
  • Pen and paper

What to do:

The dealer writes down any number from 100 - 998. This is the target number. The aim of the game is to get three cards that make the number that comes just before or just after the written number.

Questions to ask:

What number would come just before that number? What number would come just after that number? Ask these questions frequently during the game to ensure the child can identify these. At first it may be necessary to record the numbers.

  • Players are dealt three cards each, which they hold in their hand. They look at these, but do not allow the other players to see them.
  • They take turns to pick up a card, then discard the card (face-up in the discard pile) that they do not want.
  • The next player can either select from the deck of cards or the discard pile.
  • Players can only hold three cards in their hand at one time.
  • The first player to table the three cards which make the number before or after the written number is the winner.
  • Children will soon realise that it is easier if the target number contains different digits. Eg. 256 or 638 is easier to get than 333

What to expect your child to do:

Be able to instantly identify the number that comes just before or just after numbers to 1000. Accurately read these numbers.


  • Use four cards. Choose a number from 1000 to 9998 as the target number.
  • Use other languages.

He Kupu Māori:

card kāri
pile of cards putunga kāri
one bigger than kotahi te rahinga ake
one smaller than kotahi te itinga ake
three digit number tau mati-toru

He Whakawhitinga Kōrero:

  • Tohaina kia toru ngā kāri ki ia kaitākaro. (Deal out three cards to each player.)
  • Purihia ō kāri, kaua e whakaatu ki tētahi atu. (Hold your cards, don’t show them to anyone else.)
  • Mēnā he haki tētahi o ō kāri, ko te kore tērā. Ko te haki hei tohu i te kore. (If you’ve got a jack, that’s a zero. The jack signifies a zero.)
  • Māku e tuhi tētahi tau mati-toru. Whakamāhia ō kāri hei hanga i te tau, kotahi te rahinga ake, kotahi te itinga ake rānei. (I’ll write down a three digit number. Use your cards to make the number which is one larger, or one smaller than this.)
  • Ko koe te tuatahi. Mēnā kāore i a koe ngā mati tika, whakatakotoria tētahi kāri ki konei, ka tango ai i tētahi kāri hou mai i te putunga kāri nei. (You go first. If you don’t have the correct digits you can put one card down here, and pick up a new card from this pile.)
  • Kōrerohia mai tō tau.  Kotahi te nui ake, kotahi te iti ake rānei i te tau i tuhia e au? (Say your number. Is it one more or one less than the number that I wrote down?)

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