Mahnoor Hussain @ Edenrose Public School

Horse Race - Playing Card Probability Game - Grade 5


Monday, May 16, 2016


1:50 pm


Ms. Long

Description of Activity: Probability Card Game

Students will play the horse race game with the objective of having the Jack with the most cards of the same suit to win the race. Once there is a winner, students will discuss whether or not the game was fair or not. There will be a class discussion on why the game is not fair and what they can do to make it fair. This is a good demonstration activity and encourages students to think about possible outcomes and how likely or unlikely a result is.
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Curriculum Connections

  • Pose and solve simple probability problems
  • Conduct probability experiments
  • Record the results (Verbally)

Performance Objectives

  • Students will be able to determine and represent all possible outcomes in a simple probability experiment
  • Express probability numerically as a fraction


  1. Place all 4 Jacks (your jockeys), face up, in a horizontal line across the floor or desk
  2. Shuffle remaining cards
  3. Place 7 cards, face down, in a vertical line to the left of the Jacks - the seventh card is the "finish line"
  4. Choose 4 students to be your "jockeys" - each student chooses a Jack as their jockey
  5. Teacher turns up remaining cards, one at a time
  6. Place the turned up card in a line above the corresponding Jack in line with the face down cards
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until one of the "jockeys" wins the race by reaching the "finish line" first

Materials Required

  • Deck of large playing cards

Special Instructions for Co-op Teacher


Classroom Management

  • Monitor students and their reactions
  • Ask questions
  • Observe student involvement and engagement


  • Prompt students to answer and take part in the activity
  • Lead them to the answers in the discussion

Evaluation Tools

  • Observe students' response to the activity
  • Note when students realize that there are only 4 suits in a deck
  • Discussion involving the fairness of the game, how to make it fair and why multiples of 4 would make it a fair game