Teacher Toolbox

Chip Exchange

chip exchange gamePurpose:
An activity to provide practice with shifting number groups to change place value groupings.

To keep exchanging the chip groups until you reach the black chip

2 or more


  • 5 different colors of poker or small chips
  • Game board with four columns, one column for each color

To Play:

  1. Each player receives a game board
  2. Place the colored chips in the center
  3. Agree upon the number of chips that you need to have in a column to exchange to the next color level.
  4. Select a player to roll first
  5. Take the number of chips shown on the dice that correspond with first column on the right
  6. Check to see if you can exchange the chips for the next color higher shown in the next column on the right
  7. Once the first player decides that they cannot exchange the chips to the next level, their turn is complete.
  8. Keep playing until a player reaches the black chip.

For younger players, begin exchanging in groups of 3 and gradually increase the number of chips as their mastery grows.