Word equation: Calcium + Nitric acid → Calcium nitrate + Hydrogen Gas
Type of Chemical Reaction: For this reaction we have a single displacement reaction.
Balancing Strategies: In this single displacment reaction the Ca replaces the H in HNO3. We end up with Ca(NO3)2 and H2.
It is helpful to consider the NO3 to be one item. This makes the balancing much simplier.