A team building session - because poker is a very competitive game, participants may enter into the spirit of the game.
- Table for each team, decks of cards for each group.
Setting: Each team should have its own table and a deck of cards.
Number of participants: 26-50
Time needed: 6 - 12 minutes
Pre-Work Required: If there is a chance that participants are not familar with poker, then the page explaining the hands should be printed and distributed. A flipchart with the scoring should be prepared (see download file under this method).
Hand out decks of cards to teams. Each team shuffles the pack of 52cards (no jokers) and takes 25 cards - one at a time - off the top of the stack, placing each card face-up on one "square" in a five by five grid. The group chooses where to put each card in the grid, trying for the greatest score.
Once placed a card may not be moved. After all have been placed, each row or column of five is scored like a poker hand (see below) and all those are totaled to provide the score for that round.
Hint: The usual plan is to try for flushes in the columns and full houses or fours in the rows.
In the beginning of teambuilding you might see a lot of conflict around decision-making, requiring an hour or more, depending on what additional work you chose to do with conflict resolution. If several teams involved, this can also lead to discussion of competition. You can have teams do it several times, timing it as they work more and more as a team.
Follow-Up Required: None
Derived from: Found at Ice Breakers, Introductions, Energizers And Other Experiential Exercises, From the Electronic Discussion on Group Facilitation http://www.albany.edu/cpr/gf/
Alternative names: Team Poker