Cut the Deck

Type of Initiative:  Splitting the Group Up/Group Management

Source:  Playing With A Full Deck, by Michelle Cummings

Group Size:  10-52 participants

Props Needed:  playing cards, one per participant

Playing the Game:  There are several ways to divide your groups with a deck of cards.  This could be introduced at any time during your program.  Many times when you work with a larger group of people, there are mini-cliques already formed.  Here are some creative ways to encourage your participants to meet others and get to know more about those they are not as close with.  And let’s face it, there are some people you just don’t want to have in the same group!  Here are some creative ways to split up the group using a deck of cards.

1. Odds and Evens

  • Using the entire deck:  52 cards, 26 odds, 26 evens  (Aces = 1, Jacks = 11, Queens = 12, Kings = 13)
  • Take out the Royalty cards:  40 cards, 20 odds, 20 evens (Aces = 1)
  • Each suit:  13 cards, 7 odds, 6 evens
  • Two suits:  26 cards, 14 odds, 12 evens
  • Three suits:  39 cards, 21 odds, 12 evens
  • Each suit without royalty cards:  10 cards, 5 odds, 5 evens


2. Color of the Cards

  • Full deck:  52 cards, 26 black cards, 26 red cards
  • Hearts:  13 red cards
  • Spades:  13 black cards
  • Diamonds:  13 red cards
  • Clubs:  13 black cards


3. Suit of the Cards

  • Full deck:  52 cards, 4 suits (hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs)  13 per group
  • Two suits:  26 cards, 13 per group


4. Number or face value of the Cards

  • Full deck:  52 cards, groups of 4 (four 9’s, four Jacks)
  • Three suits:  39 cards, groups of 3 (three 7’s, three Aces)
  • Two suits:  26 cards, pairs (two 3’s, two Queens)


5. Pairs based on the like color and rank (use this one only if everyone will end up with a partner)

  • Full deck:  52 cards, 26 pairs of people (2 of diamonds and 2 of hearts)


Learning styles utilized from the 7 Kinds of Smart:  ~people smart, body smart

Purchase from the Training Wheels store:  Playing With a Full Deck, Jumbo Playing Cards, Colossal Playing Cards, Mini Playing Cards, Round Playing Cards

Material in this Online Games Database is copyrighted.  Copyright ©  Training Wheels or by the author who submitted the activity.  Permission needed to copy or reproduce.