Chase the Ace

Type of Activity:  Time Filler

Source:  Playing With A Full Deck, by Michelle Cummings

Group Size:  Best played with 6 or more players.

Props Needed:  playing cards

Playing the Game:  Invite your participants to stand in a circle.  Deal out a single card to each player, face down.  Randomly choose one person to start the activity and call them the dealer.

The player with the lowest card (aces are low) will receive a letter ‘A’.  The activity is over when the first person spells out the word “ACE.”

Now each player looks at his card.  Each player has to decide whether his card is high enough to keep him in the game.  If the player thinks it is, he will say “stand” (stick with his card).  If a player thinks his card is too low, he will say “Exchange,” and pass the card, face down, to the player on his left, who must accept it and give him his card in return.  This process continues around the circle until play comes back to the dealer.

If the dealer is not happy with his card, he gives it back to the facilitator who replaces it at the bottom of the pack and gives him another card.  Next, all players show their cards.  The player with the lowest card receives the letter ‘A’.  The activity is over when the first person spells out the word “ACE.”

Cards are then reshuffled and re-dealt, and the same process is repeated.  If two or more players tie for lowest card, each receives a letter.

Special rule:  if you are dealt a king, you neither stand nor exchange.  Place your Card Face up in front of you, and relax for the rest of the round.

Debriefing Topics:

  • What did you like about this activity?
  • How did you attempt to mask what card you had?
  • Was it difficult to decide whether to ‘stand’ or ‘exchange’?


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

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

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