Team Add vs. Team Subtract

Type of Activity:  Problem Solving 

Source:  Playing With A Full Deck, by Michelle Cummings

Props Needed:  playing cards

Group Size:  4-20 players.

Aim of the Game:  The object of the game Team Add vs. Team Subtract is to be the first to reach the desired total (70 for “add” ; 30 for “subtract”).  This is a competitive game between two teams.  This is a good activity for sales teams.   

Value of Cards

All cards have face value.

Jack = 11 points

Queen = 12 points

King = 13 points

Playing the Game:  Divide your participants into two teams.  Shuffle the deck and give each participant 5 cards.  Ask them not to look at their cards.  Have each team form a straight line facing the other team.  Determine which end of the line is the beginning.  Have the first two people from each team face one another.  To determine which team is “Add” and which team is “Subtract”  have the first person show the card from the top of the deck.  The team with the higher card is “ Team Add.”  The team with the low card is “Team Subtract.” 

Process:  Each team begins with a value of 50.  Team Add goes first and shows their card.  They would add the value of the card played to the number 50.  Then Team Subtract would play a card and subtract the value of the card played from the Team Add’s new total.  Then the second member of Team Add would show their top card and add the value of the card played to Team Subtract’s new total.  The two teams take turns playing their top cards and adding or subtracting the card’s value from the cumulative total.  Here is a sample of what might happen in play:

Team                          Card Played                         Player Says

Add                                         7                                            57  (50 + 7)

Subtract                               9                                             48  (57-9)

Add                                        3                                             51  (48 + 3)

Subtract                           King                                           38  (51-13)

Scoring:  If the total reaches 70, Team Add is the winner.  If it falls to 30, Team Subtract is the winner.  If the cards run out before there is a winner, reshuffle the cards and give each participant 5 new cards.

Debriefing Topics:

  • What was difficult about this activity for you?
  • How did competition play a role in the activity?
  • How did the winning team treat the team that lost?
  • How did the outcomes of this activity relate to similar situations in the office?

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

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