Silence is the trick in this game of telepathy and teamwork
Observation / Deduction
+ Playing cards numbered 1-100
+ Life and Throwing Star cards (not necessary)
Don’t have the official game on hand? Printing/writing out number cards is a quick solution. You could also use a different deck of cards if the ascending order is clearly stated (i.e. two traditional 52 card decks, spades > hearts > clubs > diamonds). Lives and throwing stars are trackable without cards.
First, shuffle the number cards and prepare to deal them face down
Next, if playing with lives, determine how many to start with (i.e. 3) and reward teams with an extra life every EVEN numbered round. If playing with throwing stars, determine how many to start with (i.e. 2) and reward teams with an extra star every ODD numbered round
Finally, prepare to deal round 1
Use an online number generator for dealing and either chat space, annotate/draw tools, or hand raising function to establish order. Body language and eye contact are important, so make sure the virtual space is set up for seeing people.
Round 1: Deal every player 1 card, face down. Players may look at their card. Without talking or gesturing, players must play the cards in ascending order. If at any time, someone plays out of order, the team loses a life and the group restarts the round. If everyone plays their card successfully, move to the next round
Round 2+: Deal every player the same number of cards equal to the round number (i.e. Round 4 = 4 cards). Same objective as Round 1. If at any time, everyone raises their hand, the group has elected to use a Throwing Star — all players may show their lowest card. The game resumes with players still having to play all their cards in the correct order.
Endgame: Stop the game whenever you want. Typically, there are 12 rounds for a 2 person game, 10 rounds for 3 people, 8 rounds for 4 people, 6 rounds for 5+ people. Rule of thumb: over 50% of the deck should be undealt in any round.
Face Down: players place the cards face-down during the game. They will only know if they succeeded at the end of a round.
Easier Rules: allow an increasing amount of gesturing / audible communication
Another Version: try the “Extreme” deck, which challenges players to navigate 2 piles — 1 ascends, 1 descends.
Q. Does everyone seem open to keep playing? Are the disengaged able to be more engaged?
Q. Are people having fun — smiling, laughing, in deep thought?
Q. Do you hear productive strategizing about how to improve round-to-round?
Position the reflection around rational planning and communication methods:
Did this game illuminate any patterns in how you give and receive information?
How might it be helpful to know the preferences and tendencies of your colleagues?
Could your team benefit from additional or more diverse perspectives?
Position the reflection around pathways and resources for accomplishing goals and future growth:
How did the team organize itself around the rules and objectives?
Did conflict or miscommunication affect the game? How might you address that for next time?
Would more time, people, or resources have shifted the team's approach? How so?