Mix N Match Cards Team Building Activity


In this activity, each small team is given a set of card triangles. The aim is to negotiate and barter with other teams in order to match as many of their cards as possible within the allotted period of time.


A deck of playing cards, with the cards cut diagonally into triangles
Envelopes for each set of card triangles

Space Required: Small. Outdoors or indoors.

Group Size: 6 – 30 participants. Each small team should consist of 3 – 4 participants.

Total Time: 25 – 35 minutes

  •    5 minutes to brief and setup
  •    10 – 20 minutes for the activity
  •    10 minutes to review and debrief


  •    Cut up the cards in the deck diagonally so that they are all triangles.
  •    Mix all the card triangles.
  •    Depending on the number of small teams, equally divide up the card triangles and place each set into separate envelopes.

Running the Activity

  •    Explain the activity: In this activity, each small team will be given a set of mixed card triangles. Your aim is to negotiate and barter with other teams in order to ‘complete’ your cards. The team with the most matched cards after 10 minutes negotiation and bartering wins.
  •    Divide the group into small teams of 3 – 4 persons. Each team will receive an envelope with their card triangles.
  •    The group will have 3 minutes to review their card triangles and strategies. Thereafter, the 10 minutes of negotiation and bartering will begin.
  •    After 10 minutes are up, each team will count how many matched cards they have. The team with the most number wins.

Suggested Learning Outcomes

  •    Communication
  •    Strategy
  •    Negotiation
  •    Problem-solving

Activity Guidance and Notes

This activity helps to hone the participants’ communication and negotiation skills. It also promotes problem-solving and makes participants think on their feet.

There are several ways to succeed in this activity. Teams may look for other teams that want mutual trades, some teams may be more aggressive, and others may want to collaborate and merge so that they have more bargaining power.


  •    If you have a smaller group, the activity can be conducted with individuals bartering instead of teams.
  •    If the teams have trouble, you can pause the activity and give them 2 minutes to form a merger with another team. Continue the activity with the merged teams. During the debrief, discuss how the mergers changed each team’s strategies and actions.


Suggested questions to ask:

  •    What was your strategy to win the activity?
  •    How easy or difficult was the negotiation process?
  •    What worked for your team when negotiating with others?
  •    If your team merged with another, why did you choose that team to work with? What were the effects of the merger?
  •    How did your strategy change during the activity?
  •    What did you learn from the activity?

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