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Card Yahtzee is a team building probability game with human cards




3, 4, 5, 6, 7  

Title – Card Yahtzee
By – David Brown
Primary Subject – Math
Grade Level – 3-7

Learning outcomes:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Chance and data

Required Material:

  • Deck of cards

Aim of the Game:

  • To form a group of five students, with the strongest card hand of five cards.

How to Play:

  1. Each student is given a card
  2. Once every student has a card, they have a time limit (3 – 5 minutes) to form groups of five
  3. The aim is to form a group with the highest hand of cards.
  4. Once they have formed a group of five they sit down. A group of five is considered a ‘hand of cards’
  5. If there are any spare students, they stand out in the front as ‘spares’
  6. Once all the groups sit down or the time runs out, each group gets a chance to swap with one of the ‘spare’ people from the front. They have to swap the whole person, not just the card.
  7. Once each group has had a chance to swap a card, each group then takes a turn to show the rest of the class their ‘hand of cards’
  8. Here are the possibilities in order from lowest to highest
    • A Pair
    • Two Pairs
    • Three of a kind
    • Full house
    • Straight
    • Four of a kind
  9. If two teams have the same hand, then whichever has the highest card win. (e.g., 333AK beats 222J7, because threes are higher than twos)


  • There are many uses for this game, it can be used to teach the importance of teamwork and effective communication .
    • Highlight the importance of speaking clearly and politely
    • Discuss the best available combinations with other students
    • Discuss the dynamics of forming groups.
    • For an extra challenge you can get your students to play this game silently.
  • There are plenty of opportunities in this game to discuss chance, data, and possibly comparative fractions and percentages .
    • For younger students, you could discuss the chance of each student getting a specific card.
    • For more advanced students, you could discuss the possibility of getting each combination (three of a kind, full house, straight).
  • Note from
        The number of different possible hands is found by counting the number of ways that five cards can be selected from fifty-two cards, irregardless of order. To do this, divide the number of ways of drawing the hand by the total number of 5-card hands:
        Total number of possible hands = 52!/(5! × 47!) = 2,598,960
    Hand Number of Ways P robability
    Four of a Kind 624 .02%
    Straight 10,200 .4%
    Full House 3,744 .1%
    Three of a Kind 54,912 2%
    Two Pairs 123,552 5%
    One Pair 1,098,240 42%
    Nothing 1,302,540 50%

      Additionally, there are only four ways to get a royal flush (10, J, Q, K, A of the same suit) because there are only four suits, so the probability of being dealt a royal flush is 4/2,598,960 = .000002 or .0002%. There is a .001% or a.00001385 probability of getting a straight flush, 5 cards in order in the same suit, because there are ten such straights in four suits, so there are forty possible straight flushes minus the four royal flushes contained in that number (36/2,598,960).

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