CEEPS On-Line Activity Database

Win As Much As You Can!

Type Audience Group Size Min. Time Equipment Source Contributor
Game Adult 4-12 15 mins Scoring paper Andrew Welch Andrew Welch


An activity from Game Theory, allowing participants to explore collaboration, competition, greed, and trust.  Played in 4 groups or groups of 4.


Divide the participants into 4 groups.  (The game can also be played in groups of 4, but is harder to manage.)

The game takes place in 10 rounds.  Each round, the four groups (or players) each 'play' an "X" or a "Y".  This should be indicated by cards or in writing.  No group should be able to see another group's choice until the facilitator asks the groups to reveal their choice for that round.

Before the rounds begin, the participants must be shown the scoring criteria for each round:

Choices Made If you played "X" If you played "Y"
4 Xs -1 point n/a
3 Xs, 1 Y 1 point -3 points
2 Xs, 2 Ys 2 points -2 points
1 X, 3 Ys 3 points -1 point
4 Ys n/a 1 point

It is particularly fun (and effective), to have the whole group yell out the name of the game "Win As Much As You Can!" before each round.

Typically, round 5 is worth 3 times the regular score, round 8 is worth 5 times the regular score, and round 10 is worth 10 times the regular score.

Groups can keep track of their own scores, but the facilitator should at least track the choices made for later discussion.

Facilitator Notes

It is a good idea not to give groups a lot of time to interact or discuss strategies, except before the bonus rounds (5, 8, and 10).  By giving them a fixed time period to allow discussion before those rounds, they might be encouraged to do so.  That discussion is often very useful for the debrief afterwards.

It usually takes a few rounds for participants to realize that the only combination where everyone wins is when everyone plays "Y".  Even if they all agree to do this, it is common for one (or more) groups to 'defect' to an "X" on bonus rounds.

It is sometimes useful to compare the sum of all 4 scores to the maximum possible (100 points).  A key debrief point becomes: "Who are we scoring: the whole team or 4 separate ones?


Contents Copyright 2006, Andrew Welch.  Please note and credit activity Source at the top of this document.