This is an excellent team building activity that highlights the importance of trust between team members (without having them do the famous trust fall)

Split the group into teams of 4 or 5 persons. Give one complete set of playing cards to each team and ask them to shuffle it well.

Tell the teams that you will be giving an index card to each person. Please check the back of your card, if you find a small “X” printed on the back, then you will be the secret saboteur in your group, your job is to make sure your team fails in their task without anyone on the team suspecting it’s you.

Pass around blank index cards to each person (no index cards will have an “X” printed) Show the below image to the groups and tell them that the winning team is the one that can arrange their cards set flat on the table as per the image in the shortest time.


Give the group 3 minutes to strategize and plan for the task then start the activity once everyone is ready. Start the activity and record the time on each round to see which team was the fastest.

After some debates and accusations, reveal to the group that all index cards you passed around were blank and there were no saboteurs.

Build on the activity and discuss further by asking questions like:

  • How did it feel working on the team knowing that someone is trying to make the team fail?
  • Did you have any suspects? How did you decide who was the saboteur?
  • How can distrusting team members affect performance of the team?