How to Play: Online

CardZinga! allows people to learn experientially about empirical process control, inspection and adaption and self-organization in a fun and interactive way. 

I first tried this using Google Docs, but found Mural to be much more accommodating. I’m happy to explore alternative models for hosting a card game (e.g., and I encourage further experimentation by the community. Please leave comments on the debrief page if you’re developing on a different platform.

Below are instructions for how to run this game online using a Mural board. (It might help to be familiar with the in-person version first.)

Materials and Space requirements:

  • Visit the link below and make your own Mural board from my lovely template.

CardZinga! Public Template by MURAL

Open to create a mural from this template in your workspace. Powered by MURAL


  • Before the class, spend some time getting familiar with the Mural canvas. This is especially important if you’re not a frequent Mural user. In particular, get familiar with the Scroeboard – I copy & paste the text from cell to cell. (You might also want to know how to lock/unlock canvas elements, just in case the need arises.)
  • The Mural board has everything you need for 3 iterations of CardZinga! for one team. (Recommended team size is 3-9 players.) If you know how many teams you will have, make enough copies of the board for each team, givinging each board a unique name (eg. Team A, Team Groot, Team Ringo…).


If you’re already familiar with the instructions for in-person play, you’re halfway to understanding this online version. There are a few differences; namely:

  • Rounds #1 & #2 use only one deck of 52 cards. Only Round #3 uses a “double deck”.
  • No Jokers are used for the online game.
  • Round #1 is the easiest with four stacks all of the same suit (eg. all Cluds, all Diamonds…)
  • Round #2 introduces the pattern (Heart > Spade > Diamond > Club)
  • Round #3 is the most complex with 104 cards AND the suit pattern.

Otherwise the general rules are the same.

  • All members of the team must self-organize on how to deliver the product.
  • The team must provide an estimate (time) prior to each round.
  • Individual instructions are printed in blue text at the top of each game area.
  • Feel free to ask a question or two (not a full debrief) between rounds before giving them a full two minutes to plan for the next round.
  • Rounds #2 & #3 are hidden under grey rectangle so that the teams’ focus is on the current board in play.
  • If you haven’t figured it out yet, the scoreboard is not entirely necessary for game play. In fact, I treat it (and the act of estimation) as a red herring. I sometimes add the idea of “value” by saying that the stacks in Rounds #2 & #3 are each worth 3x the value of the mono-suit stacks. I forgot how I tallied the “Total Score”. Make something up 🙂

Screenshot Extravaganza

Below is a set of screen shots I captured to show the overall flow of three rounds. (Apologies in advance for the deluge of screenshots…)

Change the name of each board to something identifiable for each team.

Get familiar with the Scoreboard in the upper right. Read above how I use / misuse the Scoreboard 😉

(Copying & pasting text in the cells of the Scoreboard is klunky, but effective.)

Below is what the four stacks may look like after the first round.

For Round #1, I grant 1 point of value for each stack produced.

To reveal the Round #2 board, click the big grey rectangle and delete it.


The play in Round #2 can appear a bit chaotic 🙂

Final product (stacks) after Round #2 might look like this.

Numbers. What do they even mean?? (I give 3x value points for each of these more complex stacks.)

Reveal the board for Round #3. Whoa, so many cards…

Wow! What an effort the team made to create eight stacks in Round #3!

The view of the full canvas after three full rounds played.