How it works

Lean Poker in a Nutshell ...

A Lean Poker event lasts for about 8 to 10 hours. During this time, self-organized teams develop and improve poker-playing robots. But there's a catch: right from the start, the poker robots are playing a game of Texas Hold'em every 5 seconds - and they're only stopping for quick breaks where our facilitator gives feedback to the teams on the code they have written so far.


Every 5 seconds, robots are playing a poker match against each other. Each team gets one of the robots and tries to improve its strategy to outperform the other teams' robots in the long run.

This emulates a constantly shifting market where startups or products have to face rapid changes on a daily basis.


As feedback is fundamental to Agile and Lean, our experienced developer, Rafael, shares his comments on the robots after each hour of coding. During these feedback retrospectives, teams also share their biggest issues and challenges with Rafael and other teams, which enables them to learn from each other's problems.

This part addresses skills that are the hardest to train: understanding others' problems, assessing your own team's performance, and gathering feedback from others.


In every round of poker (happening every 5 seconds), the winning team gets 5 points, while the second team gets 3 points. These points add up until the end of the game and the team who collects the most points wins.

This element is what gets the team spirit going - the competition brings people together and creates genuine collaboration between each and every member of the team.


To quote one of our past clients:

Lean thinking is not something you can fully understand from a book, and adapt it into practice. Lean Poker is an awesome workshop, which demonstrates lean thinking's advantages in a funny, interactive and slightly competitive way.