Planning Poker game at the poker table

Planning Poker Deck & Instructions

Time to Read 3 min

Why an own Planning Poker Deck?

We are using Planning Poker to estimate effort in hours. In this the Fibonacci-series seemed not very practical, as they they do not lead to an easy interpretation in terms of days and hours.This is why we use the series 1, 2, 4, 8, 20 (half week), 40 (one week), 80 (two weeks)... In addition the cards should urge the estimators to split large packages (larger than 40 person-hours).
Of course the deck can be used to estimate other quantities, the scale is almost logarithmic.

What are the Advantages of Planning Poker?

  • Less influence of the estimators by dominant members of the group and no Anchoring Effect:
    • Everybody keeps his estimate for himself until all estimates are on the table ("Delphi-Method").
  • All estimators are converging to the same definition of the element to be estimated:
    • All details and assumptions/ risks are discussed an can be documented ("Wideband-Delphi").

The process needs more resources than an expert simply filling in the estimation list, but due to the above reasons, it leads to better results.

How to estimate using Planning Poker?

How we use Planning Poker can be found in the instructions.

How can I get the Set?

We send you the deck (complete set for four estimators) for 10 CHF per set plus 10 CHF delivery cost (prepayment outside Switzerland):

To Contact for my Order!


What is the history of Planning Poker?

The general Delphi-Method has been developed by Rand Corporation in the 1960ies. 2002 James W. Grenning used the first time the notion "Planning Poker" (see this paper).

Complete Planning Poker Deck

Planning Poker Instructions

How to play Planning Poker?

  1. Each member of the team gets the complete set of cards of one suit
  2. Somebody presents the work items (e.g. «Product Owner», product manager, project leader)
  3. The work item is discussed, discussion results (details, assumptions, risks) are documented
  4. Each estimator thinks about the estimate and places one according card face down (numbers hidden) on the table
  5. When all estimates/ cards are on the table, the cards are shown
  6. If the estimates disagree, the reasons for the differences are discussed, typically first by the estimators aiming
    lowest and highest, discussion results (details, assumptions, risks) are documented.
  7. Steps 4 to 6 are repeated until consensus is reached (can be shortened if a single outlier agrees to go with all others)

What is the Meaning of the Cards?

The numbers can stand for hours but also other quantities like cost (in 1000's), risk, "Story Points". In Scrum it is frowned upon directly estimating hours, but in many organizations hours are important. This is why our card deck is optimized for estimation of hours.

Meaning of Special Cards

See the following figures:

Planning Poker card 0: already done, no effort

Already done, no effort

I think this is already done or does not have to be done

Planning Poker card 80: 80 hours, split if possible

80 hours, split

I estimate the work package to be 80 hours, it should be broken down (estimate maximum 40 hours work packages)

Planning Poker card Infinity: too large work item, split

Too big, split

I consider the package too big, it must be broken down

Planning Poker card Question Mark: I do not understand the work item, cannot estimate


The work package is completely unclear to me

Planning Poker card Break: I need a break


I need a break

Planning Poker card Solcept: contact Solcept


Let Solcept develop this part!

Contact us for your own Planning Poker deck:

Would you like to order planning poker? Visit our contact page!

Andreas Stucki

Do you have additional questions? If so, email me or comment your thoughts below!


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