As a fast growing trading firm, we are always looking for new ways to introduce trading concepts to our interns and new hires. Often other trading firms use poker for this purpose, since it’s fun and many of the skills translate to trading, such as the ability to take calculated risks and make decisions with incomplete information. However, poker has a slow pace, involves a lot of folding, and more closely resembles betting on outcomes rather than buying and selling securities. We wanted to train our new hires in a way that’s still fun, but better simulates a trading environment. With that in mind, we created a game called Figgie.
Figgie is a trading game that is played with poker chips and a random 40-card subset of a standard deck of cards. You can see the full set of rules here. The cards each have some value determined solely by their suit, based on a function of how many of that suit remains in the deck. During the game, the players buy and sell cards from each other like stocks, growing their stack of chips by correctly valuing the cards.
Like the traditional open outcry trading floors, players trade with each other by announcing buy and sell orders for cards of a specific suit, or by accepting another person’s order using standard trading language. Since all four suits trade simultaneously, games are intense and fast-paced, where players need to be quick and decisive. Figgie has become one of the more popular fixtures of our intern and new-hire training program, and some have actually started organizing their own games of Figgie outside of normal work hours.