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What Is This Program About?

What is Stacked Deck?


Stacked Deck-Second Edition is 5 session school-based program for the prevention of problem gambling. Stacked Deck was originally developed over many years by Dr. Robert Williams and Dr. Robert Wood at the University of Lethbridge, in Alberta, Canada. It is the world’s first prevention program proven to be effective in changing gambling behavior in youth as well as reducing their risk of developing gambling-related problems. The authors drew on years of research and evaluation in schools in Alberta, Canada between 2001-2005 to create the initial program. Extensive re-evaluation was undertaken in North Carolina between 2017-2019 to create this new updated version.


The program:

- Is fun and engaging and includes extensive opportunities for class interaction.


- Contains a well-structured sequence of lessons that continually builds on previously learned skills. 


- Has a take home message after each lesson to engage caregivers in the discussion.


- Was designed for ages 14-19. However, Lessons 1, 2, and 4 are suitable for grades 7 and 8; and Lessons 1, 2, and 3 are suitable for college and university students.

Is training in administering Stacked Deck needed?


The Facilitator’s Guide contains all the information necessary for a skilled educator to administer Stacked Deck without any specific training.  However, formal training is available and recommended as training increases the effectiveness of the program through enhancement of its fidelity and the educator’s fluency and confidence in administration.   


What does the training consist of?


A 2-day on-site or online ‘Train the Trainers’ program for groups and individuals delivered by the actual original developer of the program, Dr. Robert Williams.


Maximum group size is 30 people.


Where can I obtain Stacked Deck?

The program is available from Hazelden in the form of a Facilitator’s Guide that provides step-by-step instructions on how to implement the Stacked Deck program as well as a USB flash drive that contains reproducible handouts and the 5 PowerPoint lessons.

* Underlined words are hyperlinked. Click on them to access the website or document.

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