These are questions common to almost all versions of Fluxx. Questions about basic drawing, playing, winning conditions, and some specific cards found in almost all versions. For questions less generic, check the FAQ for the Fluxx version you’re playing.
If you don’t see your question answered among these, please email us at:
- Q: Must you complete an action before using an optional Free Action allowed by a Rule? What about Keeper powers?
- Q: If during your draw phase, the draw pile runs out, can you play a card that requires use of the discard pile before reshuffling it to finish drawing?
- Q: If I’m required to play all my cards, and I have several Goals, one of which will make my opponent win, can I play them all at once, so the one that makes them win is buried?
- Q: If some Action causes everyone to draw cards, but there’s a Hand Limit in play, should the non-active players draw up to above the Limit, and then discard, or only draw up to the Limit?
- Q: Is there a limit to how many New Rules can be in play at once?
- Q: In one of the Fluxx videos, Andy wins after playing a few cards, but shouldn’t he have had to satisfy the Play All rule before he could win?
- Q: If I Draw 2 and Use ‘Em and it’s two Goals, one of which makes my opponent win, can I play both at once with the one that makes them win buried, to prevent their win?
- Q: Does a Hand Limit mean “hold the limit number, unless you already have fewer cards, in which case hold that lower number?”
- Q: I played a card but forgot to draw the correct number at the start of my turn, picked my card up, drew the correct number, and played a different card (still in my turn). Is that a legal move?
- Q: If I play 2 & Use ‘Em and one of the cards causes me to win, but the other negates it, can I win?
- Q: How should one handle duplicate Keepers with powers, if, for example, we want to play with a double-sized deck?
- Q: Is it even possible to strategize in a game like Fluxx?
- Q: What exactly does “in play” mean?
- Q: When I play Take Another Turn, when do I get to do that? Can I draw immediately?
- Q: If a card lets me do something “once per turn” and I take it out of play, and then somehow put it back into play, is that ability refreshed?
- Q: Do the keepers necessary to meet the goal have to be in play?
- Q: If there is a Rule (or Keeper) in play that adds to the Draw, and then I increase the Draw, does that added Draw count against the new Draw total?
- Q: Limit cards say that the player whose turn it is should discard at the end of their turn. Does that mean the Limit card is discarded as soon as all other players have complied?
- Q: Can I mix two decks of Fluxx to play with twice as many people?
- Q: If a Hand or Keeper Limit card is the last card to be played in a turn, is it instantly the next player’s turn, so they can ignore the Hand Limit?
- Q: Can I pile up my Keepers in play in a stack, or do I have to lay them out so they are clearly displayed?
- Q: Many cards state you can do something “on your turn”. When does one’s turn officially begin and end for these purposes?
- Q: How can I use my printer to make my Fluxx Blanxx come out really nice?
- Q: We think we broke the game. Are we doing it wrong?
- Q: How do I choose a random card from my own hand?
- Q: What is the name of a card? is it the text on the side in the color rectangle, or the bolded black text in the middle above the line?
- Q: If I play a New Rule or Keeper that’s not a Draw or Play, but increases my Draw or Play, do I do that immediately?
- Q: If you play Trash Something (or Trash a Keeper), can you choose not to trash something?
- Q: If Play All is in effect, and my last play is Trade Hands, do I play all those new cards I got in the hand traded to me?
- Q: If I play an Action or invoke an “optional action” that lets me draw cards, and then I increase the Draw rule, do I still get to draw extra for the Draw rule increase?
- Q: Does the total effect of playing a card have to be resolved before checking for win conditions, or could someone win partway through?
- Q: Do you have to complete an Action before it goes on the discard pile, or does it go on the discard pile at the start of the Action?
- Q: When a card says to “pick up your hand and continue with your turn” does that mean that it didn’t count as one of my plays?
- Q: If I play Draw 2 And Use Em, and increase the Draw Rule, but then get rid of it with the other card, do I get to draw extra?
- Q: What happens when you are required to draw more cards in the middle of performing an Action like Draw 3 Play 2?
- Q: How do I Trade or Rotate Hands in the middle of Draw 3 Play 2 or Draw 2 & Use Em (or Fizzbin)?
- Q: When I play Draw 2 And Use Em, or Draw 3 Play 2 (or Fizzbin), can I look at my set aside hand?
- Q: What happens if I play Draw 3 Play 2 with no draw or discard pile? Do I redraw it as part of executing it?
- Q: For cards that let you do something “once per turn”, does that mean once per your turn, or once per each turn in the game?
- Q: To change the Goal, do I just stack a new Goal on top of the old one?
- Q: Suppose during my turn my “Draw Count” goes down 1, then up 1. Do I draw an additional card?
- Q: Can anyone look through the discard pile at any time?
- Q: The Hand Limit and Keeper Limit cards seem like sort of a downer. What is their advantage? Why would we ever want play them?
- Q: Are players required to show how many cards they have in their hand?
- Q: What happens if both the draw pile and the discard pile run out?
- Q: Do I have to observe the current Draw rule entirely before I can play any cards?
- Q: When a Draw or Play Rule is played, do I get to immediately draw or play the number on the New Rule?
- Q: What if two people simultaneously meet the win condition/s?
- Q: What if I can’t play anything on my turn in Fluxx?
- Q: What if the Play rules force me to play a card that makes someone else win?
- Q: If I play a bunch of Goals in succession, and don’t notice that I won and kept playing Goals, do I still get to win?
Q: Must you complete an action before using an optional Free Action allowed by a Rule? What about Keeper powers?
A: Yes, you must complete your compound Action (Draw Two and Use ‘Em, Draw 3 Play 2 of Them, or Fizzbin) before you opt to take any optional Free Actions allowed by the Rules.
And, just to preemptively respond about Keeper powers as well, Andy rules that those should also be held until after any compound Action is resolved.
Example: If you could win with the current Goal if you had a Crew Member you don’t have, and you Draw 2 and Use ‘Em, receiving the Captain and some new Goal, you can’t play the Captain and steal a Crew Member to win with the current Goal before you complete the compound Action by playing the new Goal that you can’t win with. Them’s the breaks sometimes.
Q: If during your draw phase, the draw pile runs out, can you play a card that requires use of the discard pile before reshuffling it to finish drawing?
A: If you’re asking if you can interrupt the completion of your Draw phase to play a card that requires the discard pile, and the answer would be no. You need to complete your Draw phase before playing anything. In this example, let’s say the draw pile contained two cards, and it was Draw 3. You’d have to draw those two cards, reshuffle the discard pile, and draw your last card. Then, and only then, could you start playing cards from your hand.
If, however, you’d completed your Draw phase, and it ran the draw pile out exactly you should technically not reshuffle the discard pile until someone needs to draw more. So if there were three cards in the draw pile, and it was Draw 3, and you drew three cards, the discard pile should technically be left in place until you, or the next person needs to draw again. In that case there would still be a discard pile for you to use with various card plays on your turn.
Q: If I’m required to play all my cards, and I have several Goals, one of which will make my opponent win, can I play them all at once, so the one that makes them win is buried?
A: No. Any time a goal is played, it provides a chance for someone to wind with those conditions. No matter how briefly that Goal is in play, it counts, and if someone meets the conditions in that instant, they win.
Q: If some Action causes everyone to draw cards, but there’s a Hand Limit in play, should the non-active players draw up to above the Limit, and then discard, or only draw up to the Limit?
A: All players should draw the number of cards indicated, and then discard down if they are over the current Hand Limit.
Q: Is there a limit to how many New Rules can be in play at once?
As described in the New Rule section of the rule sheet, when playing a New Rule it says “If it contradicts a New Rule already in play, discard the old rule.” This is mostly in cases of Draw, Play, and Limit cards, which, of course, directly contradict Rules of the same category. We generally try to include helpful reminders on those cards about what they replace.
All other New Rules… well, most don’t have anything they directly contradict (though there are a few exceptions*) and they are simply added to the collection of New Rules in play, potentially building up to quite a few different things to keep track of. You don’t have to memorize them all – they’re all out there to see – but obviously this can get quite difficult to take in, especially for newer players, which is precisely why we include cards which reduce the number of New Rules in play, like Rules Reset, Trash A New Rule, Let’s Simplify, etc…
*Notable exceptions include the ruling that 1,2,5 and Inflation contradict (and would therefore replace) each other.
Q: In one of the Fluxx videos, Andy wins after playing a few cards, but shouldn’t he have had to satisfy the Play All rule before he could win?
A: Play All is not like an Action card which needs to be resolved before considering win conditions. It is “resolved” by changing the rules of the game. You play it, the rules change, and it’s done. Now it’s just in effect. After that Andy is just taking his turn, following the current rules, playing each card, and considering, after each play, whether he’s met the win conditions.
If you’re asking whether he can win in the middle of his turn, the answer is simply: yes. After all, he could win in the middle of someone else’s turn, too, if the cards play out right.
Q: If I Draw 2 and Use ‘Em and it’s two Goals, one of which makes my opponent win, can I play both at once with the one that makes them win buried, to prevent their win?
A: No. Any time a Goal is played, it provides a chance for someone to win with those conditions. No matter how briefly that Goal is in play, it counts, and if someone meets the conditions in that instant, they win.
Q: Does a Hand Limit mean “hold the limit number, unless you already have fewer cards, in which case hold that lower number?”
A: Yes, It’s not a quota that you must draw up to in order to meet, it’s simply a cap on the number of cards you’re allowed to hold.
Q: I played a card but forgot to draw the correct number at the start of my turn, picked my card up, drew the correct number, and played a different card (still in my turn). Is that a legal move?
A: Well, a lot of this depends on how the rest of the gaming group feels about this. I think we would be pretty lenient, especially if you realized it relatively quickly, so that it didn’t affect the game that much. We’d certainly allow you to draw up to the correct amount. It’s that little “take-back” that’s going to be controversial.
For example, if what you’ve played significantly impacts the game and the other players (like maybe making everyone discard a bunch of cards or something) then you realized that you wanted to take that play back, we might rule that while you DO get to draw up to what you should have drawn, you need to stick with that first play, and not change it. In the vast majority of cases, however, we’d be inclined to let someone have a rapid single-card “undo”, assuming your request was fast and the undo was relatively easy.
Again, it’s going to depend a lot on how the other players feel about it — and you should check with them as soon as you realize your error, and ASK if it’s okay with everyone that you take your play back, draw correctly to realize your full options, and then choose your play. You don’t want anybody getting bent out of shape AFTER they see that your revised card choice affects them negatively, when your first didn’t.
Q: If I play 2 & Use ‘Em and one of the cards causes me to win, but the other negates it, can I win?
A: You can absolutely win. You just have to play the card that makes you win as the FIRST card. At that point, you just win, and you’re not required to play the other card you drew for Draw 2 & Use Em, since the game is now over.
The situation would be similar if your conundrum was in the middle of Draw 3 Play 2, though this issue is less likely to confuse people, since it’s pretty clear that they have (slightly) more options. Fizzbin also creates a similar situation.
Q: How should one handle duplicate Keepers with powers, if, for example, we want to play with a double-sized deck?
…for example, if we wanted to mix two Batman Fluxx decks and there are two BatComputers in play… or even just putting in multiples of a promo card, like the Ugly Sweater. And how should duplicate New Rules be handled?
A: Well it might seem like a basic question but I don’t think we’ve ever really answered it before. The truth is, we prefer each Fluxx as a standalone experience and don’t really encourage combining decks. We certainly don’t recommend combining multiple copies of the same deck. In almost all cases, each card in a Fluxx deck is unique. Mixing two Batman decks together creates numerous illogical situations. Sure, there’s the question you’ve asked directly, about two BatComputers, but there will also be two Batmans, two Bruce Waynes, etc. Given that you have to discard Bruce if Batman shows up, then it would seem impossible to have two Batmans in play at once as well. And so on. The deck becomes too big to shuffle as well. We just can’t see a good reason to combine two of the same deck — if you want to play with a big crowd, you’re better off splitting into two smaller groups each playing their own game with their own deck.
That said: Nothing is forbidden. Fluxx is a very accommodating system. There’s no rule against having two copies of the same Keeper, unless you add one as a house rule. The Batman/Bruce Wayne restriction is one example of such a rule. So, unless there’s a New Rule or other fine print requiring some action, redundant Keepers can happily co-exist. As for ability stacking, again, barring a New (or Meta) Rule that provides restrictions, each redundant Keeper would have its full ability.
Regarding duplicate New Rules in a game, we would think that multiple copies of the same New Rule would be considered to simply replace themselves on the table, so that if Draw 2 is out, and someone plays Draw 2, it would just replace it’s copy. Though they don’t contradict each other, they shouldn’t stack, since we’d certainly rule that one could only have one Draw rule in play at a time.
Same with other rules which might imply stacking. For example, the Mystery Play rule says you can only take that free action once per turn, so we would rule that you can’t have two of them out, and get to do that twice per turn, since using the second copy would be disallowed by the first copy (and vice versa). In that sense they are kind of contradictory, or, since you could only use the function of one copy, even if there were two in play, they could be considered to simply be redundant.
So you could choose to reduce the New Rules so that there was only one of each in play… but this might unbalance the deck (see how complicated this gets? Just one reason we don’t recommend mixing them!)
Q: Is it even possible to strategize in a game like Fluxx?
A: Here at Looney Labs we acknowledge that there is a lot of randomness in Fluxx, what with the rules changing all the time, and simply by dint of it being a card game, and not knowing what will come up on your draw.
We’d all agree that it isn’t worth it to try to pursue a long-term strategy – conditions will change too quickly for early plans to come to fruition. We prefer to say that Fluxx is tactical, rather than strategic. See what rules are in play, what you have in your hand for this turn, and try to optimize your chances of winning… or minimize others’ chances.
Here is a document Andy wrote up about how to improve your chances of winning in Fluxx. It’s a little out-of date in its references to specific cards (like War, Death, & Taxes, which have been changed into Creepers, and are not currently in the basic game, for example) but the bulk of the tips are still solid:
Q: What exactly does “in play” mean?
A: “In Play” always means “laying on the table (not in the draw pile, or the discard pile, and not in someones hand)” for all types of cards.
Keep in mind that, for Creepers, you’re not allowed to hold them in your hand, so if they’re not in play, they’re either in the draw pile or the discard pile.
Q: When I play Take Another Turn, when do I get to do that? Can I draw immediately?
A: The Action Take Another Turn triggers another turn which begins when your current turn is completely finished, so, no, you don’t get to immediately draw your second turn cards and combine your second turn plays with your remaining first turn plays. In fact, you also have to comply with any Keeper or Hand Limits which are in play at the end of your first turn before drawing for your second turn.
You might want to leave this card sitting out until your first turn is completely finished, then put it in the discard when you start your second turn.
Q: If a card lets me do something “once per turn” and I take it out of play, and then somehow put it back into play, is that ability refreshed?
A: If the card says you can only do something once on your turn, it doesn’t matter if the card goes away and comes back again. If you’ve already used it, you’ve already used it. We don’t consider this much of a “memory condition” since you should naturally be able to remember what you have or have not done on your turn, just as you’d remember how many cards you’ve played. If you’re having trouble with a complicated turn, hopefully the other players will help keep you on track as well.
Q: Do the keepers necessary to meet the goal have to be in play?
In other words, if the winning keeper is still in my hand can I instantly play it and win, even though it’s not my turn.
A: To anyone playing with most of our older versions, this must sound like a silly question, but in newer versions we’ve made the cards a lot less wordy, and we must have pared down the text on the cards a little too far… while forgetting to put this information on the rules sheet! We’re not sure which versions may have this omission, but if it’s not clear from the cards or rules:
Yes, the Keepers mentioned on the Goal must be in play in front of you for you to win. You can’t just play them at any time, you have to use actual plays on your turn to put them down.
We will be making sure in all future versions that if it’s not on the Goal card itself, it’s in the rules somewhere.
Q: If there is a Rule (or Keeper) in play that adds to the Draw, and then I increase the Draw, does that added Draw count against the new Draw total?
The situation was there was a Rule in place that required us to draw an extra card and play an extra card. On the second play, a draw 4 rule was implemented, which increased the Draw from 1 to 4. There was a disagreement as to whether the extra draw counted towards the new Draw total. Should I have gotten to draw 3 extra, as if I’d increased from 1 to 4, or would it only be 2 extra, since I’d drawn 1 plus the extra draw?
A: Essentially, when you have a Rule in play that changes the draw and play by a formula (you get 1 extra draw and 1 extra play per turn, for example) that formula is still in effect on the increased Draw.
If you had Draw 1 and increased to Draw 4, then you draw 3 more cards.
If you had Draw 1 (+ 1) and increased to Draw 4 (+ 1), then you draw 3 more cards.
You can see how that formulaic increase does not affect the number of cards you’ll get to draw on an increase of the base Draw Rule.
See also what happens when you play the special Rule first: What happens if I play a Rule or Keeper that’s not a Draw or a Play, but increases…
Q: Limit cards say that the player whose turn it is should discard at the end of their turn. Does that mean the Limit card is discarded as soon as all other players have complied?
A: No, it’s not the Hand/Keeper Limit card which is discarded at the end of the active player’s turn. The Rule stays in effect like any other unless it is specifically replaced or discarded with an Action. The discarding which happens at the end of the active player’s turn is the active player discarding down to the Limit themselves.
Since Limits only apply when it’s NOT your turn, the non-active players discard down to the limit as soon as the card is played, while the active player does not have to discard until the end of their turn – since at the end of their turn, they cease to be the active player.
Q: Can I mix two decks of Fluxx to play with twice as many people?
A: Well, you could… But (except for mixing the two Star Trek Fluxx decks*) we don’t recommend it, actually. No matter how many versions we publish, we really don’t encourage people to play Fluxx with more than 6 players. The problem is not the number of cards. When you have that many people playing, it can take a really long time waiting for your turn to come around again, and this significantly reduces the fun of the game. If you have more than 6 people who want to play, we always simply suggest that you split the group and play two separate games. All that said, some people do choose to mix decks, or stretch the game to include more people.
Also, wholesale mixing of entire decks can raise some issues. Though we have deliberately designed all Fluxx versions to have the same back so you can mix and match cards, particularly promo cards, not all versions “play well together”. For example, in Martian Fluxx, most of the Creepers are Humans. What do you do when you mix a different deck where there are Keepers who are Humans? Are they Creepers now?
Another issue is the dilution of the Keeper to Goal balance. Although most of the Rules and Actions are quite flexible, the specific Goal set in any given version is designed to go with the Keeper set. So it’s harder to get Keeper sets that match the Goals which come up, since half the Goals only go with half the Keepers. One solution we’ve thought of, but not tried, is to use Double Agenda like a Meta-Rule, which is to say, a Rule which is permanently in play throughout the entire game. That way there is more of a chance that the Goal you need will come up to match your Keepers.
* The difference with the Star Trek decks is that they have so many analagous cards (both have a Captain, Engineer, Transporter, phasers, Enterprise, etc…) that it was just a no-brainer to make them combinable, and we even made an expansion to assist in that, called the Bridge Pack. HOWEVER, we still advise against playing with more than the six people recommended, for that simple reason first stated: it gets to be boring waiting for your turn to come around.
Q: If a Hand or Keeper Limit card is the last card to be played in a turn, is it instantly the next player’s turn, so they can ignore the Hand Limit?
A: Until everyone observes the Limit Rule as the last play, that turn is not over, so no, the next player does not get a pass on the Hand Limit just because it was played as the last card of the person before them.
Q: Can I pile up my Keepers in play in a stack, or do I have to lay them out so they are clearly displayed?
A: While it is not specified in the rules, the intention is that all Keepers and Creepers under your control should be visible to your opponents at all times unless there is some specific situation that lets you stack or hide them. In general, if a Keeper or Creeper is hidden under another card, it is as though it does not exist on the table, and a player may only stack Keepers/Creepers in certain very specific situations.
For example, in Martian Fluxx, you are allowed to hide your Pathetic Humans (Creepers) under your Abduction Chamber (Keeper). They are effectively “not showing on the table” and do not prevent you from winning (though you can release them at any time to meet a win condition).
There is a similar card in Pirate Fluxx that lets you hide your “booty” Keepers under your Treasure Map. They don’t count towards the Keeper limit, and this protects them from being Plundered, (a special Rule in Pirate Fluxx) but if someone uses Steal a Keeper to take your map, they also take the booty you’ve hidden under it.
In Cthulhu Fluxx, one may hide one Creeper under the Elder Sign card, which neutralizes it, much like the Abduction Chamber does for Pathetic Humans, but for only one Creeper.
There may be other cards which allow similar situations, but unless you have any of these special cards that allow you to hide a Keeper or Creeper in front of you, all your Keepers and Creepers need to be showing. If space is an issue, you can overlap them so the name stripe is showing, but you may not simply hide them from the other players.
Q: Many cards state you can do something “on your turn”. When does one’s turn officially begin and end for these purposes?
Many New Rule cards allow for the opportunity to optionally do something “once per turn”. Many Keepers also have special abilities which can be invoked “once per turn”. Is there an official start and end to one’s turn? How do we know when a person’s turn is over unless they specifically state it?
A: A player may utilize any optional Free Plays as early as before their first Draw to after their last Play. Yes, officially a person’s turn is not over until they have taken, or declined to take, any optional Free Actions available to them, but it’s easy to forget one of these opportunities and let the next person start their turn.
Once the next person has started their turn, your turn is officially over, and you have lost the opportunity to use those. You can’t force them to undo cards they’ve drawn, played, or utilized. For very nitpicky players, using an official turn token can be useful. Your turn ends when you pass the token to the next player.
(However, we would rule that if you were playing with a Turn Token, and were lax about remembering to pass it, it’s up to you to enforce not letting the next person start their turn before they’ve received the Token. In other words, if you’re going to be rigid about the Turn Token, you have to actually remember to pass it. Otherwise, you fall back on the good old “Once the next person has started their turn, it’s too late…)
Keep in mind that if you forget to take a Free Action, it’s not the other players’ responsibility to remind you. Someone could be nice and remind you but they don’t have to. They might even pointedly ask “So are you done with your turn?” without specifically reminding you, though you might realize the significance, and double-check your opportunities…
Here’s a great chart with an official description Order of events in a Fluxx turn.
Q: How can I use my printer to make my Fluxx Blanxx come out really nice?
A: Here’s a link to an old page on the wayback machine that gathers some wisdom from longtime fans. Some people print onto stickers (that’s what we do here at the Lab for prototypes – but then again, we don’t have to use those forever). Most of these recommendations involve using a carrier sheet to run the cards through the printer, and recommend a clear spray coat to keep the ink from smudging.
Q: We think we broke the game. Are we doing it wrong?
See this answer in a video!
A: A good rule of thumb for any game is that if you find that you have several possible interpretations of a rule, the one that breaks the game is probably NOT the correct way to play.
See also: Does the total effect of playing a card…
Note that if you only see ONE way to play a card, and it seems broken, please do search our FAQ for known errata or clarifications*, or contact us. It could be a typo, or a new interaction that we have not considered.
*The fastest way is to search on the name of the card you’re having a problem with.
Q: How do I choose a random card from my own hand?
A: There are two main ways to do this:
1) By holding up your cards with the backs towards another player, and having them choose a card.
2) If you don’t want to do that, you can hold your cards face down in front of you, mix them up, and choose a card yourself.
Q: What is the name of a card? is it the text on the side in the color rectangle, or the bolded black text in the middle above the line?
A: Both pieces of text are considered to be part of “The Title” for purposes of something like looking for the word “it” in the title, if you’re wondering about the Knights Who Say “Ni!” in Monty Python Fluxx. That said, the official title is the one on the stripe.
Q: If I play a New Rule or Keeper that’s not a Draw or Play, but increases my Draw or Play, do I do that immediately?
A: Rules that increase your Draw or Play based on a formula (Doom, or what Keepers or Creepers are in play in front of you or elsewhere) as well as Keepers that change the way the rules work for you personally, should be treated as you would an increase in the actual Draw or Play Rules, so the total number of draws or plays you get on your turn increases:
If you had Draw 1 and played a card that made it Draw 1 (+1), then it’s just like you have gone from Draw 1 to Draw 2, and you draw 1.
If you had Draw 4 and played a card that made it Draw 4 (+1), then it’s just like you have gone from Draw 4 to Draw 5, and you draw 1.
Likewise, if such a card is already in play, increasing the Draw rule results in the exact same draw increase as though the formula were not in place.
See If there’s a Rule (or Keeper) in play that adds to the Draw…
Contrast this with Actions that give you extra draws on a one-time basis. If I play an Action or take an “optional action” that lets me draw cards…
Q: If you play Trash Something (or Trash a Keeper), can you choose not to trash something?
…For example, if you’re the only one with Keepers, or the only thing on the table is your opponent’s Creeper…can you choose to do nothing?
A: No, you cannot trash nothing. If you play Trash Something and there’s something available to trash, you must trash it, even if it’s your opponent’s Creeper. Likewise, if you play Trash a Keeper, and you’re the only one with Keepers, you must trash one of your own.
Q: If Play All is in effect, and my last play is Trade Hands, do I play all those new cards I got in the hand traded to me?
My opponent argued that because this was my “final” play (last card in my original hand), I was done playing all, and would not be able to play all of the new cards from the hand I’d just traded for.
A: You’ll be happy to know that you were correct, not your opponent. After the Trade Hands is completed, you now have cards in your hand, and the Play All rule says you keep playing as long as you have cards in your hand, so your turn doesn’t end, you just keep going.
Q: If I play an Action or invoke an “optional action” that lets me draw cards, and then I increase the Draw rule, do I still get to draw extra for the Draw rule increase?
A: Yes. The draws caused by cards that cause one-time actions (actual Action cards, or “free actions” granted by New Rules in play) are not to be considered part of your Draw (they are “extra”) so they don’t count towards how much you have Drawn.
Common examples include Jackpot, Mystery Play, Draw 3 Play 2, Recycling, but there are so many, we have given up on tagging and listing them all.
So, for example, if the rules are currently Draw 2, Play 2, and a player decides to play the Action Jackpot, which lets them draw three extra cards, then they increase the Draw rule to Draw 4, they still get to draw 2 extra cards. Though it may appear that they have drawn a total of 5 cards during their turn, the 3 cards they drew because of Jackpot do not count against the required Draw for their turn. They’ve only officially drawn 2, and now need to draw 2 more to bring their total to 4, as per the Draw rule increase.
Likewise, if someone utilizes the free action Recycling, allowing them to discard a Keeper in play to draw extra cards, those extra cards are not counted as part of the quantity of cards they have “drawn on their turn” as required by the official Draw rule.
Contrast this with Rules discussed in the question linked which are formulaic modifiers to the actual Draw (or Play) count itself.
See also If I play a New Rule that’s not a Draw or Play, but increases the Draw or Play…
Q: Does the total effect of playing a card have to be resolved before checking for win conditions, or could someone win partway through?
There are a lot of cards where, unless all steps are considered to be simultaneous, there could be timing issues.
A: A good rule of thumb is that most things resulting from a single card play in Fluxx (and many other Looney Labs games) are considered to happen simultaneously, so if there are timing issues, assume that things take place all at once, and then consider the outcome. There are a exceptions to this, but you’ll notice they follow a pattern: Draw 3 Play 2 of Them, and Draw 2 and Use Em result in actual secondary card plays, and you could win after one of those sub-plays, and Take Another Turn, since that’s a delayed thing that also results in secondary card plays (your entire second turn).
But for things like exchanging, or redistributing Keepers or Creepers, those are considered to happen all in one instant. As stated before, if you’re bumping into an issue which could go one way if it’s simultaneous, or another way if it’s not, it should almost certainly simultaneous.
See also: We think we broke the game…
Q: Do you have to complete an Action before it goes on the discard pile, or does it go on the discard pile at the start of the Action?
A: The intention is that you do what it says and THEN put it on the discard pile. While in practice it often happens that you just place the card on the discard pile and do what it says, it’s very important for some Actions that the one you’re using NOT be in the pile, so even it you DO decide to place it there right away, you must understand that, technically, it’s not actually in there until you’re done using the Action.
For example, if you played Draw 3 Play 2, and pulled Let’s Do That Again as one of your three cards, the Draw 3 Play 2 is not technically in the discard pile to be pulled until after you complete those two plays plus discard. Otherwise it would create a loop that would totally break the game.
Andy says, “In an ideal, imaginary world, I’d like the Action you’re using to sort of hover in the air upright before you, slowly rotating for all to see. Then when the Action has been completed, it would gracefully settle itself onto the discard pile.” Obviously, we’re not going to be implementing that technology any time soon, but picturing this might help you to remember how Actions are supposed to work, even if you do decide to shortcut it to the pile for convenience.
Q: When a card says to “pick up your hand and continue with your turn” does that mean that it didn’t count as one of my plays?
Exactly two cards say “then pick up your hand and continue with your turn”: Draw 3 Play 2, and Draw 2 And Use Em. We have a player who thinks that because those cards say to continue with your turn, those Action cards are a free play, and they still have a play left, even if it’s Play 1.
Since there are 20 other Action cards that do not say “continue with your turn”, he cannot be convinced that these two Action cards are the same as the others (in that they are not free plays).
A: The reason that those two cards say, “…then pick your hand up and continue with your turn,” is that those two cards require you to “Set your hand aside.”
The point that needs to be made to this player is that, just because you “continue with your turn” does not mean you have any plays left. Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t. If it is only Play 1, then you used your Play to play that Action.
“Continuing with your turn” means –>evaluating the current rules and seeing what you might have left to do. Sometimes you might have nothing left you can do, and your turn is over.
One thing that should be kept in mind is that all of the cards played as a result of one of those actions counts as a single play. These cards both say that, and this might be the better evidence for your argument, that, while they only count as ONE play, they do count as one PLAY (no more, but also no LESS than one play!)
Hope this is helpful. The reason these are the only two cards that have this wording is because of the way they ask you to set your hand aside, and they need to tell you that when you’re done PLAYING that Action, you do get to pick up you hand again. Luckily, they also have the caveat about how many plays that Action counts as.
Q: If I play Draw 2 And Use Em, and increase the Draw Rule, but then get rid of it with the other card, do I get to draw extra?
For example, if the current rule is draw 1, and the card “draw 2 and use ’em” is played, and the cards drawn are a Draw 4 (New Rule) and Let’s Simplify (Action). The player then plays the new rule card followed by the action to simplify, and removes the new rule; does the player draw the addition cards as per the new rule? We were not sure if having set aside one’s hand would mean that you couldn’t draw those extra cards until the “mini hand” was resolved.
A: You’d resolve the increased draw as soon as it was played, whether your hand is set aside or not. In other words, if you started with Draw 1, and, within the mini-hand played Draw 4, you’d draw 3 more cards, and put them in your set-aside main hand. Then you’d play the Let’s Simplify, and the Draw 4 card would go away.
Note that this ruling will also apply to Draw 3 Play 2 of Them (D3P2) and Fizzbin.
Q: What happens when you are required to draw more cards in the middle of performing an Action like Draw 3 Play 2?
For example, suppose we are at Draw 1 and I play Draw 5 as the first of my Draw 3 Play 2 cards. I’d need to immediately Draw more cards, right? So Where do they go? Should I put the extra cards in my original hand or in the side hand I’m using for the “Draw 3 Play 2” card?
A: New cards would be added to your set-aside hand in this case. Since you’d already drawn 1 new card at the start of your turn, you’d need to Draw 4 more and add them to your set-aside hand. It’s OK to look at them as you do — in fact, you need to, since you’d need to play and redraw any Creepers that came up in those 4 cards.
Similarly, if you played Jackpot! you’d add the new cards to your set-aside hand, and if you played Discard and Draw, it would be your set aside hand that you’d throw away and replace. If you played Rotate Hands, it would be your set-aside hand that you rotated.
Note that this ruling will also apply to Draw 2 and Use ‘Em (D2UE) and Fizzbin.
Q: How do I Trade or Rotate Hands in the middle of Draw 3 Play 2 or Draw 2 & Use Em (or Fizzbin)?
Suppose I play Draw 2 and Use ‘Em (D2&U) and the first of the cards I play is Draw 3 Play 2 (D3P2). From the second D3P2 set of cards, I play Trade or Rotate Hands. Which of my three “hands” would I trade – my D3P2 hand, my D2&U hand, or the original hand with which I began the turn?
A: You would trade or rotate your original hand away – the one you set aside at the start of the first set-your-hand-aside Action. The hand you receive through trade or rotation would then become your new set-aside hand, dormant until all of the D3P2/D2&U/Fizzbin cards are fully processed.
Q: When I play Draw 2 And Use Em, or Draw 3 Play 2 (or Fizzbin), can I look at my set aside hand?
A: Yes, you are allowed to LOOK at your hand, to consult it to see what your best play is from the cards drawn from the action. Your hand is not invisible, it’s just inaccessible.
The main reason we have people set their hand aside is so that they don’t think those Action cards mean they can draw cards, add them to their hand, then play any two cards from their hand (and discard, depending on which Action you’re talking about). So feel free to pick up your set-aside hand and look at it, just keep the cards drawn for the Action separate.
Q: What happens if I play Draw 3 Play 2 with no draw or discard pile? Do I redraw it as part of executing it?
A: You would draw as many as you can and make do with what you have at that point, even if that makes it “Draw 0 Play 2 of them.” If you don’t get your full value for the card because of the situation, maybe it’s not a good idea to play that card at this time.
The important point is that you would not redraw the Action played as one of the cards for the Action. The Action card does not become part of the discard pile until after the Action has been fully resolved. (I find it helpful to imagine that the Action card hovers in the air above the discard pile while the Action is happening, perhaps spinning slowly in space so that it can be seen by all, then gently settling down onto the discard pile afterwards.)
Note that this ruling will also apply to Draw 2 and Use ‘Em (D2UE) and Fizzbin. Neither the original action, nor the cards executed from your temporary hand are in the discard pile until the whole Action is completed.
Q: For cards that let you do something “once per turn”, does that mean once per your turn, or once per each turn in the game?
Q: To change the Goal, do I just stack a new Goal on top of the old one?
A: As the rule sheet states in the section describing the different types of cards:
“To play a Goal, place it face up in the middle of the table, discarding the previous Goal, if any.”
You’re not supposed to just stack up the Goals on the table. The old ones should always go in the discard. That said, it happens quite frequently that people play a little “lazy” and stack them for a couple of turns, and then suddenly someone remembers that those should be in the discard, and cleans it all up.
There are very few cards in Fluxx that allow or require you to pull a Goal out of the trash or for which the exact order of discard matters, but there are a few, so you should just get in the habit of making sure you discard the old Goal whenever a new one is played.
Q: Suppose during my turn my “Draw Count” goes down 1, then up 1. Do I draw an additional card?
A: Okay, so let’s say we’re at Draw 1. Then you increase to Draw 4. So you draw three extra cards, so that –> on your turn, you have Drawn a total of four cards. Then, maybe you decrease to Draw 2. You can’t “Undraw” so you just keep your cards. Now imagine that the Draw rule goes up to 3. Draw 3 means that –>you must have Drawn (at least) 3 cards on your turn. Have you done that? Why yes! In fact, you’ve Drawn 4. So you don’t get to Draw extra.
Q: Can anyone look through the discard pile at any time?
…or only when they play Let’s Do That Again, which seems to be the only place that allowance is stated.
See this answer in a video!
A: Anyone may look through the discard pile at any time.
Here is our logic: If you could only look through the discard pile if you had played the card, then you’d never be able to check to see whether there was anything worth playing in there, so you might totally waste what is a potentially great card.
So, let’s say you’re only allowed to look if you’re planning to play it. Then it would only allowed if you had the card in hand, then you’d have to prove it to everyone, by showing it, potentially, which isn’t terribly fair.
In short, it’s just as the card says: “Anyone may look through the discard pile at any time,” and “anyone” means “anyone,” not just the person with the card, and “any time” means “any time,” not just when you play it.
Q: The Hand Limit and Keeper Limit cards seem like sort of a downer. What is their advantage? Why would we ever want play them?
We weren’t sure how best to play with them, so we’ve been leaving them out of the game…
A:It’s true that the Hand and Keeper Limit cards can be sort of a downer, but sometimes you want to be able to limit your opponent if they seem to be getting way ahead of you in one or the other of those things. In that way, they are “game balancing” cards that help level the playing field, keeping one person from having a vast advantage over the other/s.
In addition the Hand Limit cards can be nice if your hand size is getting so huge you can barely hold it or mentally process it all. I’ve seen many a brand new player put down a Hand Limit card with a sigh of relief, just to get their hand down to something they can look at all in one go. It’s similar to playing Rules Reset or Let’s Simplify when you have six or eight different Rules out on the table. Yes, having lots of rules is fun, but sometimes it’s nice to have fewer.
On a more strategic note, beyond just overall game balance, there are times you can make sneaky combo plays where you impose a Limit on your turn, so that your opponent/s need/s to comply, but then manage to get rid of it before the end of the turn (with Trash a New Rule, or Let’s Simplify, or even Rules Reset).
Since Limits only apply to you when it’s NOT your turn (you have to comply when your turn ends if they are still in play) this means that your opponent/s will have to discard cards or Keepers, and you won’t. Now, you might still consider this a “downer”, but in any game there are things you do to get yourself ahead of the competition.
Finally, we are glad that you felt free to simply leave them out if you find that you don’t enjoy them. That is always an option for you. It’s your game, it’s your house, and you can have “house rules” (as long as everyone understands them at the start of the game and there are no unpleasant midgame surprises for those who are used to playing the game the way it comes out of the box).
Q: Are players required to show how many cards they have in their hand?
A: The number of cards in each player’s hand is supposed to be open information, so, while a player may wish to obfuscate how many cards they have, by stacking them, or trying to minimize their appearance, if directly questioned, they should give an accurate answer.
They may feel free to try to discourage you from taking or utilizing their cards, of course: “Yeah, I have a big hand, but my cards all suck…” for example. That’s allowed – it’s just opinion, of course.
Q: What happens if both the draw pile and the discard pile run out?
Suppose it’s a Draw 5, Play 1 type of situation and no one plays a Hand Limit or a multiple Play rule. Eventually everyone has a big hand and the draw pile runs out. The discard pile gets reshuffled and reused, but suppose the situation continues until there are no cards left to be drawn. What happens? Do you just skip the draw phase of your turn till your next turn comes up where you can draw enough cards for the ‘draw requirement’? or draw what you can now and proceed to your turn?
A: Draw what you can and continue. In general, if the rules command you to do something impossible, then you just do as much as you can, and move on. If the rule says Play 3 and you only have 2 cards, then you Play 2 and stop. Similarly, if the rule says Draw 4 and there are only 3 cards for you to draw (even after reshuffling) then you draw 3 cards and proceed with the Play phase.
So yes, if the Draw pile and the Discard pile are both empty for someone, you just continue with some people not getting any new cards during their Draw phase. Now, some cards might enter the discard pile during a person’s turn, but they don’t get to immediately Draw those available cards retroactively. You don’t assess whether the discard pile needs to be reshuffled until there is an actual need for someone to Draw. Mind you, you’ll all find yourselves drawing things someone else just played for a while, but you might not choose to use them right away.
In such a situation everyone will be holding massive hands of cards so there should be plenty you can Play, even if you’re not drawing any. At some point someone will play a Hand Limit and suddenly there will be plenty of cards to shuffle again. (This is why every version of Fluxx has Hand Limits.)
Q: Do I have to observe the current Draw rule entirely before I can play any cards?
A: Yes, on all turns you are supposed to observe the Draw rule before the Play rule, though it sometimes happens, if you change the Draw rule during your turn, that you may have to draw additional cards in the middle of your turn.
(Unless you have a Meta Rule that says otherwise.)
Note: Many of the Meta-Rules discussed in the linked article don’t actually exist. In particular, the one which would apply here, Quota Style Turn Order does not exist. Neither does Early Limit Compliance.
Q: When a Draw or Play Rule is played, do I get to immediately draw or play the number on the New Rule?
Or is it dependent on how many I have already drawn or played during my turn?
A: Rules take effect immediately, and the wording on Draw/Play Rules states that you should “Draw/Play [x] cards per turn.” Therefore, if you have already played 3 cards on your turn so far, and the rule is (now) Play 4, then you can only play one more card. The count does not start from the point the card is played, since the number of cards played is per complete turn.
Here’s another example which may be useful: If “Play All” is in effect and you play 6 cards, and then play the card “Play 3,” your turn simply ends, since you have already played 3 and have no more remaining plays in your turn.
Draw rules are similar, in that you count the total number you have drawn on your turn, so if you start with “Draw 3” and then play the card “Draw 4” you only get to draw one additional card, since Draw rules specify “so that you have drawn [x] cards on your turn.” When you increase the Draw rule, you only draw the difference. If you decrease it on your turn, however, you don’t have to “Un-draw.” You just get to keep the excess cards you drew when the Draw rule was higher.
Q: What if two people simultaneously meet the win condition/s?
This could happen with Double Agenda in effect. For example, in a 2-player game, if the goals are Star Gazing and Time is Money. Player A has The Eye and Time in play while Player B has The Cosmos and Money. Player A plays Exchange Keepers and exchanges The Eye for Money. Is the game over, with two winners, or must it continue until one and only one player has a winning condition?
This could also happen with 10 Cards In Hand
A: You would keep playing until only one player currently meets the win condition.
Q: What if I can’t play anything on my turn in Fluxx?
for example, if I have the first turn of the game, and my hand has, after drawing (hypothetically):
Trash a Keeper
Mix it all Up
Empty The Trash
It seems like none of these can be “played”, so do I just discard a card, and the turn moves to the next player?
A: One of our fans pointed out to us that a wonderful quality about Fluxx is that there are never cards that you “cannot play”. They thought this was great because even the youngest player could pick a card from their hand, and never be told “oh, you can’t play that.” Of course, that card might not actually DO anything when they play it, but it’s still a perfectly valid play, and that person has not made an error by attempting to play an unplayable card. It’s very inclusive.
So there’s that: all cards are playable, even if they don’t do anything on your turn. Secondly, you are never allowed to “pass” on your play requirement, or discard cards, unless you are reducing your hand size as required by a Hand Limit (and this only happens when it’s not your turn, or at the end of your turn, after you’ve executed all of your plays.)
It’s true that what ends up happening when you play an Action card that has no effect LOOKS A LOT like discarding it, since you “do what it says, then put it in the discard pile”. So you do what it says, nothing happens, and then it goes in on the discard pile. But it’s an important distinction, because of the rule against discarding or “passing” instead of playing: sometimes you may be forced to play a card even though it might make someone else win.
Q: What if the Play rules force me to play a card that makes someone else win?
do I have to play it or can it be “discarded” and considered a play?
A: No. You cannot discard a card just because you don’t like it; you can discard only when the rules specifically say you can. If you are forced to play a card and you have only one card, then you must play that card.
Q: If I play a bunch of Goals in succession, and don’t notice that I won and kept playing Goals, do I still get to win?
After the fact, the other players noticed and pointed out that I “could have won” if I’d noticed, but since I kept on playing, we all decided that I’d missed my opportunity. Should I actually have won?
A: We would rule that you won. In Fluxx it is not required that you notice and claim victory. The conditions existed such that there was a winner. Everyone knows it happened; no-one is actually contesting that the win conditions WERE in fact met.
Just because it took a little while for the winner to realize, does not negate that fact: there is a winner and the game is over.
Now, having realized it belatedly, I’d say that if the consensus between ALL the players (including the winning player) is to keep playing anyhow, and ignore that, that’s up to them. But officially, were it a tournament, for example, we’d count that as a win.
Now, if the conditions happened so long ago in the game that people can’t quite recall what happened, and the win is uncertain, that’s another case. Then I’d say you’d have to keep playing. I guess if they’d never pointed it out to you, then the win conditions would have faded into obscurity. But I’d call deliberate non-acknowledgement of someone else’s win cheating.