Holiday Fluxx FAQ

Also be sure to check out All Fluxx FAQ for more general questions. If you don’t see your question answered among these, please email us at:
FAQ@looneylabs.com

Q: Can someone play a Surprise in the middle of the execution of Random Tax?

… Player A played Random Tax. They went around to each player to take a random card from their hand. When Player A got to Player C, Player C played a surprise to cancel out Player A’s action. Is playing that surprise card allowed?

A: A player wishing to cancel an Action (like Random Tax) needs to do so right away after the Action is played, since it doesn’t protect only that one player, it cancels the entire Action. If that player was waiting to see what card got stolen from them, and only then decided “Oops! I should have canceled that Action!” it’s definitely too late. They needed to decide “Darn! I don’t want to lose a random card from my hand! I’ll cancel that with a Surprise.”

You see, once the receiving player has seen cards from other’s hands, it taints the game. Now, your group could decide that this effect is negligible, and let the Surprising player get away with it on a one-time basis (assuming they timed it that way because they thought that was the correct time to play it – but NOT if they were just waiting to see what card would be stolen; does that make sense?)

Of course if you let the Surprise go through, the person who played Random Tax would have to return all of the cards they took from people because it cancels the entire Action “as though it had never happened”. If it was a legitimate error on the part of the Surprise player, and they’ve been schooled, one should not cut any slack on a second offense, I’d say.

We often have the players being taxed mix up their own cards, pick one blind, and then hand it over to the person receiving the tax. This reduces the temptation to try to play a Surprise only after someone sees what card got picked. Because that’s really not okay.

Doing it the way you did still works, of course, but then we’d encourage players to mix up their hand and present it face down out towards the Taxing player, so that neither one sees what card is taken until it’s actually gone.

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Q: When a player is allowed multiple plays on their turn, are there any guidelines for timing between plays?

A: TLDR: Officially, no… BUT, when playing in any of our games which include interrupt cards which cancel a previous play (Surprise, Memo From Your Future Self, Stop Time) it’s good practice to play a little slower if you happen to be executing multiple plays, so that your opponents have plenty of time to play one of these cards, should they so desire.

Deliberately playing super-fast, “shotgunning” as one fan put it, is just rude, and, rather than avoiding arguments about interrupts, actually ends up causing them. So if you have someone who insists upon playing that way, feel free to implement a requirement of a full one-hippopotamus silent count between card plays. We think those worried about their second-to-last winning play being foiled by an interrupt will find that others are not as psychic as they feared. Read on…

So here’s a typical Surprise situation, which can cause a bit of controversy:

I recently won when the rules called for Play 2. I played my first card, a Keeper, and then a moment later I played a Goal card that caused me to win. My opponent then showed me that he had the Surprise card in his hand that could have stopped me from playing the Keeper, and we had a brief discussion about whether I should have left him more time to consider playing it.

In my opponent’s defense, I didn’t leave him much time to play his Surprise card that would have allowed him to take my Keeper for himself. In my defense, he didn’t really have any reason to play the Surprise card and take the Keeper – until he saw that my next play was the winning Goal.

So… are there guidelines on timing between playing consecutive cards?

Slapping them down so quickly that no one has a chance to do anything doesn’t seem entirely fair – but it also doesn’t seem strategic after playing a card to wait and look around at other players to see if they have any game response before playing the next card.

(Related question: A player doesn’t have to “announce” or “report” their play out loud, right? They can just play their cards and if other players aren’t paying attention, that’s the fault of the other players? We all want to have good sportsmanship, but you know how games can sometimes get, in terms of either other players not paying attention, or in terms of being very competitive!)

Here’s our response:
While we don’t have any official guidelines about exact timing of card plays, We recommend a slight pause between a two-card play like this when the active player knows it’s going to make them win. It’s rarely the case that the person with the Keeper-stopper will intuitively know that the necessary Goal is coming… until it gets there (or vice-versa: if they had the Goal-stopper, and you’d decided to play the Keeper last, they couldn’t know you’d have the winning Keeper to play after the innocuous Goal), so playing slow is often to your advantage, as the player who’s about to win.

In fact, playing casually, even pretending you don’t know what you want to play next, can be a great move. Playing slowly enough to allow a possible Surprise doesn’t have to mean broadcasting your impending win. (For example, looking significantly around the table as if expecting a challenge). Of course, announcing your your play is in no way required, but could even be part of your nonchalant act, depending on how you do it. (“Hmm… Well, there’s this Small Moon… and… let’s see… That’s No Moon, for the win!”)

That said, one often doesn’t have the presence of mind to think about deliberately hesitating. In real life, you’re usually just taking your play, and winning, at regular game speed.

Here is where the question is really about what your opponent was thinking, and they have to be honest about it: did it only occur to them to play the Surprise after you’d played the winning Goal? If you’d just accidentally played the Goal first, and then the Keeper, their Keeper-canceling Surprise would have gone through and prevented your win. But just as they couldn’t know your next play would be the end of the game, you couldn’t know they had a Surprise. For all you knew, they had the Goal-stopping Surprise, and it’s just chance which order you chose to play those two cards in. It’s not as though you deliberately played in such a way as to deliberately thwart a Surprise on your first play.

The thing to point out here is that, had you stopped playing after the Keeper, would it even have occurred to them to use the Surprise? Probably not, if they’re being honest. It’s extremely rare that one’s opponent is prescient or observant enough to realize that this play might be your second-to-last. People rarely want to squander a Surprise on the off-chance that your next play will be the winning one*. In the kind of situation you describe, the Surprise-having player usually just shrugs, and says “Darn! I had [the Surprise that would have prevented your second-to-last play], and I could have stopped that play, but it’s too late now… Oh well. Let’s deal again…”

Because, in the end, if they didn’t get that Surprise in after the applicable card, that’s the way it goes, and that’s the official ruling if people get – ahem – unruly.

*I mean, imagine it. If they’d canceled your Keeper before you’d played the winning Goal, your best reaction is probably simply to shrug as if mildly confused by such a powerful play, apparently for nothing, and make them feel like they just wasted their Surprise on a random Keeper play… heh heh. You don’t have to let them know they totally blocked your win. Meanwhile… you don’t have to get upset about missing that chance… it’s just Fluxx, and victory is snatched away at all the time in the course of any given game – usually completely by accident. Or you can let them know their spidey-senses were working, or congratulate them on how observant they are. It’s up to you.

Now let’s return to that “shotgunning” player who’s deliberately playing quickly so that nobody can slip a Surprise in on that penultimate play… It is, as the fan above pointed out, not entirely fair, and, moreover, it invites the argument “But you didn’t leave me enough time to play my Surprise!” If, on the other hand they had played it slowly, as described above, their opponent has no excuse to challenge the win, on the claim that they “were going to play a Surprise.” The opponent had plenty of time, but in the vast majority of cases, they won’t play the Surprise, because they have no idea what’s coming next. That’s part of the beauty of Fluxx!

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Q: The Goal Thanksgiving requires “3 or more of these on the table.” Does that mean anywhere on the table?

…I figured it was like any other Goal, but others playing thought it could mean anywhere on the table, and would be won by whoever played the Goal.

A: No. This is like any other Goal: in order to win, one player needs to have the applicable Keepers on the table in front of themselves. What if the Goal was out, and then the Keepers went into play “anywhere on the table”? Who would win? It’s almost never about who played the Goal. We don’t want to create any weird memory conditions.

We should probably update this for clarity on the next printing.

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Q: Does Double Agenda include the playing of a second Goal as part of it’s effect?

…Double Agenda says “A second Goal can now be played…” The person I was playing with thought this meant they automatically got to put a second Goal down as part of the Double Agenda play.

A: Double Agenda allows there to be two Goals at the same time, but playing a second Goal (or even first if you’re really early in the game!) still uses up one of your plays for your turn.

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Q: What happens if I play an Action that causes my turn to end immediately in the middle of Draw 3 Play 2 or Draw 2 & Use Em (or Fizzbin)?

…Since these cards are all played as part of a single play, would the player get to finish playing them out, or would their turn just stop? And if it just stopped, what would happen to any unplayed cards? We’ve been letting the player keep them.

A: The clear answer is that if you decide to play one of these turn-ending Actions first, of course your turn would end immediately, as you have been playing it. Of course, in the case of Fizzbin, you don’t get a choice as to the order of cards played, but that card most closely resembles D3P2/D2UE, since you set your main hand aside, and are working from a temporary hand of extra cards to execute the Fizzbin.

However, there is NO way that any remaining cards would go back into your set-aside hand. They are never intended to go into your actual hand at all, as indicated by the requirement to set your hand aside. Any cards left unplayed when you played the turn-ending card are discarded. If you wanted to play them, you should have done it before the turn-ending card.

Brain Transference: Discard remaining cards in your temporary hand and trade places with the player of your choice. Turn ends.
Time Portal: Choose a card as described and add to your set-aside hand. Discard remaining cards in your temporary hand. Turn ends.
What Do You Want: If you choose to take a Keeper or Goal out of the discard, it goes into your set aside hand. Discard remaining cards in your temporary hand. Turn ends.
I’ll Be In My Bunk: This card does not specifically say that your turn ends immediately, but you certainly can’t continue your turn if you “Excuse yourself from the game and leave the room for a few minutes.” Discard any cards remaining in your temporary hand. Leave the room.

Swap Plays For Draws and Get On With It, while they do involve having your turn end immediately, are New Rules, not Actions, so, as you can see from this answer, things would work a bit differently:
See: Can you Get On With It or Swap Plays For Draws with your cards from an Action like Draw 3 Play 2?

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Q: Does countering a Surprise on my turn count as one of my plays? Can I also use it for the in-turn function if I do this?

A: If you are the active player, counter-Surprising does not use up one of your total plays for the turn. By the same token, however, this means you cannot use the Surprise for it’s function which would use a play. To wit:

You can only use a Surprise to do one of three things:

1) use it on your turn as a play, for it’s in-turn function
OR
2) Use it to Surprise another player,
2a) on another player’s turn to cancel a play
OR
2b) on your turn to counter their interruption of your own play (“counter-Surprise”)

You cannot do more than one of those things.

So if you’re using it to counter-Surprise on your turn (2b), you can’t also use it as one of your plays for it’s “in-turn” function (1).

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Q: Can I use Get On With It if I played my only card, but the Play rule says to play more? Does that count as “before my final play”?

…I had one card in my hand, with Play 4 in effect. I played my card, an Action card which was then discarded. I wanted to claim to able to get 3 new cards because “Get On With It” which was on the table says I could since I had discarded my hand and had 4 – 1 = 3 plays left.

A: In order to take the option to Get On With It, you must be sacrificing (at least) one of your Plays, and you must be discarding a hand of at least one card.

The most obvious issue is that, at the point when you wanted to Get On With It, you didn’t discard your hand. You played an Action, and now your hand is empty. You have to have something to discard in order to discard something. Your hand has to exist in order to be discarded.

The second issue is almost a side effect. We would not consider you to “have plays left” if you have no cards to play. In this case your first play WAS your final play, so you can’t take this option because it’s not before your final play. In order to have a final play, you have to have a card to play.

The whole thing follows logically, since the card/s you could have played – but didn’t – will be remaining in your hand, and therefore among the cards you’re throwing away.

See also: Is Swap Plays For Draws limited by the number of cards you have in your hand?

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Q: Why does Let’s Do That Again say we shouldn’t change the order of the discard pile?

…It seems like it wouldn’t really matter.

A: Actually, this is mostly unnecessary. There used to be a rule where one could take things out of the top three cards, but that card has been replaced in all current versions with this one, which is more liberal. That said, there is a promo card which allows you to take the bottom card off the discard pile, so it would matter if you were playing with the promo card Composting. Hmm.

In EcoFluxx, the Action Scavenger lets you look down through the discard pile and play the first Keeper you find. Anyhow, you could look at the other cards in your deck, and see if this is going to matter for the version you’re playing with. It’s a matter of logic.

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Q: Can a Keeper exchange (with Exchange Keepers) be stopped with the Surprise That’s Mine?

A: No. Exchanging a Keeper is not the same as playing it. The Exchange Keepers Action could be stopped with the Surprise Avast (Halt! Stop That) but not with That’s Mine!

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Q: What cards have effects that include ending my turn immediately if I play/use them?

A: Cards (Actions) that end your turn immediately if you play them:

Brain Transference: Star Fluxx
Time Portal: Star Fluxx
What Do You Want: Star Fluxx, Oz Fluxx, Doctor Who Fluxx
I’ll Be In My Bunk: Firefly Fluxx (This card does not specifically say that your turn ends immediately, but you certainly can’t continue your turn if you “Excuse yourself from the game and leave the room for a few minutes.”)

Cards (Rules) that end your turn immediately if you choose to utilize their ability:

Swap Plays for Draws
Get On With it

Since Rule-based Free Actions are optional, the player is not obligated to use their power, so simply putting them into play does not end the players turn immediately. However if any player chooses to use the powers of these cards, the effect is simultaneous with their turn ending immediately. Most notably, this means that if you draw any Creepers with your draws from Swap Plays or Get On With It, you’re stuck with them until your next turn, even if there are conditions which allow you to trash or give them away on your turn. Your turn ended immediately with the draw, so that window is over.

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Q: For Today’s Special, does it have to be a holiday you celebrate yourself, or could it be any recognized holiday?

A: We would rule that any legitimate holiday you can think of should work. No making stuff up…”Yeah, it’s National Elevator Day! That’s the ticket!…” unless it really is National Elevator Day. You don’t have to specifically celebrate that holiday yourself.

It may be a good idea to apply a house rule about “no looking up today’s date during the game to see if what holiday it might be.” I think in our house, we’d probably rule that you could use the internet to verify, but not search for a holiday mid-game. But that would be up to your gaming group.

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Q: Can the Stop That! Surprise counter the “free action” provided by some Rules or Keepers?

A: Those are not considered “Actions” in the sense that they are not Action cards, and Stop That (or Belay That) is intended to cancel out Action cards specifically. Nor will Veto! which cancels Rules stop this type of free action.

More broadly worded Surprises might prevent some of these, however. For example, Skullduggery is designed so that it can prevent Plundering (among other things), which is a “free action” on a Rule. It’s A Trap and You Can’t Take This Guy From Me are designed so that they can prevent special Keeper actions that let someone steal one of your Keepers.

There might be some confusion on Let’s Keep Doing That, since there is an Action card permanently in play, but it is intended to act as if it were a New Rule, so we would rule that it’s no longer stoppable by the Stop That! Anti-Action Surprise.

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Q: Can a Surprise be used to cancel a Hand Limit on your own turn?

…Example:
Player A plays a Hand Limit
Player B and C discard down to the hand limit
Player A plays Veto to cancel the Hand Limit for themselves.

Is this allowed?

A: Well, it all depends how Player A was trying to play the Veto. Every Surprise has two different instructions on it. One for when you’re using it to interrupt someone else’s play, and one for if you play it out of your own hand as a regular card on your turn.

First case (the out-of-turn function):

If Player A was trying to use the out-of-turn function to cancel the play of their own card, that’s not allowed. It’s their turn, so they can only use the in-turn function. See also: Can one ever use the out-of-turn function of a Surprise on their own turn?

Note that even if it were another person playing out-of-turn to cancel the card (let’s call them Player D) the Surprise should be played immediately after the card one wants to cancel: in the case of a Hand Limit, that would ideally be before anyone has discarded anything.

Moreover, even if everyone decided to cut imaginary Player D some slack about the timing, and they did let Player D play the Veto after some people had discarded, canceling the Rule would “prevent it from ever taking effect” and everyone would get to take all their cards back as though the Hand Limit had never been played. Long story short: you can’t Veto a rule just for you. The Rule applies to everyone, so when you Veto it, it’s Vetoed for everyone.

Second case (the in-turn function):

If Player A still had a play left on their turn after playing the Hand Limit, they could simply play the Veto for its in-turn function. What it does in this case is let them “discard [their] choice of up to 2 New Rules currently in play”. The Rules discarded don’t even have to be ones that were recently played.

In this case, those rules are not being “canceled” without ever having taken effect, they’re just being discarded. The Rules were played, they took effect for as long as they were in play, and then they were discarded. So if Player A did that, they could simply trash the Hand Limit before their turn ends, thereby avoiding having to discard down at all. Of course, this uses up one of their plays for their turn.

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Q: If someone plays Trade Hands with me, and I have some Surprises (other than Stop That, which could prevent the trade) can I use them up with no effect, just so I don’t have to give them to the other player?

A: No. Surprises can only be played for an out-of-turn effect when there is an effect to be had. You can’t just play a Surprise for no effect just to burn it.

When used for their in-turn effect, of course, they behave much the same way as Actions, and, as such, may or may not have an effect.

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Q: What happens to the two Goals when Double Agenda is trashed?

A: Whoever caused it to go away gets to choose which Goal stays in play, and which gets trashed.

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Q: If multiple Surprises are canceled by each other, how do you figure out what happens in the end?

Example:
Player A uses That’s Mine for its in-turn function to steal a Keeper from Player B
Player B uses It’s A Trap! to cancel the steal, and instead steal from Player A
Player A uses Canceled plans to cancel It’s A Trap, since Surprises can cancel Surprises.

Does the original steal go through? Player B argued that there was no steal in either direction, as both That’s Mine and It’s A Trap had been canceled by subsequent Surprises.

A: The short answer is that That’s Mine is carried out for it’s in-turn function for the Keeper steal.

The long answer:

  • That’s Mine is played in turn: Keeper is stolen
  • It’s A Trap is played out of turn by victim: That’s Mine is negated and the Keeper steal is reversed
  • Cancelled plans negates It’s a Trap, which had previously been reversing the Keeper steal and negating That’s Mine. This leaves That’s Mine un-negated to steal the Keeper as originally played

It’s not that cards just get put on the discard pile, covered and they’re gone. Think of each card as going into a “being played” area only into the discard pile when they are done being used, or when negated for good. There was sort of a little wrestling match out there in the “being played” area between all the Surprises, and It’s A Trap lost.

Here is a generic version of what a battle like this could look like. It can continue until you run out of Surprises. Keep in mind that it’s totally possible and allowed for some other player, for example, Player C, to jump in on either side, potentially confusing the toggle state of the original play. If things come to this, it may be very important to keep track of the original play being canceled, perhaps putting it in the middle and flipping it over to indicate which state it is in: effective, vs canceled.

  • A plays some card X.
  • B plays Surprise 1, canceling X.
  • A cancels surprise 1 with Surprise 2, so X is in effect again.
  • B cancels surprise 2 with Surprise 3, so Surprise 1 goes through, and X is canceled again.

and so forth. If there were more, it would look like this:

  • A cancels surprise 3 with Surprise 4, so Surprise 2 goes through, canceling Surprise 1, so X happens.
  • B cancels surprise 4 with Surprise 5, so Surprise 3 goes through, canceling Surprise 2, so Surprise 1 is in effect again, so X is canceled.

So far, the maximum number of Surprises in a version is 6, in Batman Fluxx, but here’s the page where we would update that info:
Complexity Factors for Fluxx editions

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Q: What are all the different cards in different versions where you get to draw the top card and play it immediately?

A: There are many analogues to Wormhole (the first one we made) or Mystery Play (the most generic themed one). Some may require a token action (click your heels together to use Magic Shoes in Oz Fluxx, for example) or condition (if a certain card is in play) to activate them but they are essentially all the same kind of card.

Mystery Play in Fluxx 5.0 and SE
Wormhole in Star Fluxx
Shiny! in Firefly Fluxx
Allons-y/Geronimo! in Doctor Who Fluxx
Spontaneous Reaction in Chemistry Fluxx
Egads! in Batman Fluxx
Unknown Variable in Math Fluxx
Great Idea! in Stoner Fluxx
Magic Portal in Adventure Time Fluxx
Magic Shoes in Oz Fluxx (if you click your heels together three times)
Open The Door in Monster Fluxx (If the Spooky Door is in play)
Open A Gift! in Holiday Fluxx (if The Gift is in play)
Chemical X in Cartoon Network Fluxx (if at least one Powerpuff Girl is in play)
Time Doorway in Regular Show Fluxx (if the Time Machine is in play)

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Q: Could you clarify how many cards we can eliminate with Let’s Simplify? What does “up to half (rounded up)” mean?

A: The wording on Let’s Simplify is as clear as we could make it. If we had said that you may discard up to half of the New Rules in play, and there were an odd number (for example, five of them) you wouldn’t know whether you could should round up or down. But we tell you that you should ROUND UP when figuring out what “half” is, so in this example, you know you can discard up to three.

Of course, you may discard up to half – you don’t have to discard three; you could choose to discard just one or two, or even zero if you want. Those numbers are all less than “half (rounded up) of five”.

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Q: Do Double Agenda and Triple Agenda replace each other as rules?

A: Yes, Double and Triple Agenda are considered mutually exclusive. There’s only one deck that contains both* so we didn’t think to specify it, and left it with the “filler” small print about taking immediate effect.

* Holiday Fluxx, though this issue could also come up if you’re playing with the combined Star Trek TOS & TNG double-deck.

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Q: Can you Get On With It or Swap Plays For Draws with your cards from an Action like Draw 3 Play 2?

A: You could certainly put either of these New Rules (Get On With It, or Swap Plays For Draws) into play as part of an Action like Draw 3 Play 2 of them (D3P2) or Draw 2 and Use Em (D2UE), or Fizzbin, but you could not utilize their functions while in the middle of executing one of these Actions. While all three of these Actions do give you a sort of temporary hand, you can’t substitute it for your real hand to “discard and draw back up to 3”, for example.

You would either need to invoke Get On With It! before the Action with the temporary hand is played or after. The Playing of D3P2/D2UE/Fizzbin, and all actions as a result of it are considered 1 “Play”.

See also: What happens if I play and Action that causes my turn to end immediately in the middle of Draw 3 Play 2 or Draw 2 & Use Em (or Fizzbin)?

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Q: If a card says “Your turn ends immediately,” but Play All is in effect, which takes precedence?

A: When you play an Action or use a New Rule card says “your turn ends immediately” it means it’s specifically overriding any Play rule that might otherwise require you to keep playing cards. You also end any option you may have to use Keeper powers or “free” Rule Actions. If it says “your turn ends immediately” then your turn ends immediately – so make sure you’re all done with stuff before you play/use one of these cards!

See: Q: What cards have effects that include ending my turn immediately if I play/use them?

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Q: Is the third Surprise function (countering another Surprise) limited to in-turn or out-of-turn play?

A: You can use the counter-Surprise function at any time, either during someone else’s turn or your own. Here are some basic examples:

On your own turn:
Someone cancels one of your plays with a Surprise. You play a Surprise to counter their Surprise. Note: although it is your turn, this does not count as one of your Plays.

On someone else’s turn:
They play a Surprise for the in-turn function. You play a Suprise to counter it.

On someone else’s turn:
They play a card. You cancel it with the appropriate Surprise. They counter-Surprise you. You counter-Surprise them!

On someone else’s turn:
Player A plays a card. Player B cancels it with a Surprise. You decide to counter Player B’s Surprise, for whatever reason motivates you.
(In other words, if there is a Surprise/counter-Surprise “battle” going on between two other players, as described in the previous example, you can jump in at any time on either players “side”.)

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Q: Do the cards you draw with the No-Hand Bonus count towards your Draw for that turn?

If I qualify for drawing three cards because of the No-Hand Bonus, and the Draw rule is five, do I draw a total of five cards or eight?

A: The No-Hand Bonus states: “Draw a new hand of 3 cards BEFORE observing the current draw rule” (emphasis added). Your drawing 3 cards is considered a “pre-turn action”: these cards essentially make up a “new hand” which simulates you having had a hand BEFORE starting your turn. Then you observe the current draw rule, which says draw 5 cards.

So you draw a total of eight cards in this case.

Secondary Q: So if I increase the Draw rule from Draw 2 to Draw 4 on my turn, do I still get to draw an extra 2 cards? One of my opponents argued that I had already drawn 5 for the Bonus plus the Draw 2, so I couldn’t draw more when I increased the Draw rule.

A: Since the cards drawn for the No-Hand bonus are separate from those drawn because of the Draw rule in play, and don’t count towards the number of cards drawn for your turn, YES, you get to draw two more cards when you increase the Draw from 2 to 4.

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Q: If something is played where “your turn ends immediately,” does it mean that you are not subject to the hand and Keeper limits that turn?

A: No. Hand and Keeper Limits apply to you when it’s not your turn, so you would observe them as soon as your turn ends.

See also: Q: What cards have effects that include ending my turn immediately if I play/use them?

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Q: If Swap Plays For Draws and Play All (or Play All But 1) are both in effect, how does that resolve?

If I draw the number of cards I have left in my hand to play, do I have to play them all? Which one takes precedence? Play All, or Swap Plays?

A: Once you have exercised your option to Swap Plays for Draws, you have no more plays left (you have swapped all your remaining plays) so your turn is over. So, no, you don’t play those new cards drawn. In that sense Swap Plays “takes precedence” since you may still have cards in your hand at the end of your turn even though Play All is in effect.

Specific example:
The Swap Plays For Draws card explicitly states that when this rule is in effect, you may choose at any time to play no more cards, and draw the number of cards as you have plays left. Play All says to play all your cards this turn.

So lets say you have five cards in hand. You play two cards, and decide you want to swap the rest of your plays for draws. Since you have three cards remaining, and Play All is in effect, you have three plays left to swap, so you draw three cards, thereby ending your turn.

Likewise, if Play All But 1 is in effect, then as long as you have more than 1 card remaining in your hand (which would mean you have plays left to swap) you would get to draw the number of cards in your hand minus 1, since the number of plays you have remaining is simply 1 less than the number of cards in your hand. As with Play All, of course, once you choose to swap your remaining plays for draws, you have no more plays.

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Q: Is Swap Plays For Draws limited by the number of cards you have in your hand?

A: Sort of. If you have more than enough cards in your hand to cover the number of plays left allowed by the Play Rule, then you just subtract how many plays you took from the number shown on the Play Rule. You played 1 and it’s Play 3, and you have 7 cards left in your hand? Play 3 minus the 1 play you took leaves you 2 remaining plays you could swap for draws. Your hand size does not affect how many plays you have left to swap.

If, however, the Play Rule indicates more plays left than you have cards left in your hand, then the number of plays you have left is the number of cards in your hand. The number of plays you can swap for draws is the number of ACTUAL card plays you could make, not the theoretical number of plays allowed by the Play Rule.

EXAMPLE:
Draw 1, Play 3 is in effect.
You have a hand of 0 and you draw 1 card. Now you have 1 card in your hand. How many plays can ACTUALLY be taken by you? Not 3 because the Play Rule says 3, but 1, because you only have 1 card in your hand. You can’t play cards you don’t have. At whatever time you choose to exercise Swap Plays For Draws, the question is: how many ACTUAL plays do you have left? In this case, you have only 1 play available to you, which you could choose to swap for 1 draw. Now you have 2 cards in your hand, but do you get to play them because the Play Rule says 3? NO, because with Swap Plays For Draws, you are deciding to sacrifice ALL your remaining plays for draws, so, by definition, no matter how many you drew, you have no plays left in your turn.

This is turns out to be exactly how we figure out how many cards can be drawn when the Play All (or Play All But 1) is in effect. In that case, you look at the number of cards you have left (or that number minus 1) and that’s how many plays you have, so that’s how many cards you draw. Again, remember that using Swap Plays For Draws means you have no more plays left in your turn, so you won’t be able to use any of those cards you just drew until your next turn.

Swapping Plays For Draws is one of the ways you can avoid having to playing a card that would make someone else win.

See also: Can I use Get On With It if I played my only card, but the Play rule says to play more?

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Q: When a card says “draw and play 1 extra card per turn” do I have to play the card I drew?

Do I have to set my hand aside so that card doesn’t mix with it, and play that card exactly, or does this just add to my total play, so I can add the extra card to my hand, and play whatever cards I want, increasing the number of plays I have?

A: “Draw and Play 1 extra card per turn” just increases your total draws and total plays for the turn by 1, so whatever card you draw that is “extra” just gets added to your hand like all the other cards you drew, and you can play whatever cards you want from your hand up to the play quantity plus 1.

Unless the card says you have to set aside your hand, you don’t, and you’re not required to play the specific card you drew card unless the option you’re invoking specifies that.

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Q: Do Surprises work any differently in a two-player game than they do in a game with more people?

A: There is no reason Surprises would work any differently depending on the number of players. Surprises always counter Surprises in full, no matter what the function of the Surprises in question.

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Q: Can a Surprise card be played to stop a card played previously during someone’s turn?

Some examples:

Example 1: Player A plays a Keeper, and then plays a Goal card to win. Player B plays That’s Mine (the counter-Keeper Surprise) to cancel Player A’s Keeper card hoping to cancel the win. Conversely, maybe Player A played a Goal, then a Keeper, and Player B tried to use Canceled Plans (the counter-Goal Surprise).

Example 2: Player A played the That’s Mine as an in-turn card and stole the Computer from Player B. Then Player A set down a Keeper. Player B then played a Surprise card, claiming that the wording on the card says it may be used on the Surprise card just played.

Example 3: Player A played Draw 3 Play 2 Of Them, drew three cards, and one of them is a Goal that let them win, so they played it. Player B then played Stop That (the counter-Action Surprise) to try to cancel the playing of Draw 3 Play 2, hoping to cancel the win.

A: In all of these cases, Player A’s actions stand, as the Surprise has been played too late. The counteractive Surprise must be played IMMEDIATELY after the card you wish to counteract. It also doesn’t apply to “the most recently played card of the target type played this turn.” Once another card of any type has been played, or a subsequent resulting action taken, it becomes too late to retroactively stop a previous card play with a Surprise.

Don’t be that person needing to ask for a special exception to the rules, and make sure the new players you’re teaching understand: Surprises need to be used in a timely manner. Whenever you have one in your hand, acquaint yourself with its power right away so that you can make a snap decision about whether to use it, since, if you hesitate too long, your opportunity is likely to pass.

So are there ever exceptions? It depends how relaxed you want to play, and how everyone is getting along. If Player B was a less-than-experienced player, it’s highly likely that it just took them a little while to read their own Surprise card to realize that it could be used in that way. If the results of a rewind are relatively inconsequential, one might cut them some slack. If Player A somehow anticipated that Player B was going to counter their play, and took their next action with barely a blink then that’s a bit rude. But if there was a heated disagreement, please do fall back on the official ruling. The ONLY reason you might choose to ignore it is if you wish to cut Player B some slack for being a n00b, or if you want to call shenanigans on Player A’s playing style for some reason.

Remember: it’s never appropriate to see the consequences of a previous card play, and THEN realize that you wish you’d stopped it before something else happened as a result of that play. In example 1, Player B probably didn’t realize that the first play would result in the win until the second card was played. In example 3, Player B couldn’t know when Draw 3 Play 2 was played that it would result in a win. Too bad. No exceptions for those cases.

This is where careful ordering of your plays and a good poker face are important so as not to broadcast your intentions. And people say there’s no strategy in Fluxx…

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Q: If someone cancels one of my plays with a Surprise, do I get the card back, and still have that play to use?

… or does the card that was canceled go in the trash (or to my opponent in the case of That’s Mine), and my attempt has used up one of my plays?

See this answer in a video!
Little Answers

A: No, it’s that second thing you said: the card that got canceled goes away, and that play has been squandered. On the other hand, your opponent had to give up a card from their hand as well, so it’s not as though it’s without sacrifice on their part too.

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Q: If a surprise card can cancel out other surprise cards can a 3rd (or even 4th) surprise card be played consecutively?
Q: With That’s Mine (That Be Mine, Twist Of Fate) played out of turn, if someone uses the Steal a Keeper card, will this Surprise card allow you to take the Keeper they have just stolen?

A: No. They didn’t actually play the Keeper card, they simply got possession of that Keeper by playing an Action. All you could do here would be to stop the Action itself using the Stop That! (Avast! Belay That! The Stars Are Wrong!) Surprise. Using that would not gain you the Keeper they were stealing. It would only stop them from stealing it.

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Q: If I use the “during my turn” part of a surprise card on my turn, does that count as a play?
Q: Can one ever use the out-of-turn function of a Surprise during one’s own turn?

A: If you use the Surprise card as one of your plays during your turn, then you must use the “during your turn” functions. The “out of turn” functions almost always cancel some other card play, and it is not allowed to cancel your own play with your own Surprise. Thematically, consider this: it’s hard to really call it a “surprise” if you’re doing it to yourself in this manner.

The only time when you might not use the “during your turn” on your turn is when you’re using a Surprise to counter a Surprise played by another player against you during your turn.

See Does countering a Surprise on my turn count as…

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Q: Can you use the out-of-turn option on Canceled Plans to nullify a goal you are forced to play during your turn that would cause someone else to win?

A: No. In general, you can’t use the out-of-turn portion of a Surprise during your turn, moreover the Canceled Plans card specifically says it is used to stop a Goal which another player has just played.

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Q: With Canceled Plans played out of turn, does this card only discard a Goal that a player has just played or an existing goal on the table?

A: Only the Goal just played.

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Q: Can Canceled Plans prevent someone from winning the game? What about That’s Mine?

Player #1 contends that he won the game because the rules say that as soon as a goal is achieved the game is over and no other actions/cards can be played. Player #2 says that no, the Surprise card overrides the general rule and cancels the playing of the goal and therefore the game does not end. Which is true?

A: Yes. If the Canceled Plans card played is played immediately, it cancels the Goal and play continues to the next person. That is the intent of the card.

It works the same way for That’s Mine. If the winning play is a Keeper, That’s Mine can be used to cancel that play, preventing the win.

Again, Surprises are meant to be able to work this way… but you have to be using the correct Surprise for the type of play you’re canceling – and you must play your Surprise in a timely manner: say, within a few seconds of the player playing their card.

For more nuanced suggestions about how to resolve some tweaky timing issues, check
When a player is allowed multiple plays on their turn, are there any guidelines for timing between plays?”

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Q: Does a counter-Surprise count as a Play for the person whose turn it is?

If I play a card on my turn and another player plays a Surprise to cancel it, then I play another Surprise to cancel the first one, since it’s my turn, does mounter Surprise count as a Play for me?

A: It does not count as a play. It’s sort of meta-out-of-turn.

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Q: If someone plays a Rule to replace an existing Rule, but someone else plays a Veto, does the rule that would have been replaced remain in effect?

For example, Play 3 is in effect at the start of a turn, the current player plays Play 4, but another player plays Veto – what is the current play limit; 3, 4, or the default 1?

A: A: The newly played and Vetoed New Rule is canceled, so the old New Rule stays in play.

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Q: Can I use a Surprise from my set-aside hand to cancel a Surprise played on one of my Draw 2 & Use Em, or Draw 3, Play 2 (or Fizzbin) cardplays?

Also, could I use a Surprise that was part of the subturn to cancel the attacking Surprise, and if so would that count as one of the plays?

Example:
Player #1 plays “Draw 3, Play 2 Of Them” and gets an Action, a Keeper, and a Surprise.
They play their Action and Player #2 plays Belay That [Avast, Stop That] to cancel it.
–> can Player #1 use the Surprise in their mini-hand to cancel that Surprise,
–> and if so do they still get to play their Keeper afterwards?

A: Yes, you can use a Surprise from your main hand, or from your sub-hand, to cancel another player’s Surprise during your Draw 3, Play 2 Action. Playing a Surprise to cancel a Surprise is a free action, so yes, you would get to play the third card if your second card is a Surprise that you use to counter a Surprise being used to stop your first card.

In the case of Fizzbin, you don’t have the option of using any of the cards in your temporary hand, you have to play them blind, in random order, so any Surprises that are in that temporary hand won’t be useful to you – but you can still use Surprises in your set-aside hand to counter Surprises played against cards played as part of your Fizzbin action.

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Q: If a player uses Trade Hands, and their hand contains Stop That (which cancels actions) can the other player use it immediately upon receipt to cancel the Trade Hands?

In this scenario Player #1 has the Trade Hands and Stop That, and Player #2 is being forced to trade hands.

A: No. If the surprise were in Player #2’s hand, then Player#2 could use it to stop the Action, but if the surprise is in Player #1’s hand, then Player #2 does not have access to the card until after the Trade Hands Action has been resolved, by which time it’s too late to be stopped.

If you think about it too hard, you’ll realize it can ONLY work this way. If it worked the way you described there would be a paradoxical loop:

You used the Stop That you received in Trade Hands to stop Trade Hands, so you didn’t trade hands, so you didn’t have the Stop That, so you couldn’t use it, so you traded hands, but then you had the Stop That, and you used it to prevent the Trade Hands, but then you didn’t have it, didn’t use it, but then you traded and had it…

…and so forth to insanity.

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Q: Regarding Canceled Plans and Stop That, if you play them during your turn, it says “All other players must discard one Goal/Action, or a random card, from their hands.” Does that mean players get a choice?

Or must you discard a Goal/Action if you have one, and a random card only if you don’t?

A: Players get to choose. They may either look at their cards and select a Goal/Action to give up, or they may select a random card from their hand to give up. Of course, if they don’t have any Goals/Actions, they can only opt to lose a random card.

Note that random means RANDOM. They don’t get to decide which card they give up in this case. They can do this either by mixing their own hand face down, and pulling one out without looking, or they can have you pull one from their hand as they hold it up facing themselves.

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Q: When Double Agenda goes into play, does the next Goal played have to go in the second slot?

Or can it replace the single Goal in play, leaving a spot empty?

See this answer in a video!
Little Answers

A: If there is an empty slot for a Goal because of Double Agenda, the next Goal played must fill that spot, and not replace the single Goal already in play.

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Q: For Everybody Gets 1, do I get to look at the cards before I hand them out to people?

The card reads, in part “You decide who gets what.” My brother thinks I should hand them out without looking at them, but I think I get to look at them so that I know what they all got, but they only know what they each got.

A: As you have surmised, there is indeed no meaning to the phrase “you decide who gets what” unless you get to look at all the cards before you hand them out (yes, the intention is that you hand them out face down so that each person only knows what they themselves got).

Many people’s first instinct upon seeing someone else play this card is to simply reach forward and draw from the deck themselves, as if it were indeed intended to be random, but most, upon a careful reading of the card, come to the correct conclusion.

Since we have plenty of room on this card, we started implementing clearer text on this card in 2016:
“You look at the cards and decide who gets what, dealing them out face down to each player.”

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Q: Does the Rule Mystery Play require one to play the specific card flipped up from the top of the deck?

My friends think you can add it to you hand, and play some other card from their hand.

A: You are correct, your friends are incorrect. You pull the top card off the deck, and immediately play that card. You do not get to add it to your hand, or play any other card from your hand.

Analogues of Mystery Play include (some with slight variations such as conditional requirements for use):
Wormhole in Star Fluxx
Magic Shoes in Oz Fluxx
Egads! in Batman Fluxx
Open The Door in Monster Fluxx
Magic Portal in Adventure Time Fluxx
Chemical X in Cartoon Network Fluxx
Time Doorway in Regular Show Fluxx
Shiny! in Firefly Fluxx
Great Idea! in Stoner Fluxx

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