Math 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: When using Zap A Card in Fluxx, can I take cards out of the discard pile?

A: No. The card says you can take any card “in play” on the table. That includes: the current Goal, any current Rule (not the Basic Rules, of course), or any Keeper or Creeper in front of any player. Note, of course, that Creepers cannot be held in your hand, so they go back into play in front of you if you steal them from someone else, instead of going into your hand.

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Q: For the Goal Today’s Date, does the date always have to be represented with two digits (i.e. with a leading 0 for the first nine days)?

A: Well, after consultation with Andy, our ruling is that no, you do not need a leading 0. This is a Goal that can (at least for the first nine days of any given month, which is not the majority of the time, by any means) be won with a single Keeper. Oh well. Short game? Shuffle and deal again!

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Q: With a Math Victory rule in play, can we use math to create one of the digits needed for the Goal? What if Grafting is also in play?

A: First let’s just note that the normal way to win is to take two number Keepers and essentially “graft” them together. Let’s call this “passive grafting.” If a Math Victory Rule is in play, it lets you use math instead of “passive grafting” (aka “the normal way”). The Grafting Rule is meant to make it possible to create two-digit numbers for the specific purpose of subsequently using them in an equation to reach the Goal number via calculation.

For everything in Math Fluxx, you can only use numbers you can see. You can only Graft or “passively graft” numbers you can see, and you can only use numbers you can see in an equation. Grafting just lets you take two numbers-you-can-see and make them into a two-digit number-you-can-see to write out your equation.

For example, here is the equation to win Silver Jubilee (25) with Keepers One, Five, and Ten by grafting One and Five into Fifteen, and then adding it to Ten:

1 5 + 10 = 25

By contrast, here’s an illustration of how you CAN’T write out the equation to win When I’m Sixty-Four with a One, Three, and Six by taking (1+3=4) and then grafting the resulting “4” with the Six to make 64.

6 ? (3+1) =

There is no mathematical operator that functions like “grafting” so there’s nothing you could put in place of that question-mark.

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Q: If we are playing with Plan C, and Grafting comes into play, doesn’t that mean we can win without using math?

A: You’ve noticed that Grafting is, in fact, “the regular way to win Fluxx” by simply combining two (number) Keepers to make a larger number.

The Grafting Rule, however, is meant to make it possible to create numbers for the specific purpose of subsequently using them in an equation to reach the Goal number via calculation. The card’s exact wording is:

“Two Keepers can now be joined together to form a single two-digit number for the purposes of Victory Rule calculations.” (emphasis added)

So, no, you can’t just graft One and Three together to meet the Goal Unlucky. You could do it if you had an EXTRA One, though:

1 3 x 1 = 13

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Q: Are we allowed to make more than one number via Grafting?

…it says “Two Keepers can now be joined together to form a single two-digit number for the purposes of Victory Rule calculations.” Does “single number” mean we are restricted to a single grafted number for our calculations?

A: In this case, “single number” is merely meant to illustrate that you’re taking two numbers (say, Seven and One) and making them into a single number (say, Seventeen), with no limit on how many two-digit numbers you may use in your calculations. Of course, you may only use any given Keeper one time in your calculation.

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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?

…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.

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: 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: 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 “free” Rule-based 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 concludes with their turn ending immediately.)

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Q: What the heck is this “MetaRule” thing sometimes mentioned? I’ve never seen one…

A: Only a few MetaRules occur in the entire Fluxx system. Here’s how they work: a MetaRule is like a standing house rule that all players can decide to use for the duration of the entire game. These have an orange stripe, and the Basic Rules card that comes with every deck was deemed to fall in this category. Usually only one or two would ever be included in a given deck, since they essentially represent alternate ways the game can be played. Here is a run-down of those that have ever actually existed.

Rules Escalation (early printings of Fluxx 4.0): Increases Basic Rules Draw & Play # when the discard pile is shuffled
No Creepers (later printings of Fluxx 4.0): Designates a game played without the four Creepers in the deck
Time Limit (Martian Fluxx): Play until a hidden timer runs out, and see who’s closest to winning
Cult Clash (Cthulhu Fluxx): Specifies a definitive winner for Cthulhu Fluxx if an Ungoal ends the game (good for tournaments)
Fluxx Dice (Fluxx Dice expansion): Starts the game with the Dice Override Rule in play as the default state
Plan B (Math Fluxx): Requires there be one form of mathematical win available at all times
Plan C (Math Fluxx): Makes all forms of mathematical wins available at all times as the ONLY way to win the game.

You might have heard of a handful of others because when Andy invented the card type, he discussed it in one of his blog posts, where he proposed some possible sample MetaRules, which were shown as graphics, but have never actually been printed.

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Q: Does the order of your Keepers on the table matter in Math Fluxx? If so, can I rearrange them at will?

…because of the way some Goals are worded, it seems like order matters. If order doesn’t matter then two of the Goals have the exact same win conditions.

A: Keeper arrangement on the table doesn’t matter in Math Fluxx any more than in any other Fluxx. You could also consider this answer to be equivalent to: sure, like any other Fluxx, you can rearrange your Keepers at will, any time you want.

It’s a little like the pyramids you capture in Volcano or Caldera. A monochrome tree is still a monochrome tree, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re actually stacked up into that formation as long as you have the pyramids that would make up the set described.

Yes, this means that the winning conditions for both 24 Hours and The Ultimate Answer are identical. “Number Four & Number Two” is functionally the same as “Number Two & Number Four” in the same way that “Milk & Cookies” is the same as “Cookies & Milk.”

In fact, some reviewers have complained that this makes Math Fluxx not really very different than other Fluxxes at it’s heart, and it’s only when invoking the mathematical victory rules that this version becomes novel in any way. We suppose that may be true, but we feel the mathematical victory rules make a pretty big difference!

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Q: Some rules say things about “when discarded”. If I use Zap A Card, the card isn’t discarded, it’s just no longer in play. Isn’t that the same thing in this case?

A: Yes, removing a card from play with Zap A Card would have the same effect as discarding it… unless it’s a Creeper, in which case it cannot be held in one’s hand, and would effectively just be moved from in play in front of one player, to in play in front of the player who Zapped it.

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Q: The Meta Rule says these are played at the beginning of a game. Do you pull those out and deal separately?

A: You may notice that Meta-Rules have different backs from the rest of the cards. They are meant to not be shuffled into the deck at all, and the different back facilitates finding and pulling them if you accidentally shuffle them in. You just decide at the beginning of the game whether you want to play by those permanent rules or not. It’s like they are a house rule which all players decide on before starting.

This page has a short list and descriptions of all the MetaRules, with a little commentary.

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Q: Play All but 1 seems broken with Inflation.

…As written on my deck, Play All But 1 reads “Play all but 1 of your cards. If you started with no cards in your hand and only drew one, draw
an extra card.” This means that if my Draw 1 was Inflated to Draw 2, then I don’t get to draw the necessary extra card to enable me to have any plays at all on my turn.

A: As you may have noted, the fix for this is simple, which is to treat the second “one” as a “1”, which it should have been in the first place. We’ll be implementing this fix on all subsequent printings starting in 2016.

Please treat this card as though it read: “Play all but 1 of your cards. If you started with no cards in your hand and only drew 1, draw an extra card.”

Note that Adventure Time Fluxx has the card Mathematical, which is an analogue of Inflation.
Math Fluxx has Increment All, which is like Inflation, but only applies to Actions and New Rules.

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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: Does Inflation apply retroactively to the No-Hand Bonus?

In other words, if I started the turn with an empty hand and drew 3 cards because of the No-Hand Bonus, and then I play Inflation, do I draw another card?

A: No. While everything happens immediately in Fluxx, things don’t happen retroactively. The action of the No-Hand Bonus only triggers at the start of your turn, therefore it doesn’t give you an extra card when Inflation is played during your turn. Inflation WOULD affect the current Draw Rule, but that’s not considered a retroactive effect, since the Draw Rule says you must “have drawn X cards on your turn” which is a status for your entire turn, from the beginning. By contrast, the No-Hand Bonus occurs specifically BEFORE the regular draw for your turn, and does NOT count as part of your draw.

Note that Mathematical In Adventure Time Fluxx is an analogue of Inflation, but that Adventure Time Fluxx does not have No-Hand Bonus.

Math Fluxx, on the other hand, has both the No-Hand Bonus as well as Increment All (an Inflation analogue which only applies to Actions and New Rules).

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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 into play as part of an Action like Draw 3 Play 2 of them (D3P2) or Draw 2 and Use Em (D2UE), but you could not utilize their functions while in the middle of executing one of these Actions. While 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 D3P2 is played or after. The Playing of D3P2, and all actions as a result of it are all 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?

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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: 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. Similarly, if you receive a card when it’s not your turn, you must observe the hand limit as soon as you get the card.

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

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Q: How do we apply Inflation to Everybody Gets 1?

In my version of Fluxx, Everybody Gets 1 says (in part) “Count the number of players in the game (including yourself). Draw that many cards and give every player 1 card.” If we do that with Inflation, we only draw four cards in a four player game, and then we don’t have enough to give each player 1(+1), i.e. 2 cards.

A: Unfortunately, in the first printing of Fluxx 5.0 the wording on this card was accidentally modified so that it broke when used with Inflation. We have subsequently fixed the card to read as clarified below. Simply treat it as you would to execute “Everybody Gets 2”, specifically: “Draw enough cards to give each player 1, then do so.”

We have fixed the wording on this card to read exactly that for subsequent printings, starting in 2015.

Math Fluxx includes both Everybody Gets 1, and the Inflation cognate Increment All, which only works on Actions and New Rules.

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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: If Inflation is played as one of the cards during the Action Draw 3 Play 2 Of Them, does it apply to the Action in progress?

A: Yes. Since everything happens instantly in Fluxx, Draw 3 Play 2 Of Them suddenly becomes Draw 4 Play 3 Of Them. The player should immediately draw an extra card and add it to the remainder of the cards being chosen from (the mini hand for the Action, not the set-aside main hand). It’s kind of like if you’d only drawn 2 cards instead of the 3 you were supposed to, realizing the mistake after playing one of them, and drawing the extra card you need at that point.

Of course, your regular hand will also need an extra card, since the Draw Rule itself has also incremented. You could do that at the time you’re executing your D3P2 by drawing a card and adding it to your set-aside hand, or you could catch up with that when you pick your regular hand back up again after the action. Note you’ll also have an extra Play to execute as well.

Adventure Time includes the Inflation analogue, Mathematical! Inflation is also available as a promo card to add to any Fluxx deck.

Math Fluxx includes a card called Increment All, which is similar to Inflation except it only affects Actions and New Rules.

Drinking Fluxx includes a card called Double Vision, which is similar to Inflation, but only changes 1 to 2, without affecting any higher numbers, so actually, it won’t affect Draw 3 Play 2, but it’s worth noting.

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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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Q: When we all pass a card left or right, is that simultaneous?

If it’s not, the same card could get passed all the way around the circle until it’s back with the person who played the Action.

A: Yes. Everyone is supposed to pick a card from their hand, and pass it simultaneously, specifically to prevent a single card being passed around.

For example, what would happen if only one person had a hand? If the card pass happened sequentially, there would be no change in anyone’s hand! (And how do you decide who starts?) What actually happens is that the person with a hand passes a card, and everyone else passes nothing, since their hands are empty.

A good rule of thumb is: when in doubt, assume that things in Fluxx happen simultaneously.

See also: We think we broke the game…

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