Do I get to decide who gets what? Do I get to decide how many to deal to each player? Do the recipients put them in their hands or on the table in front of them? Are they face up or face down? When I’m dealing them out, who do I start with?
A: First of all, only for Everybody Gets 1 (or Dreams & Omens) does the active player get to look at and decide who gets what. That’s a very different situation that the ones we’re talking about here. This question focuses on random (fairly even) redistribution along the lines of Share The Wealth.
The cards in question are shuffled or otherwise randomized so that the dealer does not know what’s being given out. They are then dealt out evenly, going around the circle clockwise, one card to each player in turn, continuing until the cards are all gone. Dealing starts with either the active player or the player to their left, with the intention of providing any possible benefit to the active player.
• So if it’s for Keepers, or a mixture of Keepers and Creepers, the active player should get the first card, because this is felt to be to their advantage, so they won’t get shorted if the number doesn’t deal out evenly. However, we would consider it an officially sanctioned house-rule if your group wanted to give the active player the option of starting with the player to their left instead of themselves. There could be reasons…
• For redistribution of Creepers-only, the card will usually say to start with the player to the left of the active player, because Creepers are generally considered a disadvantage, and this would mean that if anyone was going to receive fewer, it would always be the active player. However, as with other redistribution cards, your group may choose to let the active player decide whether they want to start with themselves or the person on their left. Again, we can think of reasons why someone might want to start distributing Creepers to themselves first.
Once dealt, all cards will be put into play immediately, so it’s OK to deal them out face up, but it’s sometimes better to deal them out face down, then have everybody reveal what they got all at once. As mentioned above, re/distributing by dealing will cause all players to end up with roughly equal numbers of cards. So if there are large discrepancies in the number of cards players had in play, this will even them out: players with a lot more than other players will end up with fewer than they had, and players with few or zero cards in play may end up with more. That’s the way it goes.
Here’s a list of redistributing cards, and their types:
Share the Wealth
Keepers & Creepers
Mix It All Up
It’s a Cyclone!!!
Return of the Dead
Jailbreak/removal of Arkham Asylum rule
Scramble Keepers, which is only in early versions of “Basic” Fluxx (1.0-3.x) is the only Action which is different. While you still shuffle up the Keepers and hand them back randomly and they go back into play, you don’t deal them out evenly, but instead give each player the same number of Keepers they had before. When we came up with Share The Wealth, we felt it was far superior, as we liked the way it leveled the playing field, keeping the game more competitive, to maximize player engagement.