Set is a 15-30 minute game for 1 or more players
where you try to spot sets of cards. Find sets faster than your opponents to collect
them and win the game! Set your eyeballs to maximum power, in this
deceptively challenging game! Set contains 81 unique cards, whose symbols
are distinguished by four different features: their shape, colour, number, and shading. Each feature has three varieties: The shape
can be an oval, squiggle, or diamond: its colour could be red, purple, or green: there
can be one, two, or three symbols on the card: and the shading could be solid, striped, or
empty. 12 cards are laid out at the start of the
game in a 4×3 grid. Players look at the cards and try to pick out a “set” of cards. A set is a group of three cards in which each
of the cards’ features, looked at one-by-one, are the same on each card, or, are different
on each card. All of the features must separately satisfy this rule. For example, for this set, the colour, quantity, and shape are the same, and the shading is completely different. These 3 cards are a set because they share the same shape, shading, and number, and have completely different colours. If we had the same cards, but one of them
had a striped shading while the other two were solid, then it’s no longer a set. One
of the other cards would have to be empty so that all the shadings are distinct, and
then it is a set. These three cards are a set because all 4
properties are different in each card: the number, the colour, the shading, and the shape. A quick way to check if your cards are a set
or not, is to see if any one feature is the same on 2 cards but different on a third.
If that is the case, the cards are not a set. Eventually you’ll start being able to see
the sets quickly, and the game will pick up speed as players’ skills increase. There is no determined turn order in Set.
To claim a set, say “set”. Point out the three cards you believe are a set. Once confirmed
by the other players, remove them from the grid and keep them. The dealer immediately
replaces those three cards from the deck and play continues. If you call “set” and
fail to point out a set, or you point out three cards that don’t make a set, keep
the grid unchanged and keep playing, and you lose a point. [ASIDE: We usually don’t play
with this rule.] After a set is claimed, you must wait for the cards to be replaced before
anyone declares “set” again. If all players agree that there are no sets
available in the grid of 12 cards, the dealer lays out an additional 3 cards. Continue this process if there is still no set. Once a set is found, don’t restock if there are 12 or more cards. The game ends when the deck is depleted and
there are no more sets on the table. Count your points – you earn 1 point per set claimed.
The player with the most points wins! You can continue the game by getting the next
player to deal and start a new round. To start a game of Set, choose a player to
be the dealer, shuffle the deck, and lay the cards in the middle of the table in a 3×4
grid. We’re Games Explained, and that’s how
to play Set. And if you’re curious about some of the probabilities in Set, why don’t you click up here and learn about the Birthday Paradox?