Unsere Neuheit What the Rule?! jetzt wieder erhältlich!

Find the secret rule! Play your hand cards cleverly to find out which card can be placed according to the secret rule. If you get it right, you will be rewarded with points. Will you be able to uncover the secret rule? Or will you end up thinking, What the Rule?!

8+ Years 2-10 Players

Idea of the game

Find the rule! Play your hand cards cleverly to find out which card can be placed according to the secret rule. If you get it right, you will be rewarded with points. Will you be able to uncover the secret rule?

At the beginning of each round, one player makes up a rule and becomes the game master for that round. The other players play their hand cards in turn. When a card matching the rule is played, the player may try to guess the secret rule. When a player reveals the correct rule, the round ends. The next round begins with a new game master and a new rule. The game is played with 144 playing cards, with each card appearing exactly twice in the game. The cards are distinguished by four different characteristics:

  1. The shape: "circle", "triangle" or "square".
  2. The number of shapes: "1", "2", "3", "4", "5" or "6".
  3. The filling of the shapes: "filled" or "unfilled".
  4. The color of the card: "white" or "black".

A simple rule would be, for example: "Always alternate black and white cards". The game ends after each player has been the game master once. The player with the highest score wins.



Is What the Rule?! more of a family game or an expert game?
Because of the free choice of the secret rule, What the Rule?! is basically what you make of it. So the game can be played with elementary school children and simple rules. It can also be enjoyed by a group of logic experts.
Basically, our scoring system rewards rules that are neither too hard nor too easy for the particular group of players.

Is it possible to play the game with fewer cards?
Especially if you play with a small number of players, you can consider playing with half a deck of cards (72 cards). Each card then appears exactly once in the game (instead of twice). This aspect should be taken into account when making up a secret rule.

Can rules only refer to the four properties shape, number, filling and color?
For the beginning of the game, we would recommend only those rules that refer to the four given card properties.
However, very advanced players can in principle devise their own properties based on the playing cards. An example of an advanced secret rule could be, for example, that only symmetrical cards may be placed.

Can rules also refer to incorrectly placed cards?
In principle, secret rules can refer to the entire card display, including the incorrectly placed cards. In this case, however, the rule should explicitly refer to the "incorrectly placed cards".
An example of such a rule would be "The sum of the numbers on all cards placed so far (including incorrectly placed cards) always has to be even". In some cases, the explicit reference to the incorrectly placed cards may be left out. Example: "Every second placed card is accepted".
For the beginning, we generally recommend rules that refer only to the series of correctly placed cards.

Can rules also refer to players or the environment?
Such rules are not intended in the regular game. However, a group can agree before the game that they would like to allow such rules.
Examples of such rules would be: "Only players with hats may play circle cards, only players without hats may play triangle cards" or "White cards may only be played if a bus has passed the window within the last minute".

When is a rule guessed correctly?
A rule is considered guessed when the player suggests an equivalent to the secret rule. For example, an equivalent to the ”black cards only“ rule would be ”no white cards“.
In advanced groups, the following special case can be taken into account:
It may happen that a rule proposal is equivalent to the secret rule with respect to the particular game situation, but not in general. This can be explained by the following example. Suppose the secret rule is "Only one type of shape may be played" and "circle" has been placed as the first card. Now the following rule could be proposed: "Only circle may be placed". In this case, there would be no way to find out in this game round why the suggestion should be wrong. However, since the rules are generally not equivalent to each other, the suggestion would still be rejected.
You can, however, agree beforehand whether in such a case a rule proposal should be accepted by the game master (or not). Alternatively, you can leave the decision to the game master himself, depending on the game situation. Of course, the fun of the game should be in the foreground of every decision.

What were the inspirations for the game?
Besides inspirations like Penultima, Zendo and the Mau-Mau variant Mao, the core mechanism of What the Rule?! is based on the game Eleusis or Eleusis Express, which is played with a classic deck of cards.
The minimalist design of the playing cards with the four different characteristics shape, number, filling and color is inspired by the card game SET. For the balancing and the scoring system, which rewards rules that are neither too hard nor too easy for the respective group of players, we had the game Dixit in mind. To give the players even more control over this aspect, we integrated a hint mechanism into the game.
For an easy start into the game, we also added a small "tutorial" consisting of 10 rule cards suitable for beginners.

Did you already know?

You can try What the Rule?! right now and start playing directly from our website. It's easy and you don't need to create an account. Just choose a username and invite your friends to your first game of What the Rule?!. You can also choose to play against an AI game master. Have fun playing!

Play online Rule Generator

Discover our free online services for What the Rule?!

Play online Rule Generator