Set (game)

Mensa Select 1991 German Games Award 1995: No. 9 à la carte Card Game Award 1995: 4th place

Set ( formerly set! ) Is a card game that was invented in 1974 by Marsha Jean Falco and published by Set Enterprises 1991. In 1995, the game in Germany was of F.X. Schmid moved, since 2001 by Ravensburger and now available from Amigo.

Game material

The game consists of 81 cards. On the maps, certain symbols are printed. These icons have different colors, shapes and fillings and occur singly, doubly or triply per card. However, all symbols on a map have the same color, shape and filling. Thus, for each of the 81 cards uniquely characterized by the values ​​of the properties of color, form, fill, and number. For each of these four properties, there are three possible forms:

  • Color: red, green and purple
  • Shape: Oval, diamond and frills
  • Filling: empty, striped and fully
  • Number: one, two or three

Indeed, there is also at any combination of these properties a corresponding card, so you get the 81 = 3 * 3 * 3 * 3 different cards.

Game rules

What is a set?

You can play different versions of this game. But they all revolve around the eponymous set. A set consists of three cards that have to satisfy the condition for each property that all the cards match in this capacity or that no two of the cards match in this property. That is to say:

  • All the cards have the same number of symbols, or each having a different number.
  • All maps show the same icon shows or any other symbol.
  • The symbols of a map have the same color as that of the other cards or each card has a different color.
  • The symbols of a map have the same fill as the other cards or any card has a different filling.

Each property is considered independent of the others. Equivalent can the term " set " is also defined as follows in just one sentence: Three cards form a set if and only if none of the four properties given the same expression in exactly two of the three cards.

Subtracting any two cards from the game, then there is exactly one more card, which adds both to a set. Three cards that give a set could be, for example:

  • Three red filled ovals
  • A red open diamond
  • Two red striped frills

Different number, same color, different shapes, different fillings.

How is the game played?

In its most famous variant of set a dealer will as long as the cards on the table until either twelve cards are designed, or one of ( any number ) calls players " Set". This shows the other players that he has identified three cards that do a set. Is that correct, he must take the three cards and the dealer replaced if necessary by new if any. If the player is incorrect, this is out of the game until another player takes a set. Alternatively, a false "Set" Call also be punished with the dispensing of a previously collected sets. If there is no player at twelve cards dealt out a set, so other cards can be given in ( actually it can take up to 20 cards without a set type ). The game continues in this manner until all 81 cards are used up, or no more new set may result. Who has at the end of most cards wins the game.


Marsha Falco invented set during her work as a genetics researcher in Cambridge, England. To make the work with blocks of genetic information to read, it replaced it with symbols and wrote them on cards. When trying to explain to their colleagues the stack of cards on her table, she had the idea to make something fun of it - they invented the card game set.