Instructions for The Art of Argument Flashcards

Select a dealer. Each player is dealt 5 cards, keeping all of the remaining cards face down in a community deck (definition side up). The cards are designed with the terms on the front (white side)and the definitions on the back (darkside).

During game play, players must draw and hold cards so that the backs are facing away from them. Because players will be quizzed on definitions later, they should avoid looking at the definitions during play. When drawing cards, players should draw from the bottom of the deck to avoid seeing the next card ahead of time.

Goal: Players should collect one of the following:

  • 4 numbers in a sequence
  • 4 of the same number

At the beginning of each turn, each player picks 1 card from their hand that they want to play. Players should secretly choose a card that they want to be part of the sets they are collecting. For example, if a player has a 5 and a 6 in their hand and plans to collect cards 5-8 as a set, they would play either the 5 or the 6. Once all players indicate they are ready, the group counts to 3. On the count of 3, all players simultaneously play their chosen card face up in front of them.

When a player plays a card, they either start a new set or place the card as part of an existing partial set. There is no limit to how many sets players may start. After each round, take a moment to see what card your opponent has played, and what set of cards they might be trying to gather. At any given time, players may rearrange their cards between any of their partial sets.

After playing their first card, each player passes their remaining hand of 4 cards to the player on their left. Each player then draws 1 additional card from the community deck and now has a new hand of 5 cards. Players start a new turn as explained above.

Repeat this process until 1 player has collected their first set of 4 cards. When the player completes a set of 4, they haven't won yet! The player must then provide the correct definitions for the cards in their set.

One by one, the player points to each card in their set and gives the definition for that card (unless he has defined it before), then flips it over to check. If the definition is given correctly, the player keeps that card and never needs to provide that definition again. If the player misses the definition, the player loses that card (put in a discard pile) and gameplay continues. IIf the player defines all the cards in his complete set, he wins the game!

In the event that 2 players collect their sets of 4 cards on the same turn, they should take turns providing definitions for their cards. If one of them misses a definition, they lose that card, and their turn ends. If both players successfully provide definitions for all 4 of their played cards, players enter a “sudden death” round. Using any of their other played cards, or cards pulled from the decks once they run out, they take turns quizzing each other with definitions until 1 player misses and the other succeeds.

Wild Cards

Wild cards may be played as part of any set (of at least one card). Its value can change within that set, but unlike other cards, it cannot be moved to another set once played. For example, if you have played a 5 on an earlier turn you can play a Wild with that 5 to create a set of two 5s or a sequence using the 5 and the wild. On the next turn, that player could play a 5 to add to the set of two 5s or play any card that could add to a sequence with the 5 and Wild.

Also, at the end of a turn in which a Wild card is played, instead of passing the 4 remaining cards to their opponent, all players put their cards from their hands together, shuffle them, and then deal 4 random cards to each player. Then, each player draws 1 card from the deck to start the next turn as normal.


  • As cards are played, players may at any time reorganize their played cards to fit their new strategy. The cards can be rearranged throughout the game. However, each card can only be used in 1 set at a time.
  • If the community deck needs to be replenished, shuffle the discard pile and make it the new draw pile.