Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not addressed here, please send it to cards@mathleague.org and we'll get back to you as quickly as possible.

Can you clarify which cards are which color? Please click here for a list of which color is associated with each domino number.

Is yellow a sixth color? There are only five colors in the game, and if you have cards that look yellow their color is supposed to be orange. Our earliest print run was made with an orange that was too light, which we darkened for subsequent printings; this initial print run also included a handful of mathematical typos in the tool cards. If you have a starter deck with what appear to be yellow cards or typos in the tool cards, we are happy to exchange it for a newer deck at any contest that sells starter decks. Of course, you are always free to keep these "error cards" if you want to; after all, there were only 15 of these "yellow decks" made!

If I wish to play a card on my turn that requires TOOL cards worth at least 15 points and another card that requires TOOL cards worth at least 10 points, may I pay a single TOOL card worth 25 points? No. Every transaction is independent and must be paid for separately. If you wish to use a TOOL card worth 25 points to play a card, it may only be used for one card, and if the cost of that card is less than 25 points you forfeit the remaining value.

What is the difference between "blocking" and "canceling" a card? A card that is blocked may not be played this turn. Unless otherwise indicated, the card remains in the player's hand and can be played on a future turn. A card that is canceled counts as being played, i.e. it goes into the discard pile, but the card has no effect and whatever the card says is ignored.

Who is the "target" and who is the "beneficiary" of an ACTION card? The beneficiary of an ACTION card is always the player playing the card. The target is whoever is affected by the ACTION card; this may be the person playing the card or one of their opponents. In the case of the Neil (Support Staff) card for instance, playing this card is useless if the ACTION card it is played on affects the player of the ACTION card, as swapping the target and beneficiary has no effect. If the ACTION card affects an opponent, the Neil (Support Staff) card makes it as if the opponent had played the ACTION card and the original player of the ACTION card becomes the one affected by the card.

Who is an ACTION card "directed against"? An ACTION card is directed against the player who is the target of the card as defined above. In addition, the ACTION card is directed specifically against any card that is affected by the ACTION card either by having something happen to that card or by having something happen to a card it is attached to. For instance, an ACTION card that removes a TOOL card from a STUDENT card is directed against the TOOL card and the STUDENT card, but not against any SCHOOL or TEACHER cards attached to the STUDENT card. An ACTION card that detaches a STUDENT card from a SCHOOL card is directed against the STUDENT card, the SCHOOL card, and any TOOL cards attached to the STUDENT card. In this case any card protecting either the STUDENT card or the SCHOOL card would prevent the action of detaching the STUDENT card from the SCHOOL card.

How does the Nicole card affect a protection card? If a Nicole card is played on an ACTION card that provides protection to a card or group of cards, then all players may designate a card or group of cards in front of them to be protected in the same manner as the person who played the ACTION card.

What is a "default hand size"? The default hand size is the number of cards a player must have in their hand at the end of their turn. This number is set at six at the beginning of the game but could be changed by ACTION or STAFF cards that are played during the game. If an ACTION or STAFF card changes a player's default hand size, no immediate steps need to be taken; the player simply needs to ensure the correct card count in their hand at the end of each subsequent turn.

When is a card considered to be irrevocably played? In most cases a player may change their mind about where or whether to play or discard a card during their turn, but any step that changes the information available to the player whose turn it is makes all previous steps irrevocable. For example, if a player begins to draw cards at the end of their turn and looks at any of the cards, no steps that they have taken during their turn may be rescinded. Similarly, once a player announces an intention to play an ACTION card, that card must be played because announcing the intention opens the possibility that the player may gain information about the existence of STAFF cards in the hands of opponents. Any comments made by opponents in response to a played or discarded card do not make the step irrevocable, because the step taken was not what changed the information available.

What information may be retrieved from a player's draw pile or discard pile? Any player may count the remaining cards in their draw pile at any time and may inspect or reorder the contents of their discard pile at any time. No player may inspect an opponent's discard or draw pile without the opponent's consent.

Can I order an updated custom card deck for my student? You may place a new order for a custom card deck at any time, and each custom card deck order will include the student's most recent statistics as of the date of production. The new deck will be issued a new ID number, but the name on the deck will stay the same if the student has not changed schools or changed age groups (Elem, MS, HS). Remember, when playing the game your deck may not contain two cards with the same name and color, so if the card name has not changed you cannot use five of the old card and five of the new card in your deck. However, if the card name has changed (eg. the school is different due to a move or a transition from elementary to middle school) then you may use up to five of the old card and five of the new card in your deck.

What is the official name of each Math League Cats card? All Math League Cats cards share the same official name and ID number. Remember, the official name of a card is the name in bold. The non-bold name of the individual cat is not part of the official name. Consequently, no player's deck may contain more than five Math League Cats cards - one of each color.

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