SET | America's Favorite Card Games®



This version requires all players to work together as a team. It can be played by one person or with a team of any size. SETs are made according to the standard rules.

Object To obtain the maximum number of SETs in each layout of twelve cards, so as to achieve the maximum number of points as a team. Players work towards increasing their team or personal best score. In a classroom or group with several teams, the team with the highest score wins!

Download Printable Instructions Here


By Patricia J. Fogle, Ph.D., D.O.

How to use matrix algebra to build magic squares of SETs.


By Patricia J. Fogle, Ph.D., D.O.

The use of statistics pervades the world in which we live. It is used arguably to defend positions in basic and applied scientific research, and ultimately affects all aspects of our lives. It therefore is important to understand the rationale and meaning of these "numbers" that affect our lives.




By Jim Vinci


This paper covers the following topics:

  1. For the benefit of those new to SET, a brief explanation of the rules of the game and how Sets are formed.
  2. Development of a general formula for the total number of Sets that can occur when a deck of CP (P = number of properties in the deck, C = number of choices for each property) cards is partitioned into two piles, and Set counts are restricted to those that are found exclusively within each pile.
  3. The thinking behind the clever visual solution for why any collection of 20 cards must contain a Set, including a discussion of the Set-blocking strategy.
  4. A proposed computer modeling method, referred to as the Consecutive Maximization Method, for use in identifying the largest possible Setless collection of cards from a P property deck.

Promoting Strategic Thinking Skills in Middle-School Students Using Set: The Family Game of Visual Perception®

Sylvia Sykes
Holy Names University, Oakland, CA

Rules for Playing SET with Teams in the Classroom

Note: The following exercises call for the use of SET transparencies or an interactive whiteboard.

Divide the class into teams of 3-8 students each. Go to and view the SET Daily Puzzle. Duplicate the puzzle on the overhead or project it onto the interactive whiteboard.

This lesson includes 3 different ways to play with teams in the classroom:
Quiet Team Play
Quiet Team Play to Develop English Language Skills
Team Play to Develop Communication Skills

Language Skills Using SET in the Classroom

For this exercise, transparencies can be placed on the overhead projector or printed on a worksheet for students to work individually or in teams.

Activity: Place two cards on the overhead projector. Ask the students to describe the missing card. For younger students, have them fill in missing adjectives in a sentence you provide.

More Advanced Activity: Place two cards on the overhead projector. Ask the students to draw the missing card and then write a sentence describing it.
Example: I need two open purple ovals to complete this SET.
Place two new cards on the overhead projector. Ask the students to draw the missing card and then write a sentence using a different verb or sentence structure. Example: In order to complete this SET, a solid red oval is required.
Continue as above: The third sentence could be: “Please give me an open red diamond.”

Developing Mathematical Reasoning using Attribute Games

By Anne Larson Quinn, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Edinboro University,
Frederick Weening, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Edinboro University,
Robert M. Koca, Jr., Ph.D.

Reproduced with permission from the Mathematics Teacher, copyright 1999 by the NCTM.

The game of SET® has proven to be a very popular game at our college mathematics club meetings. Since we've started playing, the membership has grown every month. In fact, one of our members brought her six year old son to a meeting, and he now looks forward to playing SET® with us every month. As a result of playing the game in our club and thinking about the results, we created and solved a variety of mathematical questions. For example, we wondered about possible strategies for winning and conjectured about phenomena that happened when playing. These questions involve a wide variety of traditional mathematical topics, such as the multiplication principle, combinations and permutations, divisibility, modular arithmetic, and mathematical proof.

SET Recognition as a Window to Perceptual and Cognitive Processes

Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

The Set visual perception game is a fertile research platform that allows investigation of perception, with gradual processing culminating in a momentary recognition stage, in a context that can be endlessly repeated with novel displays. Performance of the Set game task is a play-off between perceptual and conceptual processes. The task is to detect (among the 12 displayed cards) a 3-card set, defined as containing cards that are either all similar or all different along each of four dimensions with three possible values. We found preference and reduced response times (RTs) for perceiving set similarity (rather than span) and for including cards sharing the most abundant value in the display, suggesting that these are searched preferentially (perhaps by mutual enhancement).


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