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'Spoetry™ is a simple card game that celebrates humans' natural advantage over AI in writing poetry. It debuted as a prototype in issue #11 of the Phrantone (back issues are still available). Below, you'll find a variety of ways to play it. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Please feel free to use the feedback form at the bottom of this page, below the gameplay instruction options.

V.1: Spoons

If you've ever played Spoons, you know the fast-paced joy that comes from trying to get your set together first. These instructions were included with the distribution of the first prototypes:

  1. Deal each player a seven-card hand and place the remaining cards in a stack in the middle of the table.

  2. The first player picks the top card from the stack and passes a card from their hand to the player on their left.

  3. Play continues as cards are passed clockwise, each player maintaining the seven-card max in their hand.

  4. Your goal is to use as many of your cards as possible to form one or more sensical sentences.

  5. First player to lay down their full hand and call out “‘Spoetry!” halts the card passing and triggers everyone to display their best workable sentence(s).

  6. Earn one point for each card you’ve used in your final sentence(s). Players holding unplayable cards may award them as “points” to appreciate other players’ sentences.

V.3: Scrabble

​This one uses word cards instead of letter tiles.

  1. Deal each player a seven card hand.

  2. Place one card in the middle of the table. 

  3. Take turns adding one or more cards, building vertically or horizontally, to form sensical sentences. Each card must connect to its adjacent cards in a sensical way. 

  4. Earn a point for each card you play, replenishing your hand from the remaining stack as you go.

V.2: Gin Rummy

Try it like Gin Rummy!

  1. Deal each player 10 cards.

  2. Place the remaining cards in a stack in the middle of the table.

  3. Each player tries to form sentences from consisting of sequences of three or more words from their hand.

  4. Beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, players either draw the top card of the stack or takes the top card of the discard pile and adds it to their hand. The player may also lay down on the table, face up, any sentence they've formed.

  5. A player may add one or more word from their hand to any sentence already laid down on the table.

  6. When a player gets rid of all of the cards from their hand, they win the game.

V.4: She Ran

This one's inspired by a favorite improv game of the same name!

  1. Dealer gives each player seven cards and places two in the center of the table to form a simple initial sentence (e.g. "She ran."). Remaining cards go in a stack.

  2. Next player adds one or more cards from their hand to the sentence to build on it (e.g. She ran fast.").

  3. If a player has no sensical card in their hand to add, they draw additional cards from the stack until they've got something they can play.

  4. First player who uses everything in their hand wins.

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