Rules of Play
iota
TM
the great big game in the
teeny-weeny tin
2-4 players • Ages 8 and up
Rules of Play
Contents
64 unique cards
2 Wild cards
Object
Score the most points by adding
cards in lines connected to the
grid.
A line consists of 2, 3 or 4
cards straight in a row or
column, in which each
individual property (color,
shape and number) is either
the same on each card
or different on each card.
Set Up
Get a pencil and paper for scoring.
Shuffle and deal 4 cards face down
to each player. (Look at them but
keep them secret from opponents.)
Stack the remaining cards face
down to form a draw pile. Place
the top card face up in the center
of the playing area to form
the starter card. Notice that each
card has three properties:
a shape, a color and a number.
How to Play
The teeniest person starts the
game and play moves to the left.
On your turn, take one of two
actions:
1. Add 1,2,3 or 4 cards in a
single line, connecting to any
card(s) already in play. All
cards must follow the GuideLines,
below. Record your score and
then replenish your hand to
4 cards...
• In every line, all cards must
either be all the same or all
different in each individual
property: color, shape, and
number. (See “How do you form
a line?” below.)
• Cards may be played in any
sequence.
• A 4 card line is called a lot.
Creating one doubles your score
for the turn.
• Maximum allowable line length
is 4 cards.
• If there are any gaps, it’s not
a line... and some spaces on the
grid will be impossible to fill.
or
2. Pass... and trade some, all
or none of your cards back to the
bottom of the draw pile and take
new ones.
GuideLines
• All cards played must connect in
a single straight line and at least
one must connect to the grid.
• Although you must play cards in
a single line, additional lines
may be created and/or extended
as a result. (See Turn 3 on other
side for example.)
• You may create or extend a
line by adding cards to both
ends of it. (See Turn 2.)
Scoring
After each turn, add up the face
values of all cards in each line
either created or extended on your
turn. If a card is part of 2 lines, it
is counted twice. Double points for
the entire turn for each lot
completed. Double again for playing
all 4 of your cards on one turn.
Ending the Game
The game ends when the draw pile
runs out and one player plays his
or her last card. Double points for
that turn. High score wins!
Variations
• For a shorter game, play with half
of the deck (include Wild cards).
• When playing with young
children, ignore scoring: first
player out of cards after the draw
pile runs out wins.
How do you form a line? Easy as 1 2 3
Since any 2 cards have some or
no properties in common,
any 2 cards will work to
begin a line. The 3rd and 4th
cards in that line must satisfy
the requirements set by the
first 2 cards.
Therefore, before adding the 3rd
card to a line, look at the 3
cards that would be in that line
and ask yourself:
1. Are the colors either all the
same or all different on each card?
2. Are the shapes either all
the same or all different on
each card?
3. Are the numbers either all
the same or all different on
each card?
If your answer is no to any of
these, then it’s not an
allowable move.
Ask yourself these same questions
before adding the 4th card
to create a lot.
Examples of Lots
Play Example
Same color on each card.
Different shapes on each card.
Same number on each card.
Turn 1 2 cards are played.
Same number, different colors,
different shapes. 6 points
Same color on each card.
Same shape on each card.
Different numbers on each card.
Same color on each card.
Different shapes on each card.
Different numbers on each card.
Different colors on each card.
Same shape on each card.
Same number on each card.
Different colors on each card.
Different shapes on each card.
Same number on each card.
Different colors on each card.
Same shape on each card.
Different numbers on each card.
Different colors on each card.
Different shapes on each card.
Different numbers on each card.
Wild Cards
A Wild card substitutes for any
other card and has a
face value of 0 points.
You may “recycle” a
Wild card in play prior to your
turn by exchanging it with
a card from your hand that fits
any line(s) it may be a part
of. You may then replay it on
any turn. You do not have
to name a Wild card when you
play it. However, it must
represent the same card if part
of two lines.
starter
Turn 2 2 cards are played
creating a new 3 card line.
Same shape, different colors,
different numbers. Cards must
be played in a single line,
though they needn‘t touch.
6 points
Turn 3 2 cards are played.
The yellow square 2 completes
a lot. 2 new lines of 2 cards
each are also created. 12 points
for the 2 lines across (8+4).
5 points for the line up/down.
Double for the lot. 34 points
Turn 4 4 cards are played
completing 2 lots. Face value of
each lot is 10 points. A second
line down worth 6 points is also
extended for a total of 26. Double
all points for lot 1. Double again
for lot 2, and double again for
playing all 4 cards! 208 points
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