How to play ABET


The object of ABET is to use your hand of 12 cards to make four words of three or more letters using cards of the same color. (Black cards may be used as any color.) Also score points, for yourself and one opponent, by adding letters to an old word. Each turn you will:
  1. Draw a card. Take it from the face-down stack, or from any discard pile. There will be a face-up discard pile in the center for each player.
  2. (optional) Add to an old word, and draw a card to replace each one you used.
  3. (optional) Make one new word. If it has more than 3 cards, draw a card, from any pile, for each card over three.
  4. Discard. At the end of your turn you will have 3, 6, 9, or 12 cards - or none!

Abet is a game for 2-6 players; probably best with 3-5. With 4 players, one round takes 10-15 minutes, and a full game takes 45-60 minutes.
Equipment: A deck of 102 cards. For most letters, there are 1, 2, or 3 cards in each of three colors. There is only one black card for each of the rare consonants, which can be used as any color.
Deal 12 cards to each player. The player on the dealer's left goes first. Take turns clockwise. These are the phases of a turn:
  1. Draw one card
    Take the top card from the deck, or from any discard pile.
  2. Extend one word (optional)
    Add one or more cards to a word on the table, including one of your own:
  3. Make one word. (optional)
    Place the cards on the table in front of you, so other players can read it.
  4. Discard one card.
    Place it face up on your side of the face-down stack, on top of your previous discards, if any.
A round is almost over when someone has gone out by playing four words, or after the turn in which the last card is drawn from the deck. If the last word uses four or more cards, discarding is not necessary. After someone goes out, each player in turn may use cards from his or her hand to add to one word made by any other player. The winner is the player with the highest score after four rounds, or whatever number the players agree.