I want to play Pokemon with my brother and sister. The only problem is that there will be three people playing, which means it would be hard to alter rules so that they do not give other players an unfair advantage. What additional rules do I have to incorporate in order to play this way?

Note that I would like it to discourage teaming, and it is FFA. Also, as mentioned below, I would not like two headed giant as there is only three decks between us.

  • I'm interested in this, because one of my daughters plays, and I'd like to get the other one involved without them playing against each other (too much possibility for bickering and mayhem).
    – pjmorse
    Apr 27, 2017 at 13:04
  • Same with my other sister :/ @pjmorse
    – Xetrov
    Apr 27, 2017 at 15:22
  • Good question. I'm a fan of games with 3+ players and PTCG. I feel I might start experimenting with free for all play style, would be cool to find some play tested rules. Jul 3, 2022 at 9:41

4 Answers 4


The closest that I have found that meets your criteria and also only uses three decks (thus excluding "Two-Headed Giant") is a 3-player variant from BoardGameGeek, which was an improvement to a suggestion another gamer had made.

  • The three players are arranged in a circle.
  • A player can attack the player to their right for full damage.
  • A player can attack the player to their left for half damage, rounded up to the nearest 10.
  • Special effects (e.g. not being able to use item cards due to Dragonite's "Deafen" attack) can only be applied to the player to the right. (It seems that you are allowed to deal damage to the left player and have an effect apply to the right player).
  • The game is otherwise played as normal, and the first player to get all their prizes wins.

The advantage of this variant is that while teaming up is still possible, it's sub-optimal since one player will be doing less damage if they gang up, so it's only likely to happen at critical moments.


I can't comment yet, but I wanted to give the translation for "Troll à deux têtes" which is two-headed-giant.

Here is the explanation for MTG : http://magic.wizards.com/en/game-info/gameplay/formats/two-headed-giant you can easily adapt it to any TCG as explained by LamaDelRay.

To add another idea you can usually give rules to free for all battles in multiplayers. When we play a 3 or more players we tend to "only attack left" and gain some reward for defeating a player. It's a bit more tricky but could be adapted to a round about fight.

If you play Pokemon TCG why not have 2 active pokemons (like in the video game) one fighting the player on the left, the second battling on the right. You will have a lot of interesting strategic choices to play like this and if you draw 2 cards each turn you should have enough ressources to play on 2 fronts.

Also double the rewards to have a longer game.


For every TCG I advise two sort of plays in order to be played well with three players, 'Troll à deux têtes' (dunno how it's called in other countries, I guess it's two-headed troll) and one player playing two decks.

Troll à deux têtes, is a player with double the life (for magic) or double the rewards (for Pokemon TCG IIRC it's how it's played, right?), the team should get 12 rewards for the team to win while the lone player will need 8 of them. Also you should allow the lone player to get two pokemons in play while the team can have one pokemon each (like in the video game in fact.)

Playing two decks is actually harder than it sounds, and I do not find it very reasonable. When they released the first Ruby and Saphir extensions, they released rules for 2v2, you can try to find them and play a team "alone".

Good luck!

  • 1
    Very poor answer unfortunately... This does not answer my question.
    – Xetrov
    Mar 7, 2017 at 11:17
  • Try this set of rules with one player playing two decks. Should be close to what you wish. Or I didn't understood you at all. orig05.deviantart.net/b2b6/f/2014/132/2/7/…
    – LamaDelRay
    Mar 7, 2017 at 12:06
  • I require playing with, for example, three+ players...
    – Xetrov
    Mar 7, 2017 at 12:24
  • Well, I explained how to play with three. With four there is already rules for it. For five, you can split with three and two etc etc... Doesn't that help?
    – LamaDelRay
    Mar 7, 2017 at 12:41
  • 1
    Obviously, one person; one deck... Please read question carefully
    – Xetrov
    Mar 7, 2017 at 13:06

recently, i have played a four way game with my friends cause, we all thought it was a dope idea, anyways, here is the set up(this version utilizes teams).

SET UP- two players sit at one side of a table. two sit at the opposite side. set up your decks as usual.

SPECIAL RULES- the person siting diagonal to you is your teammate. on everyone's first turn, nobody can attack, or play supporters. you and your teammate have to collective pick up ten prize cards.

PLAY- have the person across from you call the flip. the two winners will call and flip, and the two losers will call and flip. the winner of the winners picks 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th. the loser of the winners gets to chose next, the winner of the losers chooses next, and the loser of the loser chooses last. then, you play as normal!

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    Sep 29, 2021 at 20:26
  • "Then, you play as normal" leaves a lot of the game that is designed for one on one play needing house rules to play 2 on 2.
    – Andrew
    Sep 29, 2021 at 21:01
  • This would be the "two headed giant" option that Xetrov already has mentioned not wanting in their question because there is no fourth player
    – Andrew
    Feb 12 at 15:21

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