# Near-Set

## Requirements

One deck of SET® cards, and 2 or more players. Not
recommended for novice players, because it may be a little confusing
for folks who haven't quite solidly figured out what a Set is yet.

## First, What's a Near-Set?

A near-set is 3 cards that could be a Set if you were
to change *one property* of *one card*. For example,
the following is a near-set:

This particular near-set is a "shape-near-set", because shape is
the property that must be changed on one card to make this a Set.
Note that you can change the shape on *any* one of the three
cards to make a Set. This is always true of near-sets.

## And Now the Rules

Play like regular SET®, except look for near-sets instead of
Sets. We still say "SET!" when we find one, though, because it's
easier than "NEAR-SET!".

## A Harder Variant

Once you're used to the idea of "near-sets", this game is very
easy -- almost impractically so. For a harder variant, decide
beforehand on a particular property on which to base your game. For
example, you might only look for number-near-sets.

## Why Ordinary Near-Set May Be Too Easy

In regular SET®, if you choose two cards, there is exactly one
other card in the deck that will match up with it to make a Set. In
Near-Set, if you choose two cards, there are up to *eight*
other cards in the deck that will match up with it to make a near-set.
This means near-sets turn up *much* more frequently than Sets.

The first time we played Near-Set, we almost never had 12 cards on
the table. One of us would find a near-set before we finished laying
out 12 cards; and then one of us would often find another near-set
before we finished replacing the 3 cards that were just removed. The
game moved *very* quickly, almost confusingly so.

## Why the Variant is Pretty Good

In the "harder variant", if you choose two cards, there are at
most *two* other cards that will match up with it to make a
near-set of the chosen type. The chosen type of near-sets turns up
with a frequency much closer to the frequency of Sets in regular
SET®. They still show up slightly more often, but this is offset
by the fact that you're not accustomed to finding near-sets, so
they're a little harder to recognize.

## Happy Near-Setting!

mag and
judd