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  • 1 Score pad
  • 71 Core Cards
  • 53 Pool Cards
  • Instructions

Object of the Game

The aim of the game is to spell words to score points, and then either SPEND or BANK those points.

Spending points lets you buy new letter cards. Since you begin the game with only low-value cards, you will need to spend points in order to buy higher-value cards.

But, banked points are what count at the end of the game - the player who has banked the most points is the winner. However, when you bank a word, you only get half its value to spend on new cards.

During the game, you will have your own personal deck of cards, and each turn you'll draw six of those cards into your hand. When you use or discard cards, they'll be placed (face-up) into your personal discard pile, next to your deck.

Any time you need to draw a card but your deck is empty, shuffle up your discard pile and turn it face-down to form a new deck.


  • Put the core cards (AT, ES, IOU and dark pink ? cards) in the middle of the table in three separate stacks. Put the purple? cards to one side for now.

  • Shuffle all of the pool cards together and place them in the middle of the table. This is the 'pool stack'. Leave a space next to the pool stack for 'pool returns'- cards will be placed here in the game when players use'return' effects or refresh the pool.

  • Deal six cards from the pool stack face up in the middle of the table. This is the 'pool'. It helps to rearrange the pool so that the cards are sorted in order of cost.

  • Give each player a 10 card starting deck: 2 of each of the AT, ES and IOU cards, and 4 ? (Penalty) cards.

    Note - For younger players, or players whose native language is not English, you can replace one or more of the 4 Penalties with purple Special Penalty cards. These are slightly more powerful than regular Penalties and will make those players more competitive.

  • Each player shuffles his or her deck, puts it face-down on the table, and draws six cards to form their starting hand.

  • Give each player a score sheet. Randomly select a player to go first, and put a check in the 'First? 1 box on that player's score sheet. This will help keep track of player order - and thus which player takes the last turn.

    Note: The game end is triggered when any player has scored seven words (after which you add up each player's best five words).

  • Optional: Choose a comprehensive dictionary, word list or app that will act as an authority in case there are disagreements about players'spelling. This dictionary should include plurals and conjugations. Don't skip this step when playing against fiercely competitive opponents!

Card Effects

Except for the core cards that make up players'decks at the beginning of the game, every card in Dexikon has an effect, most of which take place when the card is played.

Most cards have only one type of effect, and area single color. Some of the cards have two types of effect, and show two different colors.

Multi-type cards cause both effects to take place.

  • Action (Blue)

    Action effects take place during your turn, and can be resolved in any order.

  • Attack (Orange)

    Attack effects inconvenience other players, forcing them to gain Penalty cards. They take place at the end of your turn.

  • Response (Yellow)

    You can show a Response card during another player's turn to ignore any or all Attack cards they have played. The Response card is not discarded when you do this.

  • Cleanup (Green)

    Cleanup effects take place at the end of your turn, often letting you draw extra cards in your new hand.

  • End of the Game (Black)

    These cards do not have an effect until the very end of the game.

Game Play

Each turn is broken into six phases:

1. Play Cards

Play any or all of the cards in your hand onto the table. Each Action (blue) card has an effect that you can resolve once, in whatever order you choose.

2. Declare your Word

Arrange the cards that you've played so that they spell a word, and tell everybody what that word is. ? cards count as any letter, and the AT, ES and IOU cards count as whichever one of the printed letters you like.

If you have any cards in play that you can't use in the word, just put them back into your hand.

Note:- if you think that a player's word is misspelled, see 'Challenging a player's word' in the Additional Notes section on page 6.

3. Resolve Attack Cards

Attack (orange) cards only resolve if part of a valid word, and they are resolved in order from left to right.

4. Refresh the Pool (Optional)

Once per turn, before using your points, you may take all the cards in the pool and place them face-up in the pool returns pile. Then refill the pool with cards from the pool stack.

5. Use your points and buy at least one card

Count up the Points Values to find the total value of your word. If you have no cards left in your hand, add 1 bonus point. Then decide whether to SPEND or BANK your points:

  • Spend: Use the full value of your word to buy new cards.

  • Bank: Write down the word and its value on your score sheet. You then get half that many points (rounded down) to buy new cards.

After making your choice, you then buy any number of letter cards from the middle of the table for their points cost, placing them into your discard pile. You must buy at least one card, and you may not buy more than one core (0 cost) card.

Important: Once you BANK a word and record it on the score sheet, nobody can spell that word again in this game.

SPENT words are not recorded, so the game has no 'memory' of them - so they can be spelled again later.

6. Cleanup

  • Resolve any Cleanup (green) cards. If instructed to draw extra cards, take note of the total number of extras.

  • Discard all the cards you played this turn, as well as all the cards left in your hand, then draw six new cards (plus any extra cards from Cleanup effects).

    If you need to draw more cards than you have in the deck, draw what you can, then shuffle your discard pile to form a new draw deck, then draw the remainder.

  • If there are fewer than six cards in the pool, deal new cards from the top of the pool stack until the pool has six cards again. If you run out of cards in the pool stack, shuffle the pool returns pile to create a new stack.

End of the Game

Before the player who went first takes his or her turn, check the score sheets to see whether any player has banked seven or more words.

If somebody has, the first player's turn does not begin - the game is over.

But Wait - Getting The Last Word

All players now get one more chance to spell a word. You may look through all of your cards (hand, deck and discard) and use them to spell any word you like. Ignore any text on the cards - only the points value counts.

Your 'last word' can be the same as somebody else's, or even a word that was spelled and banked during the game.

After spelling your 'last word', you may resolve the 'End of the game' effect on any B cards in your deck. These allow you to return two cards (normally Penalties) that were not used in your 'last word'.


Add together the values of the five highest scoring words that you banked during the game, plus the value of your 'last word'. Add any bonus points: 1 for each successful challenge, 1 or 2 for each N or P card in your deck.

Finally, subtract two points for each Penalty card (including Special Penalties) to calculate your final score. Note that you lose points for each Penalty whether or not you use it in your 'last word'.

The player with the most points is the winner. If there is a tie, the winner is the player who has the highest value word recorded on the score sheet (including 'last word').

If there is still a tie, check the next highest value word, and so on.

At the end of the game, Barbara adds together the points from her five top- scoring words...

Plus the points from her last word...

She won five challenges during the game, and she finished with two N cards, so scores a total of 7 bonus points...

With five Penalty cards, she loses 10 points...

For a grand total of 53!

Solo Play

To play a single-player game of Dexikon, set up the game as usual, but shuffle ten Penalties into the pool deck after revealing the six cards in the starting pool. Put the rest of the Penalty cards back in the box. Then play as normal, with the following additional rules:

  • You can no longer choose to refresh the pool.

  • At the end of each turn, before drawing a new hand, return all but one (your choice) of the pool cards, then refresh to six cards.

  • After drawing your new hand, check to see whether there are any Penalties in the pool. If there are, you immediately gain them - unless you hold an L card, in which case the Penalties are placed in the Penalty stack.

  • Whenever you play an Attack card, take a Penalty from the Penalty stack and place it to one side. Note that the Penalty stack begins the game empty.

  • When the pool deck is empty at the start of a turn, that turn will be the final turn.

  • Play a last word and add up points as usual, then add a bonus point for every Penalty placed to the side using Attack cards.

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