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Professor’s Corner – The “Plus 3” Rule 01/23/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG, TCG Strategy.
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I have previously mentioned about the “Plus 3” rule for tournament play back in the Limited-Sealed Deck blog, so now I’m finally going to explain how it works.

In a tournament, the time (minutes per round) Plus 3 rule means that once the normal round time is up, both players are given a 3-turns total overtime to resolve all status of player progress in that round in the following way:

  1. The player whose turn it is when time is called is Turn 0. The opponent’s turn is Turn 1 and both players alternate; the first player Turn 2, then the opponent Turn 3.
  2. At the end of Turn 3, whichever player has taken the most Prize Cards wins the game.
  3. If both players have the same number of Prize Cards remaining, the game continues until one player draws the next Prize Card. In turn, that player wins the game.

Typically, Limited Tournaments (especially Pre-Releases) use a 20 Minutes Plus 3 Turns rule because of the nature of the format of playing with 4 Prize Cards. Constructed Tournaments (explained later) use a 30 Minutes Plus 3 Turns rule, and in the Single Elimination portion of the tournament employs a 60 Minutes Plus 3 Turns which the 60 minutes spans across the best of 3 games matches. (I will go over tournament styles in a future blog.)

So why are Pokémon tournaments run with this type of time format? It allows an opportunity for players to catch up on Prize Cards when the early game started off slow, and it discourages clock manipulation by a player who is ahead in Prize Cards. In tournaments, players have a tendency to slow down once time is called in order to be a bit more deliberate in their actions to catch up or stay ahead to win but in keeping with the spirit of the game, that is highly discouraged. Judges will enforce the brisk, lively game pace that is always expected throughout all rounds and are obligated to issue penalties should this become a repetitive issue from a player.

Let me know if you have any feedback!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty: Basic

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