Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play The Mind Extreme Board Game. This is an adaption of the original and widely popular “The Mind” cooperative card game that makes things more “extreme” by having piles that need to ascend and descend, not just one that ascends. It is certainly a tad more difficult, but it is just a different and wholly unique experience from the original. You could easily own both titles. Mind Extreme is for 2 – 4 players at ages 8+. The rules for how to play The Mind Extreme are so easy that they fit on a small sheet.

FOR MORE: The Mind Extreme Page | The Mind Extreme Review | Games Like The Mind Extreme | Buy The Mind Extreme on Amazon


The basic rules of the original “The Mind” game are the same. In the first round (level 1) everyone gets one card, in the second round (level 2) everyone gets 2 cards, etc. Everyone is on the same team and tries to lay all the cards they receive correctly in the middle of the table. There is no player order. Anyone who wants to lay a card, simply lays it. The big hook is now there is not one stack in the middle but two at the same time. The stack with the white numbers is ascending (1-50), the stack with the red numbers is descending (50-1). In some levels the cards even have to be laid face down in the middle of the table, which makes the collective sense of time even more challenging.

The team gets a certain number of lives and throwing stars, which are placed face up next to each other on the table. The remaining lives and throwing stars are put aside at the edge of the table. They may be needed later. Now a certain number of level cards are stacked one on top of the other ascending and placed as a face up stack next to the lives and throwing stones (with level 1 at the very top). Unused levels are placed in the box. Each level gets more difficult and you need to make it through everything to win.


Time Needed: Approximately 20 minutes.

This is a step by step guide for how to play The Mind Extreme the interesting and unique co-op card game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.

1. SETUP | Shuffle Number Deck
Shuffle the white 1-50 and red 1-50 all together to make one face down, randomized deck.

2. SETUP | Determine Life and Level
Depending on the number of players in the game, you will have a different goal to meet in terms of levels to get through and the amount of life you have (mistakes you can make). See Player Count Rules below but for example, in a 3 player game you need to make it through 10 of the 12 levels and you start with 3 lives to do it.

3. SETUP | Put Out Life, Level & Star Cards
The final step of how to play The Mind Extreme setup before getting into gameplay is to put out the auxiliary cards. Set the determined levels aside (in order, with “level 1” on top) and put the remainder back in the box. Give yourself the correct cards for lives and throwing stars, but set those extras aside as you can earn them after certain levels.

4. GAMEPLAY | Play Structure
The way turns go is everyone plays at the same time, no set structure. In each round, everyone gets a certain number of cards and everyone need to get all the cards out of their hand to successfully complete a “round”. There are piles in the center that will have a card showing, you need to place white cards in ascending order on them and red cards in descending order on that stack. Players need to do this without talking so they need to rely on nonverbal communication and a little statistical hedging. If they screw up, they lose a life, and they can use star bonuses to get around having to make a move.

5. GAMEPLAY | Round Setup
The game is played in rounds (anywhere from 8 – 12) and each round is its own minigame that just gets increasingly harder. You need to go through one (starting with “round 1”) and then complete it in order to move onto the next (round 2). To start a round, you reset the middle stacks and you deal out cards. The number of cards is equal to the round, so in round 1, each player gets 1 card, in round 2, everyone gets 2 cards and so on.

6. GAMEPLAY | Playing in Round
A round starts when everyone signals they are ready, which is done by placing a hand down in the center of the table. Once this happens, the stacks in the middle start with nothing so it is up to the player that thinks they have the lowest card (if you have a white 1, for example, you know you are in good shape) to start. Then other players need to decide if they think it is their turn to play. This is either going to work out or get screwed up, right away. If you screw up you lose a life and start again, if you make it you move to the next round.

7. GAMEPLAY | Using A Throwing Star
Any player can suggest activating a throwing star by raising their hand at any time during a level. If all players agree, the throwing star is used. All players secretly choose either their lowest white or highest red card in their hand. Each player then simultaneously reveals their card in front of them. After players have a chance to see what players throughout, players reset by putting their hands in the middle and play resumes.

8. GAMEPLAY | Beating a Round
If all players successfully get rid of all the cards in their hands while following all rules, they beat it. After this is done you reset and move to the next round but you might also receive a BONUS item. If there is a symbol on the bottom left of the round card (like life or star) you get that resource when you beat the round. Add it to your supply once this happens. You then move on to round set up in the same way that all others are setup.

9. WINNING | Make It Through All Rounds
You either win together or you all lose. If you make it through all levels successfully without completely running out of life, you win, otherwise, you have failed.



Based on the number of players, you have different levels to get through, number of lives and bonus throwing stars. Here is the chart below, take the number of players you have and use these parameters for your game:

2 Players: Level 1-12 | 2 Lives | 1 Throwing Star
3 Players: Level 1-10 | 3 Lives | 1 Throwing Star
4 Players: Level 1-8 | 4 Lives | 1 Throwing Star


  • 100x Number Cards (White Cards 1 – 50, Red Cards 1 – 50)
  • 12x Level Cards
  • 5x Life Cards
  • 3x Throwing Star Cards
  • 1x Rules Pamphlet


We hope you can now say you know how to play The Mind Extreme. This very light and portable cooperative card game with communication barriers is very genius and with the exception of its sibling game “The Mind”, there is nothing quite like it. This appears to be a numbers puzzle game on the surface but at the end of the day it is all about communication. Sure you should be thinking about statistical probability (how likely is it that another player has a card 26 – 32, for example) but you win games by knowing those subtle non verbal cues of your fellow players and really getting into a groove with them. Now that you know the step-by-step rules to how to play The Mind Extreme, get out there and check it out for yourself!