divider faq
Q: Whats the main difference rules wise between ARG and Official Tournaments ?

We follow all official rules but we've also added a few of the following:

-ARG Format  ARGformat3 Our own Banned & Restricted List of cards  which you build you deck and compete at each Circuit Series.

-Players MAY intentionally draw a match with in the first 3 minutes of any round.

-Players MAY take notes on what a duelist searches out of their deck, keep track of mandatory effects, and contents of a duelist’s hand.

-Players MAY screenshot foreign card translations and may only use their phone to go directly to those photo's if opponent or judge requires a translation

-Higher Seed player has the choice to go first or second.  Through the entire Top Cut playoff.

-Best 3 out 5 Grand Finals.

-Players may not enter into a Gentleman's Agreement.

Q: How will I be able to determine the amount of time left in the round or when the next round will begin?

The large digital clock at the main event stage/ judge station will countdown the official time.  If for any reason you cannot determine the amount of time left in a round please as a tournament official.   For the beginning of the next round we suggest that you should always plan for the next round to begin immediately after the current round comes to an end.

Q: Time has run out in the round, and Im still playing what do I do? (Swiss Rounds)

There is going to be times in the tournament where time has run out in the round and you are still going to be playing your match. When this situation happens the duelists should note who’s turn it is and call a judge over. The judge will then come over and explain our end of match procedures, the judge may or may not stay to watch the match but will make sure both players understand the following procedure:

-Play will continue until the of the current duelists turn.

-If that duelist does NOT win the match during that turn the match will then go into “Extra Turns.”

-Extra Turns, The two duelists will then play Five (5) more turns starting on the next turn.

-If either duelist’s life points are reduced to zero (0) during the five turns the duel ends as normal.

-If neither an automatic win condition or a duelist’s life points are reduced to zero then the duelist with the highest life point total at the conclusion of the fifth turn will be declared the winner of that game.

-At the conclusion of the duel the duelist who has won more games will be declared the winner of the match.

-If both duelists have won exactly one game the match will be considered a draw.

- If time is called before a duel begins (Still side-decking or BEFORE opening hands have been drawn) the duelist with the more duel wins will be considered to have won the match, if each duelist has won a duel during match will be considered a draw.

-In our top cut portion of the tournament, our rounds will be UNTIMED, so there is no end of match procedure for that part of our tournament, play will continue until an automatic win condition has been met or a duelists life points have reached zero (0).

Q: How do I sign up for an event, do you have preregistration?

Registering for our events is made easy.  You can simply show up before registration ends and sign in at the registration area.  If you like to guarantee a spot and not stand in line you can simply visit our website for a link to pay with a credit card, pay pal or store credit.  Unfortunately Side events are not eligible for preregistration.   There is no limit on the number of players who can preregister.  The latest you can preregister for an event is 11:59PM EDT on the preceding Friday.

Q: Once I have preregistered for an event and I cannot attend will I get a refund?

If you are unable to attend or need to cancel for any reason, please email to arrange for a refund, no later then 11:59PM EDT the preceding Friday.

Q: What exactly is a Swiss-system tournament?

A Swiss-system tournament is a tournament format involving several rounds of competition with the winners are the players with the highest aggregate of points earned from each round. Players meet one to one in each round and are paired using a pre-determined formula to match players with similar skill (though they may paired by random draw). A Swiss tournament consists of a predetermined number of rounds. All players play in each round unless an odd number of players are available during a certain round. No players are ever eliminated from a tournament based on performance in previous rounds.

Q: How do I know who I play and table assignment?

Pairings will be posted at the beginning of each round.  Pairings will be in alphabetical order by last name, where you will find your table number and your opponent.  Once you find your table and opponent be sure to verify your opponent by name to assure you are playing the correct person.  If you check the pairings and you do not see your name seek out a tournament official immediately.

Q: What happens if my opponent or I am late to our match?

It is both player's responsibility to be at the correct table/seat at the beginning of the round.  If tardy at 3 minutes  player will receive a game loss, if 10 minutes will be given match loss and dropped from the tournament.  If you are dropped from the round it will be your responsibility to check with the scorekeeper to see if you can be reinstated into the main event.

Q: What Sleeves can I use?

Any sleeves with noticeable patterns or wear may be subject to penalties. Sleeves with highly reflective backs are not allowed.  All sleeves must be identical in terms of color, wear, and design, and all cards must be placed into sleeves in the same direction and manner.  Players may not “double sleeve” their decks.  If a player chooses to use sleeves, they may only have one sleeve per card.  Sleeves with excessive wear, noticeable patterns, or other identifying characteristics may be disallowed by the Head Judge/Event Staff.  If you still have a question about the legality of your sleeves, the Head Judge is the final arbiter as to whether or not your sleeves can be used in that tournament.

Q: Should I keep track of my score?

Players in premier YGO tournaments MUST keep a record of both players’ Life Points (8000) for each game.   In the case of a discrepancy, judges will be more likely to side with the player who has the more reliable record for the game.  It is a player's responsibility to provide a pen and paper to track this information.  ARG Pens and ARG score pads are usually available at Alter Reality events for $1.00 while supplies last.

Q: If have a rules question or problem during my match what should I do?

Raise your hand and yell "Judge".  Keep your hand raised and call for a judge till you make contact with one do not depend on your opponent or anyone else to answer your question.

If you do not agree with the “Floor Judge’s,” ruling the duelist has the right to appeal the ruling, in that case the “Head Judge,” or “Assistant Head Judge,” will then come over and their ruling will be final at that point and an appropriate time extension will be awarded.

Q: Are there rules or a best way to shuffle?

A player’s Deck must be randomized by using an accepted shuffling method (riffle, pile, Hindu, etc.) and then cut. This must be done at the start of every game, and whenever a game mechanic requires the player to shuffle their Deck. Each player must thoroughly randomize (shuffle) their Deck where the opponent can see.

-A player cannot check or order the cards when shuffling

-A player cannot pre-sort their Deck (sorting Monsters/Spell/Trap, etc.)

After the Deck is thoroughly randomized, it must be presented to the opponent. The opponent must randomize (shuffle) the Deck further and then return it to the original owner. The owner may then “cut” their Deck. If they do, they must present it to the opponent who must “cut” the Deck again and then present it back to the original owner. No additional randomization may be done to the Deck after this point. By presenting your Deck to your opponent, you agree that you have sufficiently randomized your Deck.

Q: Do other player's really mark cards?

A card is considered to be marked if it can be identified without seeing the front of the card. This includes warping, discoloration, and water-marks, or if the cards are sleeved, sleeves with identifying marks or other unique characteristics that separate it from other cards in the Deck. If players are using sleeves to protect their cards, they should take extra precautions to ensure that their sleeves do not become marked during the course of a tournament. The Head Judge may require a player to re-sleeve their Deck should they feel that the sleeves are marked. The Head Judge may require a player to replace a marked card(s) during the course of a tournament. If the player cannot replace the card(s) before their next match begins, appropriate tardiness penalties at three minutes and ten minutes will begin to apply, as the player no longer has a Deck that matches their registered Deck list. If they cannot replace the card(s), or choose not to replace the card by the 10-minute mark in the match, they will be marked as a no-show and dropped from the tournament. If the player does not wish to drop from the tournament, they must notify the scorekeeper.

Q: I'm going to lose, can I offer my opponent something to concede?

No.  Offering your opponent anything (money, cards, gifts, etc.) in exchange for a concession is considered bribery and is against tournament policy.  If a player accepts a bribe in exchange for a concession, deliberately losing a Match, falsifying a Match Result Slip, misrepresenting the game state, etc.  Players found to be offering or accepting bribes will be disqualified from the event, and any prize they may have won will be donated to a charity of ARG’s (Alter Reality Games) choice.

Q: I don't have a chance, can I concede to my opponent?

Yes. A player may concede a game at any time, provided he or she has not been offered or has accepted any sort of compensation for doing so. Players who concede in exchange for cash, prizes, or other incentives are guilty of Bribery and Collusion, which will result in disqualification from the tournament and subject to further penalties.

Q: Will there be side events?

Yes, a schedule will be posted by the scorekeeper for the side-events for the day.

Q: Why do you want me to register my deck list?

It allows our event staff and tournament judges to verify that every player is abiding by the tournament rules and some deck list will be published by Alter Reality Games on our various social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc.)

Q: What if Ive lost my ID or am too young to have one?

Check with the tournament staff, photo ID must be provided if you have made the top cut of the tournament. If no photo ID is presented it may prevent the awarding of any prizes won at the event.

Q: How many rounds?

The number of rounds played in a ARG Circuit Series tournament is based on the total number of players enrolled in the event.

4 – 8 Players = 3 Rounds of Swiss followed by a cut to Top 2

9 – 16 Players = 4 Rounds of Swiss followed by a cut to Top 4

17 – 32 Players = 5 Rounds of Swiss followed by a cut to Top 4

33 – 64 Players = 6 Rounds of Swiss followed by a cut to Top 8

65 – 128 Players = 7 Rounds of Swiss followed by a cut to Top 8

129 – 256 Players = 8 Rounds of Swiss followed by a cut to Top 8

257 – 512 Players = 9 Rounds of Swiss followed by a cut to Top 16

513 – 1024 Players = 10 Rounds of Swiss followed by a cut to Top 16

1025 – 2050 Players = 11 Rounds of Swiss followed by a cut to Top 32

2051 or More Players = 12 Rounds of Swiss followed by a cut to Top 32

Q: Does ARG publish tournament info?

ARG reserves the right to publish event information such as a player’s Deck List, photographs, interviews

or video reproduction of any Alter Reality Games event or tournament.

Q: How should a player behave at an ARG event?

Players are expected to be respectful and behave in a polite manner towards all tournament attendees, players, judges, tournament officials, and spectators. Players who engage in unsporting conduct or behavior that endangers or detracts from the event, will be removed from the venue.  Showing up wearing clothing which features inappropriate/offensive language and/or imagery may also result in these same penalties being applied.  Players are also expected to clean up after themselves. Penalties may be applied against any player who deliberately makes a mess of an event facility.

Q: Can I trade cards with other players?

Yes, you can trade with other players in the main event or side events.  Buying, selling, soliciting with anyone other then a vendor is strictly forbidden at all Alter Reality Games events.  Failure to follow this rule will result in both buyer and seller being removed from the event and may be banned from future Alter Reality Games events.  We do have a list of players who are known to buy, sell and solicit at other events we will be mindful of such persons and evict such without any hesitation.  Alter Reality Games does have the right to limit the amount of space or occupied by any one while trading.  Only one bag will be allowed, preferably a book bag and Alter Reality Games ban suitcase, oversize bags, hand and luggage carts etc for the purpose of concealing and transporting of excessive amounts of trade products.

Q: So Ive made the top 16 now what?

First off, congratulations on making the top cut at an ARG Circuit Series. At the conclusion of the swiss rounds, the head judge will read off the top 16 players in order of their finish after the swiss rounds. Then the top 16 players will come back and play off for a championship on Sunday. You will be paired off where the top seed will play the bottom seed (1st will play 16) (2nd will play 15) etc. Before starting your top cut match you will be deck checked, and re-sleeve your main and side deck so, there’s no discrepancy in marked cards etc.

Q: Ive Made the Top 4, when will I get my Check?

We here at ARG have taken the next step by providing feature matches with streamed live video along with recordings that get posted the following days after the event. So to protect the integrity of the game and the tournament any player that makes the top 4 of any ARG Circuit Series will have their check mailed 14 days after the event after the posting of the videos to make sure all plays were legal, and no forms of cheating had occurred during those matches, and any other feature match that the player may have had during the swiss rounds of the tournament. Any player found to have cheated, will be subject to having their prize money revoked and subsequently donated to a charity of ARG’s choosing.

Q: What is Acceptable Behavior at a Circuit Series?

Q. What is Acceptable Behavior at a Circuit Series?

Good sportsmanship and conduct is required at all times from all parties. Acts of poor sportsmanship, inappropriate conduct, and offensive language may result in disciplinary action up to and including banning from  Circuit Series events and removal from the venue and possible suspension from all events.

Alter Reality Games further reserves the right to refuse service or admittance to and Circuit Series event. Also has the right to remove anyone from any Circuit Series event, at any time for any reason or no reason, to the extent permitted by law.

Aggressive behavior will, at no time, be tolerated at events. Anyone exhibiting such behavior will be removed from the event immediately without hesitation.

Q: What is your prize distribution policy?

Players winning prizes at events you will be required to fill out the appropriate tax form in order to receive your prize.  The following information will also be required.

  • Full Legal Name
  • E-Mail Address
  • Full Mailing Address
  • Social Security Number

There are three ways that players can receive prizes from ARG.

  1. All Top 4 prizes are sent as a check to the address player submitted on their tax form within fourteen (14) days of the event.
  2. Prizes for 9th - 32nd are available to be collected at the conclusion of the event in cash.  To do this, the player must submit tax information or have it on file.
  3. Any player may elect to take 125% of the cash value of their prize as store credit.