A logic game is a puzzle that tests your ability to make logical inferences. Each LSAT analytical reasoning section is made up of four logic games. Some games are harder than others, and there are numerous different types of logic games that you could encounter of the LSAT. However, all LSAT logic games have the same three main components: the scenario, the rules, and the questions.
Logic game scenarios lay the groundwork of the puzzle you are going to solve. The scenario also tells you what variables you will work with in the game. A scenario might look something like this:
Ann, Bethany, Charlie, Ellen, Gertrude, and Juan occupy 6 spots in a line to purchase tickets for a musical. Each person occupies a spot in line, and no person occupies more than one spot. There are only six spots in the line.
You now know what your logic game variables are (Ann, Bethany, Charlie, Ellen, Gertrude, and Juan) and that the variables are arranged in a line. Variables are also called “game pieces.” In the game scenario above, you will likely be asked to determine which game pieces could be in various spots in line. But in order to do that, you will need some rules to follow.
In logic games, the rules are your friends. The rules make it possible for you to answer the questions below, and the more rules you have to work with, the more inferences you can typically make in advance (more on this later). The rules look something like this:
The following conditions apply: Charlie is standing in front of Gertrude. Charlie is not first in line. Gertrude stands directly behind Juan. Ellen is not last in line.
From the rules, you can draw inferences. Logic games inferences are hidden rules that must be true. You are never directly told an inference; you must find inferences by thinking logically. For instance, from the rules given above you can determine the following:
1. Charlie is standing in front of Gertrude. (First rule)
2. Gertrude stands directly behind Juan. (Third rule)
3. Charlie must be standing in front of both Juan and Gertrude. (Inference)
The first two statements are rules. The third is an inference that you can know by thinking about the first two rules. If Charlie is somewhere before Gertrude in line (C – G) and Gertrude is directly behind Juan (JG), then Charlie must be standing in front of Juan (C – JG). Inferences like this one are useful when you approach the logic games questions.
A logic game question might look something like this:
If Charlie is fourth in line, then which of the following must be false? A. Juan is fifth in line. B. Ellen is first in line. C. Bethany is second in line. D. Gertrude is third in line. E. Gertrude is behind Ellen.
The question requires you to not only look at the rules but to make an inference from the rules. In this case, the inference is the one we just saw above: “Charlie must be standing in front of both Juan and Gertrude.” So if Charlie is fourth in line (out of only 6 spots), the fifth and sixth spots must be taken up by Juan and Gertrude respectively. Answer D then must be false, and is therefore the correct answer.
When working through a logic game, you always begin with the scenario. You then move to the rules, where you make inferences. Finally, you answer the questions.