(うら) (がわ) (ひょう) ()

Japanese (ruby)


Japanese (base text)


Japanese (romanized)

Uragawa Hyōji



Face-down ( (うら) (がわ) (ひょう) () Uragawa Hyōji) is a position in which a card's backing is visible; as the term "face-down" suggests, the card's face is placed against the playing surface, preventing it from being seen. This is the opposite of face-up.

Face-down cards have no properties (name, Attribute, Type, Level/Rank, ATK, DEF, effect) until they are changed to face-up. A face-down card being looked at or revealed is still considered face-down (although its properties can be determined by card effects while being revealed) and is returned to its original position once the player(s) have finished viewing it.

In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, small orbs with glowing red eyes appear on top of face-down monsters.

In the Decks

Each player's Main and Extra Deck is placed face-down in their respective zone at the start of each game. Cards in the Main deck are always face-down, unless stated otherwise

Face-down cards in the Extra Deck can be looked at by their possessor at any time, but cannot be looked at by their opponent.

Summoning a Pendulum Monster from Extra Deck

Extra Deck Pendulum Monsters (Fusion, Synchro, Xyz/Pendulum) can be summoned by its own mechanic only while face-down in the Extra Deck, and cannot be Pendulum Summoned.

On the field

During a game, cards are normally placed face-down by Setting them. Face-down cards on the field can be looked at by their controller at any time, but cannot be looked at by their opponent, unless stated otherwise.

Face-down cards on the field can be flipped face-up. (Flip Summon for monster and Activation for Spell/Trap cards, in general cases) However, face-up cards cannot be Flipped face-down, unless an effect specifically states so.

Monster Cards

Face Down Defense Position

A horizontal face-down card, specifically face-down defense position monster card

Monster Cards can be placed on the field in face-down Defense Position, generally by Normal Set (it is not possible for monsters to be in face-down Attack Position, post errata of "Darkness Approaches"). Some effects may Special Summon face-down, but only if a card states explicitly that it can do so. In some video games, card effects that Special Summon multiple monsters face-down also shuffle them on the same side of the field.

Face-down Monster Cards cannot be equipped with Equip Cards; if a monster equipped with an Equip Card(s) is flipped face-down, the Equip Card(s) equipped to that flipped monster is destroyed.

Link Monsters cannot be placed face-down.

Spell/Trap Cards

Spell and Trap Cards can be Set in the Spell & Trap Zones or the Field Zone (in the case of Field Spell Cards). Quick-Play Spell Cards and Trap Cards cannot be activated during the turn they are Set. Pendulum Monsters cannot be played face-down in Pendulum Zones.

Info on cards affected by Flipping face-down

When a card stops being face-up, in this case, because of being flipped face-down, it will lose some specific information/applications on it[1].

Info lost

  • Whether if it was placed on the field by specific method or not (Special Summoned by certain effect, Tributing a certain monster for Tribute Summon, etc).
  • Any previously applied effects.
  • Its place before being summoned/placed on the field.

Info not lost

Monster cards
  • Material used for its Summon.
  • Its time of Summon.


Some card effects can banish cards face-down. Cards that are banished face-down can be looked at by their possessor at any time, but cannot be looked at by their opponent. However, the number of banished cards (including face-down banished cards) is public knowledge.


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