Card effects all have certain speeds. This determines when they can be played and which effect can be "chained" to another .
When a card effect (be it Spell, Trap or Monster) is activated, the other player has the chance to "chain" onto this by activating their own card effects. You can only 'chain' if the 'spell speed' of the card effect you are chaining with is equal to or greater than the effect you are chaining onto. Once no one who is playing wants to chain onto the most recently activated effect, the effects are resolved, in reverse order.
- Player one: Attacks "Elemental Hero Sparkman" with "Blue Eyes White Dragon"
- Player two: Activates the Trap Card "Sakuretsu Armor"
- Player one: Chains with the Counter trap card "Dark Bribe"
- Player two: Chains with the Counter trap card "Seven Tools of the Bandit", by paying the cost of 1,000 Life Points.
- Neither player wishes to respond.
- First, "Seven Tools of the Bandit" resolves. Player two negates "Dark Bribe".
- "Dark Bribe" cannot activate, because it has been negated.
- "Sakuretsu Armor" resolves, destroying "Blue Eyes White Dragon".
- Finally, "Blue Eyes White Dragon" can no longer attack, because it has been destroyed.
- Spell Speed 1 cards can ordinarily only be played during the turn of the player who controls the card. Comprises Spell cards (excluding Quick Play) and Monster Effects (excluding Quick Effect Monster cards)
- Spell Speed 2 cards can be played in any turn, and can be activated in response to either Spell Speed 1 or 2. Comprises Quick Play spells and Normal/Continuous traps and Quick Effect Monster Cards.
- Spell Speed 3 cards are only Counter trap cards. They can be activated in response to either Spell Speed 1, 2, or 3.