You’ve got questions, hopefully we have the answers.
When are cards in hand counted? If an opponent plays a card, you may play a spectacle in response and cards are counted as if the card they just played was in their hand. (Talk of the Universe, 3-13-19 @ 1:04)
Can flip competitors start on either side? No. Flip characters must start on the side with the flip gimmick.
Gimmick can only trigger once a turn.
SRG Universe Events
Grim and GM Calace competitors are not allowed to compete.