Few games can look as intimidating as Sequence. But don’t worry, this game, while by no means simple, isn’t quite as complicated as you might think. If you want to learn how to play Sequence, then our in-depth guide can help.
We’ll look at everything you need to know, including the rules, game variants, and all the equipment you need to play.
What is Sequence?
Sequence is rather unusual as it uses playing cards, poker chips, and a game board. The board itself is pretty big as well, so it’s easy to see why this game can appear a little intimidating. It’s officially called an abstract strategy card game.
So, if you are a fan of more complicated, strategy games then Sequence could be for you. Sequence was created by Douglas Reuter, during the 1970s. However, it wasn’t till 1982 that the game was released by Jax Ltd.
The game is still available through Jax Ltd today. Which, given the history of many other board games is quite surprising. This brings us nicely to the next point, what you’ll need to play Sequence.
What You’ll Need
To play Sequence you’ll need a Sequence set. These sets will include a game board, a deck of cards, and poker chips. There are actually a number of different themed Sequence sets available as well.
It doesn’t rival the number of themed Monopoly sets available. But you’ll find junior/ kids versions, variants that swap out playing cards for letters or numbers, and even a version that uses dice.
However, due to the complicated nature of Sequence, we strongly recommend sticking to the standard/ traditional set. The product below gives you a great example of what to look out for.
The Sequence Board
The game board in Sequence is incredibly large. It shows two of nearly every playing card. The only cards not shown on the board are the Jacks and the Jokers. Jacks still have an important part in the game though.
A standard Sequence board will come with two decks of playing cards. You should make sure the Joker cards are removed from each deck before dealing. The 2 decks should be kept separate and shuffled independently before playing.
The Poker Chips
You will get 135 poker ships in your Sequence set. These are divided into three separate colors red, blue, and green. They’ll be 50 green chips, 50 blue chips, and 35 red chips. Red chips are only used if three teams are playing. Each team can only use their chosen color of chips during gameplay as well.
Sequence Rules and Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
When it comes to learning how to play Sequence it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But the aim of the game is quite simple, you need to form row/s of poker chips on the board. A complete row will need 5 chips.
The place you put chips will correspond to the cards you have in your hand. Now, of course, things aren’t quite that simple. We have a lot more to talk about when it comes to learning how to play Sequence.
Sequence is an unusual game, because it can be played with between 2 to 12 people. However, if more than 3 people are playing then players will need to play in teams. Also, Sequence can only really be played (under traditional rules) with numbers of people that are divisible by 2 or 3.
This means it can only be played with 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, or 12 people. The number of players you have will also affect how many cards people are dealt as well. To understand how this works, check out the table below.
|No. of Players||No. of Teams||No. of Cards|
|6||2 or 3||5|
|8||2 or 3||4|
This isn’t the only difference though. If you are playing with 2 players or teams then you will need to complete 2 sequences to win. If you are playing with 3 players or teams then you only need to complete 1 sequence to win.
Once all the teams/ players are ready, you are almost ready to play. But, you first need to decide which player/ team goes first. To do this, each player should take a single card from the shuffled deck in the center.
The player who gets the lowest card will become the dealer. They’ll then deal out cards to the players. Remember, the number of cards dealt will depend on the number of players. Each team/ player will then choose a color of poker chips.
The red poker chips are only used if there are 3 teams/ players. The player to the left of the dealer will go first. Now, to find out exactly how to play and win, read on.
Building A Sequence
Winning Sequence might sound quite simple at first glance. Players simply need to build a row of 5 poker chips. You do this by choosing a card from your hand, then placing a chip on that corresponding card on the board.
Once you have played your card and placed a chip, you need to discard the card you played. You’ll also need to pick up another card from the deck as well. If you fail to do this before the next player takes their turn then you can’t go back and draw one.
This means you’ll have fewer cards than the other players. This can leave you at a considerable disadvantage in Sequence. While these are the fundamentals of the game, there is still more to learn.
The Jack Cards
Jacks are the only cards (aside from Jokers) not on the Sequence board. However, getting dealt a Jack isn’t a bad thing. In fact, Jacks are quite useful in Sequence. Jack cards come in two different forms. Two-eyed Jacks can represent any card on the board, so you can use them to place a chip on any space.
One-eyed Jacks can be used to remove another player/ team’s poker chip. However, you can only remove chips in non-completed Sequences. So, it’s best to use one-eyed Jacks quickly, as once a Sequence is complete, it can’t be undone.
Dead cards are cards that have no open space on the board. Basically, if you are dealt a card you can’t play, it’s a dead card. If this happens then you can discard the card and then take a replacement from the deck. You have to announce you are doing this beforehand though.
Winning The Game
To win Sequence players/ teams need to build the required number of Sequences. Once a player/ team does this, they win. Remember, under traditional rules, players can’t converse with each other during the game. If they do, then that player/ team will need to forfeit a card from their hand.
Sequence – A Challenging Strategy Game
So, that’s everything you need to know about how to play Sequence. It’s a challenging game that is both a fun card game and a board game. It’s definitely got a learning curve and will require some practice. But it’s a fun game anyone can enjoy.