Published in 1995 by Jax Ltd, the Sequence board game uses both cards and tokens during gameplay, using two standard 52-card playing card decks, except for the Jacks. Admittedly, this feels like a game that has gone a bit under the radar for me.
Maybe it’s the simplistic look of it all, the basic text, coloring, and layout. I’d have thought it was a text book. But the statements on the front saying it’s fun, challenging and exciting grabbed my interest, plus its recommended by Bill Barrett, so upon inspecting the details, this is set up to be a must have, right?
In any case the intrigue is there, and maybe it’s a new look at playing with a deck of cards that is for the whole family. Or maybe at best it’s a new drinking game? Let’s find out.
What Do You Get?
- 104 Sequence Cards
- 50 Green Marker Chips
- 50 Blue Marker Chips
- 35 Red Marker Chips
- Game Board
How Do You Set It Up?
Any number from 2 to 12 that is divisible by 2 or 3 can play (2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10 or 12). Up to 3 may play individually. More than 3 must be in teams. No more than teams can play.
- Place the game board on a flat surface with enough room around the game board for placement of the draw deck of cards, marker chips and discards for each player.
- For 2 players or 2 teams: Team players must be evenly divided into two teams. Team members must alternate their physical positions with opponents around the playing surface.
- For 3 players or 3 teams: Team players must divide evenly into three teams. Team members must alternate their physical positions every third player around the playing surface.
- Players cut cards and lowest card deals – Aces are high. The dealer should shuffle the cards and deal out the same number of cards to each player (see list below for proper number of cards to be dealt). Be sure all members of a team use the same colour marker chips.
Number of cards dealt for each player:
- For 2 players 7 cards each
- For 3 players 6 cards each
- For 4 players 6 cards each
- For 6 players 5 cards each
- For 8 players 4 cards each
- For 9 players 4 cards each
- For 10 players 3 cards each
- For 12 players 3 cards each
When two players or teams are playing, use only blue and green marker chips. Red chips are used only when there is a third player or third team. Joker card are not used in the play of the Sequence game.
How Do You Play?
Object Of The Game:
For 2 players or 2 teams: One player or team must score two Sequences before their opponents.
For 3 players or 3 teams: One player or team must score one Sequence before their opponents.
A sequence: A connected series of five of the same colored chip either up or down, across or diagonally on the playing surface.
There are printed chips in the four corners of the game board. All players must use them as though their colour marker chip is in the corner. When using a corner, only four of your marker chips are needed to complete a Sequence. More than one player may use the same corner as part of a Sequence.
Beginning with the player to the left of the dealer and moving in a clockwise direction, each player selects a card of their choice from their hand and places it face-up on a discard pile (players should start their own discard pile in front of them visible to all other players) and they place one of their marker chips on the matching card on the game board.
Each card is pictured twice on the game board. Jacks do not appear on the game board. A player can play on either one of the card spaces as long as it is not already covered by another marker chip. Once a marker chip has been played, it cannot be removed by an opponent except when using a one-eyed Jack as explained below.
There are 8 Jacks in the card deck. The 4 Jacks with two eyes are wild. To play a two-eyed Jack, place it on your discard pole and place one of your marker chips on any open space on the game board. The 4 Jacks with one eye are anti-wild. To play a one-eyed Jack, place it on your discard pile and remove one marker chip from the game board belonging to your opponent.
That completes your turn. You cannot place one of your marker chips on that same space during this turn. You cannot remove a marker chip that is already part of a completed Sequence. Once a Sequence is achieved by a player or a team, it cannot be broken. You may play either one of the Jacks whenever they work best for your strategy, during your turn.
If you hold a card in your hand which does not have an open space on the game board because both spaces representing that card are covered by a marker chip, you are holding a Dead Card and you may turn it in for a new card. When it is your turn, place the Dead Card on your discard pile, announce that you are turning in Dead Card and take a replacement card (one card per turn). You then proceed to play your normal turn.
Loss of Card
Once you have taken your turn and placed your marker chip on the game board, you must take a card from the draw deck. If you fail to take a card before the next player makes a move and takes their card, you lose the right to take a card and you must finish the game with less cards than the other players – a disadvantage.
There must be no table talk or coaching team members. If a teammate says anything that alerts a fellow teammate to the fact they are about to do something that they shouldn’t, every member of that team must forfeit one card of their choice from their hand placing it on their discard pile.
When the draw deck becomes depleted during play, all discard piles are shuffled together to create a new draw deck.
Play continues in a clockwise direction until one player or team scores the required number of Sequences, at which point that player or team wins the game. If you are playing the game which requires two Sequences to win, you may use any one of the spaces from your first Sequence as part of your second.
Pros Of The Game
- Easy to learn and replay able for some
- Invokes strategy and focused gameplay
- Can be played by all ages above roughly 10
- Flexible on number of players, from two to groups
- Good game time and provides competition
- Interesting elements like the one-eyed and two-eyed Jacks
Cons Of The Game
- Some people have received the game in poor quality or with missing pieces
- Can be dull and repetitive for some
- Includes a large sum of luck, depending if you are ok with that
- Not visually appealing, some people have found printing issues on the board and pieces
- No table talk allowed, depends if you like to socialize during a game
Should You Get Sequence?
A fusion of bingo and poker, Sequence is for ages 10 and up, but I reckon ages a couple years younger would still be able to grasp it and work out the strategy side of things if they focus, some might not. Fun for all ages above this, it gives varying difficulty and brings out your tactical side.
It fluctuates on how many people you feel comfortable playing with, you might prefer larger groups of three, or just two or three people. Either way it’s good for quiet game nights and larger gatherings, though I wouldn’t think of this as a contender for parties.
Easy to learn, I think an hour of gameplay is an asset to the game, any longer and it might drag out. A sitting of 3 to 4 rounds is suitable to keep everyone’s attention.
Many have found this to be a favourite in their households. What forms the strategy here is not only do you need to create a 5-card sequence, but you can also place chips to block other players. There are also twists with the one-eye Jacks which can remove a chip from your opponents’ sequence, and the two-eye Jacks which allow you to place your chip anywhere one the board, to keep things interesting.
Now although there is strategy here, there is a good chunk of luck, some even say there is more luck than strategy. Namely because of the Jack’s domination of the game affecting players sequences or you simply just draw a sequence of numbers where your opponent might not. If this is off-putting to you, your level of fun might be hindered. If you can get past this and get into it, you can have a good time.
It looks basic, but it has an approachable feel when it comes to set-up and intricacy compared to games with huge instruction manuals. It’s not defined as a light game, but it’s not heavy either, more down the middle.
Kids to grandparents can find fun with this game, plus for what it’s worth I can see it being passed down from generation to generation within certain families.
The manufacturer gave poor quality control to Sequence’s components. For some, the card symbols on the white tiles are off-centred by half an inch and trail off onto the board, the same for the print on the cards themselves being cut-off.
Also, with the later games the tokens are not even two-sided, so you can’t flip them over to freeze them, though some make do by marking the bottom of the chips with stickers or a marker. These don’t affect gameplay, and these aren’t the case for everyone, but corners are cut into producing less impressive pieces and boards.
I don’t know how the quality of the game can be so poor for many people receiving it by delivery. There’s been complaints of the cards, chip bags, board and box being dirty, colored chips missing, various cards missing or decks as a whole not there and the box being torn. It makes you wonder if these were second hand.
Damages and missing pieces can make the game as a whole unplayable and deserves refunds. Things happen, but it seems with Sequence in particular this is re-occurring and needs to be looked at if they want all-round satisfaction.
There’s good variability provided for all learning levels. Kids can learn and become proficient with some tactic ability, and it flexes between a challenge for advanced players and ease-in play for newer players.
The replay ability of the Sequence board game is interestingly quite stretched. Some are hooked on the fun and are learning more each time they play, enjoying the twists and turns. Others lose interest fast and find it repetitive, as well as dull since there is no table talk allowed, even with the varied difficulty features, figuring it would be better for 2 players who can be more strategic, rather than many who take turns whilst playing the game in silence.
I can see why the no table talk rule makes the game less enjoyable, it’s understandable considering the rules but you have to ensure you are in the right mind-set to play it. Kids might lose interest because of this but as I mentioned others can get into it and learn some stuff. Easy-going casual play has little room here and ensures you focus on what’s going on the whole game. There is a jumbo edition for larger groups which can help, just know what you’re getting into, it’s all game from here, which helps make winning much more gratifying if you’re in the zone.
Some groups work around this, being able to chat outside of the game whilst waiting for their turn, dropping in and out, which can be fine if you know how the game works and can just jump in at any point. Though you have to wonder how brief your break period is and if it’s worth leaving the table at all.
All in all, Sequence is an easy to get into, strategy and luck mixture game which requires you to focus and use your head in a unique format using playing cards. This is certainly a game that differs between peoples tastes. Players who don’t mind not talking, don’t mind luck, can envelop strategy skills whilst facing some competitiveness and randomness from the Jack’s, are good to get this one. People who want to socialize more, like more control of their games, need more strategy and need more meat in their gameplay can stay clear.
Some prefer fewer players, which gives more tactical freedom, others prefer larger groups, which gives more involvement and differentiating play. Some think it’s fun and has fair time, others think it’s dull and were glad it’s over. There’s a lot of grey area here and it all depends on your taste. It has a Marmite feel, either you love it or hate it.
Personally, I think the time is fair and gameplay should be spaced out, it’s not one I could constantly play, but it can be taken out every now and then, preferably with just a few people to get the most out of it via my own skills. I would definitely ask that games that are delivered be in good condition with all of the pieces there and intact, if there are problems customers should be notified. So, I wouldn’t say this is a drinking game since you need to concentrate, but if you don’t enjoy it you can take a few swigs to forget about it anyway!
Thank you for reading my Sequence board game review! How do you find the game? Entertaining, average or boring? Do you see the strategy side of the game? Do you play with groups or fewer players? Did you receive your game in good condition? Please feel free to leave any comments!