Strings of Suits
Designed by MY Tian
Players 2
Length About 20 minutes.
Extra Material Suit tokens, 8 of each kind, and a tool to track scores.

It’s a chess-like game inspired by Gobang (Five-in-a-row).


1.The extended decktet. Recommend to use a small-size deck.
2.Suit tokens, exactly 8 of each kind.
3.A tool to track scores. Can be another kind of tokens, or simply paper and pencils.

Game play


Take all the 6 Aces and the Excuse out of the deck. They won’t be used in the game.

Set aside pawn.pngsuns.pngwaves.pngknots.pngLight Keeper and court.pngmoons.pngleaves.pngwyrms.pngRite. These two cards are called Suit Cards.

Then shuffle the remaining cards, spread them face-up to form a 6×6 grid.

To decide the playing order

One player chooses a card from the Suit Cards, then the other player takes the other Suit Card. The former will become the second player, and the latter will become the first player.

Both players take all the suitchips matching the suits on their Suit Card. (This means that each player will get 24 suitchips totally, in 3 different kinds.)

During the game

The players play alternately.

On one’s turn, the player flips an empty(face-up) card, and place one of his suitchips on it. The suitchip must match one of the card’s suits. There won’t be more than one suitchips on a single card.

After placing the suitchip, if the player forms a 3-on-a-string, then he/she get 1 point. If the player upgrades a 3-on-a-string into a 4-on-a-string, then he/she get 2 points instead of 1. Likewise, 4 into 5, 3 points; and 5 into 6, 4 points. Note that it's possible to form more than one X-on-a-string (in different directions) in a single turn. In this case, the player will get the points respectively.

In this game, X-on-a-string refers to exactly X suitchips of the same kind, placed in a line horizontally, vertically or diagonally. The X suitchips do not need to be adjacent.

A player cannot get his/her points back, if the player didn't noticed that he/she had formed a X-on-a-string before the other player performed his/her move.

The end of the game

One can only skip his/her turn if he/she has no legal move. If both players skip their turns, the game ends.

Play at least 3 games and then add up the points. The player who gets more points wins.



You can decide the playing order in another way:

First, give the two Suit Cards to the two players randomly. And both players get their suitchips as the original rule goes.

Then, player A perform a turn.

Then, player B can choose:
1. The game continues. (In this case, player A is the first player, and B is the second.)
OR 2. The two player exchange their Suit Card and suitchips, and then the player A perform another turn (using his/her new suitchips). Then, the game continues as player B being the first player and A being the second.


Inspired by the traditional game Gobang (Five-in-a-row).


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