Strings of Suits
Designed by MY Tian
Players 2
Length About 20 minutes.
Extra Material Suitchips and a tool to track scores.

An abstract game inspired by Gomoku (Five-in-a-row).


1.The extended decktet. Recommend to use a small-size deck, or you'll need a large table.
2.48 suitchips, 8 of each suit.
3.A tool to track scores. Recommend to be another kind of tokens, but it's also okay to use paper and pencil.

Game play


1. Take the Aces ,the Excuse,pawn.pngsuns.pngwaves.pngknots.pngLight Keeper and court.pngmoons.pngleaves.pngwyrms.pngRite out of the deck. They won’t be used in the game.

2. Shuffle the remaining cards, and then spread them face-up to form a 6×6 grid.

3. Give one player 8 Sunsuns.png suitchips, 8 waves.pngWaves and 8 knots.pngKnots, 24 in total. And give the other 8 moons.pngMoons ,8 leaves.pngLeaves and 8wyrms.pngWyrms. (In fact, one player takes the tokens matching all Light Keeper's suits, and the other Rite's.)

4. Decide the starting player randomly.

During the game

The players play alternately.

On your turn, flip an empty(face-up) card, and place one of your suitchips on it, which should match one of the card’s suit(s). You can never place a suitchip on a face-dowm—— not empty, in other words—— card.

After placing the suitchip, if you form a 3-on-a-string, you get 1 point. If you form a 3-on-a-string into a 4-on-a-string, you get 2 points. Likewise, 4 into 5, 3 points; and 5 into 6, 4 points. If you form more than one X-on-a-string (in different directions) in a single turn, you will get the points respectively.

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

If you failed to notice that you had formed an X-on-a-string during your move, and your opponent has already made his/her move, you can not get the point(s).

End of the game

You can only skip your turn when there is no legal move. If both players skip their turns, the game ends.

Take back all your suitchips and turn all the cards face-up. Then, start a second game with the players exchanging their suitchips.Do not change the cards' position and the playing order.

Add up the points of 2 games, the player who has more points wins. If there is a tie, the player who got more points in the second game wins.

If you have plenty of time, recommend to play 4 games instead of 2 and add up the scores. (Change the cards positon and the playing order before game 3, then exchange suitchips only before game 4.)


Tips on strategy

  • Figure out the most important position and seize it as early as possible.
  • There are some cards that you opponent can never place a suitchip on.
  • Remember that you do not have infinite suitchips, especially in an Advanced Game (see below).
  • A 4-on-a-string counts a lot.


  • Beginners' Game: Only get 1 point when upgrading an X-on-a-string to an X+1.
  • Advanced Game: Give each player 6 tokens per suit, instead of 8.
  • Double Decktet: Replace all the Crownscrown.png with 6 extended deck cards from the second Decktet (Exclude pawn.pngsuns.pngwaves.pngknots.pngLight Keeper and court.pngmoons.pngleaves.pngwyrms.pngRite ).


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

Playtest: 韩镇远(Zhenyuan Han)、北枫。


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