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I was recently playing Sequence at a friend's house. At one point in the game a player (player B) discarded a dead card and drew a new card before the previous player (player A) remembered to draw a card. Player A contended that since player B hadn't placed a token on the board yet they were still allowed to draw their card. The rules state:

Dead Card

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 a 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 his/her card, you lose the right to take a card and you must finish the game with less cards than the other players – a disadvantage.

In my mind exchanging a dead card counts as a move for the purposes of the "Loss of Card" rule. Otherwise the "Loss of Card" rule would have specified completing your turn. Is this the correct interpretation or should player A have been allowed to draw a card?

  • Now that the Sequence tag has been created and you have some rep under your belt, it may be helpful to add some information about the game to it's tag info pages to help out others who don't know much about the game. – Malco Mar 28 '18 at 21:19
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Based on the wording, Dead Card exchange is basically a free action that you can do before taking your normal turn. Losing your draw is a result of the next player placing and drawing, which is effectively them finishing their turn. This strongly implies that you have until the next player finishes their turn to draw your new card.

In the scenario above, A is a 100% right to draw a card because B hasn't moved yet. Generalized, though, is technically vague but I think what I've said is the intentions of the rule.

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The rules, as per your quote, aren't explicit. So we're into interpretation.

Personally, I'd suggest the rules are written with the aim to allow adequate time to pick up a card:

If you fail to take a card before the next player makes a move AND takes his/her card ...

Especially with that capitalised AND, the rules are stopping the next player from taking you by surprise, i.e. using speed to stop you picking up your card.

In normal (no dead card) play it would thus be:

  1. Player A puts a card from his hand onto his discard pile
  2. Player A places a token on the board
  3. Player B may put a card from his hand onto his discard pile
  4. Player B places a token on the board
  5. Player B picks up a new card

Player A had all of steps 3 and 4 to make his own pick up.

With dead card play:

  1. Player A puts a card from his hand onto his discard pile
  2. Player A places a token on the board
  3. Player B puts the dead card onto his discard pile
  4. Player B picks up a replacement card
  5. Player B may put a card from his hand onto his discard pile
  6. Player B places a token on the board
  7. Player B picks up a new card

In this scenario, Player A only has step 3 to make his own pick up. And step 3 is unusual, and hence may distract Player A.

So, personally, if Player B discarded the dead card really quickly and picked up the replacement card instantaneously, then Player A hasn't been given a reasonable chance to make his own pick up, and Player A should still be able to make his pickup. If Player B did everything at a reasonable pace, and was about to pick up his final (step 7) card before Player A realised he'd missed his pick up... I reckon it'd be too late for Player A.

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  • You missed the step where Player B declares they're trading in a dead card. I agree with you that the intent of the rule is to give players a reasonable window to draw a card while making that window limited. At the same time I don't think a fuzzy reasonable rule is workable with a rules lawyer because a rules lawyer always feels the reasonable thing is what favors them. – Erik Mar 26 '18 at 16:35
  • @AndyT I figured it was just adding a bit of an angle to what you posted but I guess I'll drop it to it's own answer. – Veskah Mar 28 '18 at 20:56
  • @Veskah - Hah, it's a more popular answer than mine too! – AndyT Mar 29 '18 at 8:00

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