How To Play: Jaws

Jaws is a thrilling game where you manage resources and play distinct characters. The game phases include Amity Island and The Orca. Key strategies involve understanding roles like Quint, Brody, Hooper, and The Shark. Winning requires strategic planning and leveraging each character's unique abilities. Enjoy the adrenaline rush!


Are you ready to sink your teeth into some Jaws action? Our guide covers everything you need to know to rule the seas! From an outline of the game rules to the best strategies for winning, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re playing as the shark or the crew, follow our tips to stay one step ahead. Let’s make sure you’re not the one swimming with the fishes!

What’s in the box

  • 1 Double-Sided Game Board
  • 3 Human Movers
  • 1 Shark Mover
  • 2 Boat Movers
  • 5 Dice
  • 1 Shark Tracker Pad
  • 1 Character Ability Card
  • 8 Boat Pieces
  • 1 Beach Closed Token
  • 16 Resurface Tokens
  • 3 Character Boards
  • 16 Swim Tokens
  • 22 Gear Cards
  • 16 Amity Event Cards
  • 9 Equipment Cards
  • 5 Reference Cards
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play Jaws: Rules Summary


First, let’s get things ready:

  1. Place the game board representing Amity Island in the center.
  2. Each player picks a role: Brody, Hooper, Quint, or The Shark.
  3. Hand out character sheets and abilities to the players.
  4. Shuffle and deal the event cards.
  5. Arrange the game tokens, barrels, and boat pieces nearby.
  6. Place The Shark’s location tracker on the board and keep it hidden.
  7. Set up Brody’s, Hooper’s, and Quint’s boats on the board.

Now, it’s time to play:

  1. The Shark player secretly moves on their turn.
  2. Brody, Hooper, and Quint take turns to move, search, and rescue swimmers.
  3. The Shark reveals if it eats swimmers or attacks boats.
  4. After actions, update the tracking tokens.
  5. Play continues in phases: Amity Island phase and The Orca phase.

Winning is the sweet part:

  1. The Human team wins if they save enough swimmers and defeat The Shark.
  2. The Shark wins if it eats a set number of swimmers or destroys the Orca.
Special Rules & Conditions

Don’t forget these special bits:

  1. If a player’s boat is destroyed, they must swim to another boat.
  2. If The Shark is tagged with barrels, it must reveal its location.
  3. In The Orca phase, the boat can take damage and players must repair it.
  4. If The Shark reaches a specific damage level, it gets more aggressive.

Best Jaws Strategies

Mastering the Game Phases in Jaws

Success in Jaws relies on nailing each game phase. Here’s how you do it:

Phase 1: Setup
  1. Pick sides wisely. Each character has special skills.
  2. Organize components. Save time and avoid confusion.
Phase 2: Amity Island
  1. Use all actions. Don’t waste any.
  2. Place barrels strategically. Corner the shark!
Phase 3: The Orca
  1. Position team well. Cover all areas of the boat.
  2. Coordinate attacks. Sync up moves for maximum impact.
Phase 4: Endgame
  1. Focus attacks. Prioritize weak spots.
  2. Manage resources. Use every piece to your advantage.

Mastering Character Roles in Jaws

Let’s talk about how to get the most out of the characters in Jaws. Each character has unique abilities, and using them well can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Here are key strategies for each role:

Quint the Shark Hunter

  1. Use Quint’s special weapons to deal extra damage to the shark.
  2. Position Quint on The Orca to maximize his effectiveness.
  3. Quint should be aggressive; don’t hesitate to attack.

Brody the Police Chief

  1. Brody should focus on resource management.
  2. Use Brody’s ability to close beaches and protect swimmers.
  3. Communicate with other players to coordinate actions.

Hooper the Oceanographer

  1. Use Hooper’s fish finder to locate the shark quickly.
  2. Keep Hooper away from the shark; he is more valuable alive.
  3. Hooper should gather information and share it often.

The Shark

  1. Stay hidden from the crew as long as possible.
  2. Focus on eating swimmers to gain strength.
  3. Strike when the crew is least prepared.

Mastering Resource Management in Jaws

Resource management in Jaws is key to beating the shark or outsmarting the humans. With a bit of strategy, you can tip the scales in your favor.

Utilize Character Abilities Wisely

Each character has unique abilities. Make sure to leverage them to maximize resource efficiency.

  1. Brody’s Police Chief ability can boost resource savings.
  2. Quint’s Shark Sense helps in anticipating shark moves.
  3. Hooper’s Marine Biologist expertise can provide critical support.

Plan Your Moves

Planning ahead is important. Allocate resources where they are most needed.

  1. Track the shark’s movements for efficient resource allocation.
  2. Communicate with teammates to avoid wasting actions.
  3. Split resources smartly between defense and attack.

Adapt and React

The game can change quickly. Adapt your strategy to manage resources better.

  1. Monitor the shark’s behavior and adjust.
  2. Use unexpected events to your advantage.
  3. Keep an eye on your resource pool and adjust as needed.

Survive or be Devoured: Final Thoughts

After countless games and shark attacks, one thing’s crystal clear – ‘Jaws’ is an exciting ride. It’s about wits and careful planning. Whether you’re playing as the relentless shark or the desperate crew, every game offers a fresh challenge. Remember, the key to winning is understanding each character’s strengths and using them to their full potential. Don’t just swim with the tide – anticipate your opponent’s moves and strike when the moment is right. So gear up, gather your friends, and get ready to relive the classic movie moments over and over. And if anyone asks you how to play Jaws, just show them this guide!

Want to know what we think of Jaws? Read our detailed review of Jaws here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.