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GOLF: The best CARD game I've ever played...

Updated on June 28, 2010

And you thought you needed a set of clubs...

A few months ago my wife and I were at a friends house who'd recently learned a new card game they wanted to show us. I'm a little slow on learning new games, but we'd been playing the "same old games" for several years, so it was time to teach the old dog some new tricks...

This turned out to be a game like I'd never seen before and what REALLY made it nice was the fact that you don't really play against the other players, just yourself.

Most of the games I've played in the past always seem to end up with someone getting sad, mad or really upset and in this game, that just doesn't happen.

The game is unique in the way it's played, everyone has a great time throughout, laughing their heads off and kicking themselves in the rear for making moves you end up regretting (even though there's no way you can prevent them...)

It takes a few minutes to learn the basics, but it's extremely easy to play once you've got them down and there are hundreds of different strategies you can use, playing very conservatively or using "no guts, no glory..." strategies...


Getting set-up...

The game is usually played with 4 people, but can be done with 2 - 6 players.

For now, we'll go with 4 players...

You'll need 2 decks of cards with all 4 jokers.

Deal each player 10 cards FACE DOWN... (no one looks at their cards)

Each player than lays out 2 rows of 5 cards (like so...)

Now, everyone turns 3 of their cards face-up. They can be ANY 3 cards. You'll find your own strategies for doing this as you get to know the game, but for now just turn up any 3 cards...


When a card from the top row and the bottom row match - they "cancel" each other out... THIS IS A GOOD THING!!!! But don't remove them until the hand is over OR you can replace the cards (one at a time) for a better score...

The Draw and Discard Piles

 After dealing out the cards to each player, place the remaining cards in a pile (face down) and turn one card over to start a discard pile...

Play begins...

The player to the dealers left plays first...

The player takes ONE card from either the draw OR the discard pile...

(your choice is based on the 10 cards on your board - if you can draw a "cancellation card" and play it so it cancels out points, you might want to do that. When first learning the game, unless you see a possible move, it's best to draw from the draw pile rather than the discard)

You then PLAY the card or DISCARD it.

(You can only play cards on your own 10 cardboard and you can only discard to the discard pile - not to another players board)

"Playing" a card...

To play the card, you "replace" any of the 10 cards from your board and "discard" the card you replaced...

In this case - the 8 of Diamonds (which was the top card on the discard pile) has been played above the 8 of spades.  Because they are both 8's they "cancel" each other out (for zero points, a good play...)

Additional Rules...

You can replace a card that has not been turned over, but you are NOT allowed to look at it first (which is why as mentioned earlier, you'll sometimes end up kicking yourself in the rear-end in this game!!!)

You'll often end up "helping" the next player by doing this, because they may very well NEED the card you discard (which can then be picked-up...) This may not be what you "wanted" to do, but that's one of the things that actually makes the game so much fun!!!

Play continues until the round is over...

After the player discards, the next player (moving clockwise) starts their turn.

Play continues until any player turns all 10 of their cards face up.  Most of the time you'll want to keep from turning the last card up, because you'll want to keep playing, hoping to get a "bonus stamp" of 4 cards, reducing your score by replacing high point cards with lower point cards or cancelling out points by matching them with cancellation cards...

Even thouh the round ends when the first player turns all 10 of their cards face up, all remaining players get to continue with ONE more play each...

Note: Remember, you are allowed to "replace" any card on your board whether it's face down or face up... (get rid of those high scoring cards!!!)


In Golf (like regular golf) the LOWEST score wins...

Cards remaining at the end of the round are scored as follows:

Aces are one point each.

2's through 10's are scored at face value (a 4 is 4 points, an 8 is 8 points, etc).

Jacks  and queens are 10 points each.

(((Those are the "bad" cards..)))

Now for the "good" cards ...

Kings are ZERO points...

Jokers are MINUS 5 points..



There are 2 types of bonuses available:

"Postage Stamps" are 4 of the same type of cards - located at either end of your board

The "Center" postage stamps - are good for MINUS 10 points each...

The "End" postage stamps - are good for MINUS 20 points each ... (Whoo Hoo!!!)

There are a total of 4 different locations they can be located...

Inner Postage Stamp - Minus 10 Points
Inner Postage Stamp - Minus 10 Points
Outer Postage Stamp - Minus 20 Points
Outer Postage Stamp - Minus 20 Points

Add em up (or subtract em...)

When the round is over, each player then counts their total score for the round.

First, count the "Stamps" (note: stamps can overlap for both an end and center stamp - make sure to score each stamp...)

Center stamps are Minus 10 points.
End stamps are MINUS 20 points.

Next, remove any cards that "cancel" each other (stacks where the top and bottom rows match)

Next remove any Kings (they're Zero points)

Then add up whatever points are left - 2 through 10 are all their face value...

Jacks and queens are 10 points each.

Aces are one point.

Each Joker is MINUS 5 points.

And total up your score...

This hand is scored as follows:

The 6 is 6 points.
The 2 is 2 points.
The 4's match and cancel out.
The King is ZERO points.
The 3 is 3 points
An "Outter" Postage Stamp - Minus 20 points.

6+2+0+0+3-20 = -9

The total score is Minus 9 points.

You can maintain your scores and add (or hopefully "subtract") them as you continue to play.

Alternative Scoring


An alternative way of scoring is to NOT keep a "running" score, which allows a "new" winner every round...

Please Help Spread The Word...

I don't normally ask for "referrals", but if you have friends that might enjoy this game, please help spread it around...  It's one of the few games that are free, fun and easy to play and the more people that get the chance to play the game, the better!!!



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    • Instgtr profile image

      Instgtr 7 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      What's really great is even young kids can learn this game (by watching) and with the "Alternate" scoring everyone eventually wins...

      Play a few hands before you go (or copy the hub) it's easy to learn, but having the instructions definitely helps!



    • joaniemb profile image

      joaniemb 7 years ago from New York

      this sounds like so much fun. Going camping over the 4th of July will be taking cards with me.

      Thanks for sharing

    • Instgtr profile image

      Instgtr 7 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Hi Jpohl,

      Glad to be of help!!!



    • jpohl profile image

      jpohl 7 years ago from Rockford, IL

      Thanks for the post, I was trolling the hub pages and found your post. I played this game several years ago and had a blast. Since you have re-united me with the game, I now have the rules and I am sure our family will enjoy the game once again.