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Coconut-The Card Game

Updated on January 10, 2011

A game of many rules

This game is known by many different names, Palace, Karma, China Hand and Coconut are a few, but the most common name is Sh*thead. As with the name there are a number of variations on the rules. The basic aim of the game is to get rid of all your cards and the last person remaining is the Sh*thead and usually has to make the tea!

Have you heard of this game?

It is a great game for quiet days and rainy days.

Have you played this game or a variation?

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In game lingo

*Pot - where you place your cards

*Deck - the undrawn cards

*Panel - face down and face up cards which arent used until the last phase of the game.

*Burn - the contents of the Pot is exiled from the game.

Set Up

Usually the rules say to play with 2-5 people but we often have more people and need to chuck in another deck, it makes the game a little more interesting. Each player has a total of 9 cards dealt in three stages, a row of three face down, three face up and three in the hand.


Before the game begins, players can choose to swap their three face up cards with something better from their hand. Always go for the Special Cards as your face up panel!

The way the game works

4 of Hearts starts

If no-one has a four of hearts then the next lowest cards are played. (2's and 3's are Special Cards and not considered low. I'll explain this in depth later.) The next player can play either the same card or something higher, Player's can place duplicate's of the same cards. e.g 3 4's but not run's e.g 4,5,6. If a player cannot play something equal to or higher than and cannot play a Special Card then they have to pick up the Pot.

At the end of your turn you draw as many cards as you have just played so you always have a minimum of 3, if you were unlucky to pick up the Pot then you do not draw a card until you are back down to 3.

When there are no more cards to draw and you have none left in your hand you can then move onto your face up panel! Once these are clear you play with your face down panel, picking each card at random. This is where the game can twist and leave you making the tea!

What are Special Cards?

The Special Words

*Reset - can be placed on anything set's the Pot to 0

*Burns the Pot - can be placed on anything removes the entire Pot from the game. *Note when four of a kind are played the Pot is also Burnt. If you play with multiple decks identical cards also burn.

*See through - can be placed on anything and is essentially whatever was played previously.

*Reverse - can only be played in sequence changes the direction of players

*Lower than - can only be played in sequence next card must be lower than

Special Cards

Magic Cards

Special cards are a way to turn the game around! This has always been a point of intereest for me as people have their own rules. I used to play this game with people from all over the UK and each region has more Special Cards. It can get very confusing, this is why I have decided to write this lens and see if we can come up with the best combination.

Nightmare Bicycle cards

Nightmare Bicycle cards
Nightmare Bicycle cards

Evil Card

Our rules include an evil 3 which automatically makes the next player pick up the deck, the only counter is another 3. The 3's are put on the burnt pile but the rest of the pot goes to the unfortunate player.

Do you play the Evil Card rule?

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Some other sources

I was so pleased to find it existed in the real world. Here is some more in depth history, details and rules of the game.

Every home should have a deck!

Forget about new games for the Wii, these are much cheaper and can be hours of fun if you know a couple of fun games!

Is this a good way to spend a rainy day?

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    • profile image

      doubleside lm 

      7 years ago

      wow..nice game..

      and I love bicycle deck!


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