Golf card game rules

Golf is an interesting card game and Golf card game rules can be pretty complex.The problem is that there is a lot of ways you can play it, it has many different variations.

Either way, here I'll present you with what I consider to be the most common rules and some ideas on how you can spice them up a bit.


Golf card game is played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards(or you can add jokers and play with a 54 card deck) between 2-12 players. For more players you should add more decks, or if you play with more cards, you should add more decks as well.

The Deal

Each player is dealt 4, 6 or 8 cards(you decide what kind of a game you want to play). Each players cards are spread in front of him like this(depending on how many cards you used):




Players are not allowed to look at their cards. The rest of the deck is put in the center of the table and the top card is turned over, this is the first card of the discard pile.

Goal of the Game

The point of the game is to score as little as possible. The whole game usually consists from 9 or 18 rounds.


Before the play starts players can look at two of their cards cards(in alternative Golf card game rules each player can turn two cards face up, it's up to you), after this they are not allowed to look anymore.

Now the first player, starting with the player on the dealers left, can either draw a card from the discard pile or the stock pile or knock...

  • ...if the player picks a card from the discard pile, then he has to replace one of his cards with that card(if you are playing the face up version, then he has to put the new card face up in place of the old card).
  • ...if the player picks a card from the stock pile, he can either discard it right away or switch it for one of his cards. He's not allowed to look at his card before he makes the switch, but he can look at the card he drew(if you are playing the face up version, then he has to put the new card face up in place of the old card).
  • ...if the player knocks, the game ends and players tally up their score(there is no knocking in the face up version).

Play continues clockwise like this until a player knocks, or in the face up version until one of the players has all his cards face up. When this happens the round is done and players score appropriate points.

In case the deck runs out, shuffle up the discard pile to make a new deck and leave the top card as the new discard pile.


At the end of each round players tally up their points according to the cards in front of them. The most common values are as follows:

  • A = 1 point
  • Deuce to Ten = face value
  • Jacks and Queens = 10 points
  • Kings = 0 points

You can also add some special scoring rules. Here are a few examples:

  • If two cards form a pair in a row, their total value is 0.
  • If you are playing with Jokers, they can be wild cards, they can have a negative point value or both.
  • You can add -10 bonus points for the knocker, if he had the lowest score. At the same time you can add 10 penalty points, if he had the highest score.


You can play around a lot with Golf card game rules. You can make different rules on when players can look at cards, what scores what etc.. Play around with it a little and see what you like and what you don't like, but, most of all, enjoy yourself while you play and have fun!

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