Rules for the Card Game of Golf


May be played with two and as many more as practical.


Two regular decks, with two jokers or more, each deck.(at least 108 cards.) You may want to use an extra deck with more players.

The Deal:

Cut for deal, high card deals first, clock-wise and eight cards to each player, leaving the balance of the stock in the middle with a discard placed face-up.  The players then place their cards face down in two rows of four.  Only the first player turns up two cards, vertically in the same column, prior to picking up a card from the stock or discard pile. After this previous player has completed their turn, the next player will turn up two cards and play will proceed in the same manner untill all players have had their start.

This would be the layout for all players just prior to first draw

The Play and Scoring:

This first player  (next to the dealer,) starts by drawing one card off the stock or picking the discard and then must decide to keep it or discard it. It is always the choice of a player to take the top card from either the stock or the discard pile in their turn. If they replace one of the up-turned cards, they are not required to turn up another card. However; if they choose to keep the card and replace a hidden card with it, they must do so without peeking and must discard the hidden card. This hidden card could turn out to be a much desired card to keep, (such as a Joker or King,) but this is the chance they must take.  A player might draw an undesirable card and wish only to discard it. In this event they then must turn up any card of their choice, always.  Below we will give the card values, which will let a player determine which to keep or discard.

As the game progresses, each player in turn will follow the same or similar pattern. Play will continue in this manner until a player has only one card left hidden, at which time they may then discard the card they pick up without turning this last card over if they so wish, or they may decide to replace a face up card with it. Any player may turn up this last hidden card after drawing and replacing or discarding, which will then indicate the round is finished and each player in turn must pick a final card and discard, then turn over all hidden cards at this time to end the round.

The Object of the Game:

A player must attempt to get as little card count as possible, by keeping Jokers and Kings or smaller count cards and by pairing up any cards of the same value, vertically and in the same column.  One pairing will represent a 0-count. Two such pairings of the identical cards, (see examples below,) will represent a minus 10 count. In other words, in the diagram #1 below, if the pairs had been all fours or all tens, the count would have then been minus 10, less the actual card count of 9, for a total hand count of 1. All cards may be paired in this manner, including Jokers and Kings.  The examples below will indicate the way they may be paired and the resulting count for the hand.. As  they stand, the total card count for hand #1 is 9 points and hand #2 is 1 point.

Card Count Values:


Number 1 Hand

                                                       Number 2 Hand

The total count for the above hand is 9 points 

The total count for the above hand is 1 point

6 (6pts), 2 (2pts), ace (1pt), king (0 pt)

6 (6pts), 4 (4pts), ace (1pt), king (0 pt)

The two (non-identical) pairings are each 0 count

.  The identical pairings make a minus 10 count

The reason the game is called "golf" is that nine hands, (or rounds,) are played.  Each round is recorded according to the players total card count and the next rounds begins. The score-card should be headed up with the players names (or initials,) and numbered vertically from 1 to 9, to indicate the number of rounds for a complete game. The player with the lowest score when reaching the ninth "hole," (round,) is declared the winner.


Naturally, with the Jokers and Kings, bearing counts of minus 5 and a 0 points respectively, it is important that a player try to get it as many of these as possible to avoid being caught with a high card count when the play is ended. The other strategy of course, is to go the pairing route when possible, at least to get a zero count and better yet, the minus 10 count. Look at the cards in play and see if it is practical to go for a pairing of a certain card. You would not normally wish to replace a joker or even a king to make up a pair, (unless it would make an identical pairing for the minus 10 count.)  Other than that, there is an element of luck in being "dealt" the "right" cards.

"Remember!, once you flip a hidden card prior to discarding, you must discard the "hidden" card".

You will develop your own strategies as you play, I am sure. I hope you have as much fun with the game as we do.