hands picking up card during Golf card game

A Fun Card Game for Couples: How to Play Golf

No clubs and tees here. Play this fun card game with clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds! Introducing the Golf card game…

We’ve been playing Golf for a few years now. It has become a family favorite, and pretty much everyone we’ve played with loves this game. It’s called “Golf” because there are nine rounds in each game, and the object is to end up with the lowest score. There are multiple versions of the game out there, using anywhere from four to nine cards in a hand, and the rules vary widely. We usually play with nine cards, but the six card version is faster and takes up less space.

hands picking up card during Golf card game

Breaking free from the TV habit

We recently came to the realization that we were in a rut. Dinner every night between 6:00 and 6:30, then onto the couch to watch Jeopardy at 7:00. After that, we typically spent the next three hours or so scrolling through channels looking for something to watch. We rarely find anything appealing despite the multiple streaming services we’re subscribed to. So we’d often end up vegging out in front of some mindless game show or cooking competition. Until we’d drag ourselves away and go to upstairs to read for a while before bed. Only to repeat the process the next night… and the next…

A better alternative

Now you might be thinking, “Why don’t you get off the sofa and go for a walk?” That’s a good question, and one we often ask ourselves. But what if you live in a cold and snowy climate where that’s not always feasible? Or – like us – you live in a hot, steamy place where it’s still 90 degrees at night, and you don’t feel like getting all sweaty before bed? In that case, you need a better alternative. Like playing a fun card game – like Golf!

How to Set Up the Game

A quick Google search reveals there are countless sets of rules to follow as you play this fun card game, but we’ll just tell you how we do it:

  • If you are playing with two to three players use one deck of cards, including the jokers. (For four to six players, you would need to use two decks of cards with all the jokers.)
  • Shuffle thoroughly before each hand!
  • For the nine-card version, deal nine cards face down to each player.
  • Place the remaining cards in the middle of the table as the draw pile.
  • Without looking at the cards, players arrange them face down into a three X three grid.
  • Before play begins, players turn over one row of cards in their grid – can be vertical, horizontal or diagonal.
  • You will need a piece of paper and a pen or pencil to keep score.

How to Play the Game

  • Here’s how you will score the cards:
    1. Cards from 2-10 count as face value
    2. Jacks and Queens count as ten points
    3. Kings count as zero points
    4. Aces count as one point
    5. Jokers count as minus two points
  • The object of the game is to get the lowest score possible by swapping out the cards in your grid for lower value cards.
  • You can wipe out points by making pairs, three of a kind, or four of a kind in your grid. The cards must be next to each other vertically or horizontally.
  • The player to the left of the dealer starts by turning over one card from the draw pile to start the discard pile.
  • For each turn, a player may pick up a card from the draw pile or the discard pile. They will then either swap it out for a card in their grid (can be either face up or face down) or discard it. If the card is swapped for a card that was face down, that card remains face up.
  • Play continues until one player goes out by turning up all the cards in their grid.
  • After a player goes out, the remaining players each have one more turn. They may draw a card from the draw pile and swap it for one card in their grid. They will then turn up any cards that are still face down. Players may not draw from the discard pile on this last turn.
  • Tally and record the scores, and continue play with the next player acting as dealer. The winner is the person with the lowest score at the end of nine rounds.
The scores can be very close!

Another version of the Golf game to try

As mentioned above, we sometimes play the six-card version of Golf. Rules are essentially the same, except only six cards are dealt to each player, and they are arranged in a three across by two down grid. This version goes much faster and takes up less space, so we can play on an airplane or when we have limited time to squeeze in a game. Try both versions and see which one you prefer!

Have you ever tried the Golf card game?

Or do you have another favorite card game you enjoy? Tell us about it in the comments!

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