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Golf Card Game Rules, Gameplay, And Variants

The Golf game is not just what you may have heard up to now – you would instantly relate the golf game to Tiger Woods, huge green fields, a white ball, and golf sticks. In fact, Golf is also one of the fun card games you can enjoy between two or more players from the comfort of your home.

Also called Crazy Nines, Polish Poker, Polish Polka, Turtle, Hara-Kiri, the Golf card game is similar to Golf only in one way – the objective is to keep the points as low as possible through nine rounds (nine holes) to secure a win.

Sounds interesting? Go on and learn the golf card game rules and game play to include it in your next game night with family or friends.

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Golf Card Game Rules

In the draw and discard game of golf, the players have a layout of face-down cards, which can be replaced by cards drawn from the stockpile or discard pile. The goal is to make the layout scoring as low as possible. The scores at the end of 9 deals (or sometimes 18) represent the number of strokes taken to play a golf hole, and the player with the lowest score wins the game.

This game has various forms – 4-card golf, 6-card golf, 8-card golf, 9-card golf, and 10-card golf. The 4-card golf and 6-card golf are the popular variations of this game. The significant difference between all these variations lies in the ending of the game, which is as follows:

  • The first ending method is often used in the 4-card golf game, where if you feel you have the lowest score, you can knock in your next turn instead of drawing to replace a card. This action ends the play after other players have played their turn.
  • The second ending method is often used in the 6-card golf game and larger layouts where a new card is placed face-up every time a layout card is replaced. The game ends when a player’s entire layout is placed face-up.


If the game is played between two or three players, a standard deck of 52 cards is used. If the game includes four or more players, it is played with a double-deck of 104 cards.

The players are dealt six cards each, face-down, from the shuffled deck. The remaining cards are placed on the table, face-down, to form a stockpile. The top-most card of the stockpile is placed face-up beside it to form the discard pile.

Each player arranges their cards in two piles of three cards each in front of them and flips any two cards face up. The arrangement of the cards remains the same throughout the game, with each player having six cards in front of them at all times.


The gameplay is really simple, with the primary objective being to reduce the score of cards by swapping the cards in front of you with lesser value cards from the draw pile (stockpile). At the end of nine rounds, the player with the lowest score wins the game, and the player with the highest score loses.

The play begins with the player seated at the dealer’s left. Each player takes turns to draw a card from the stockpile or the discard pile. The drawn card can either be swapped with any card from the six cards that the players have or discarded in the discard pile. If the player chooses to keep the drawn card, it must be placed face-up. If they discard the drawn card, they can either flip the card or make no move.

The round ends when any one of the players has all six cards faced up. Sometimes, the other players are also given a final turn after one player has all six cards facing up. After this, the scores are evaluated.

During the rounds, a player cannot pick a card from the discard pile and return it without playing it, allowing another player to pick that card. This implies that once a player picks a card from the discard pile, they must swap it with one of their cards.

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  • Aces are worth one point each.
  • The 2s are worth minus two points each.
  • Each numeral card from three to ten is worth its face value. For instance, 3s are worth 3 points, 8s are worth 8 points, and so on.
  • Jacks and Queens are worth 10 points each.
  • Kings are worth zero points each.
  • A pair of equal cards in the same column are worth zero points even if both the cards are 2s.

How to Play Four-Card Golf?

Four-card golf, also known as Turtle, can be played between three to seven players. Four card game is sometimes played using power cards to enable players to peek at a card or swap a card with another player, etc. As the name suggests, each player receives four cards, face-down, in a set of 2 cards each. The players place two cards face up when the play begins. The gameplay proceeds in a similar manner as 6-card golf, and the end of the round happens when any player (who thinks they can win) chooses to knock in the next turn instead of drawing. The other players get to play one final turn after a player knocks.

How to Play 6-Card Golf?

The 6-card golf game, also known as Hara-Kiri, is one of the most popular versions of the golf game. It is played between two to four players using a deck of 54 cards, including jokers. If more than four players are playing the game, an additional deck is used.

The players receive six face-down cards each, which are placed in three columns of two cards. The players flip two cards face up, and the play continues in the same fashion as discussed in the gameplay. The scoring is somewhat different as the card values differ in the 6-card golf game. The game ends after a player has all their cards facing up, and the player with the lowest score wins the game.

How to Play Eight-Card Golf?

Eight-card golf is quite similar to 6-card golf, with the exception that each player arranges their cards in four columns of four cards each in this one. The game is played using a double deck of 54 cards, including jokers for two to four players and additional decks for more players. Each player receives eight face-down cards, and the play continues. When a player has all cards face-up, the others get one more turn to play. After nine deals, the player with the lowest score wins the game. Players can also have a negative total score as each joker is worth minus five points.

How to Play Nine-Card Golf?

Nine-card golf, also known as Crazy Nines, is played between two to four players with two decks of 54 cards, including jokers, and additional decks if more players are playing. Each player receives nine cards, one at a time. The players can’t look at the cards until all cards are dealt, and the remaining cards form the stockpile. The players arrange their cards into three piles of three cards each (3×3 grid).

The objective remains the same – scoring the lowest points. The players must match three cards of the same number in a column. Matched cards are worth zero points. The value of each unmatched card is evaluated at the end of the game.

How to Play Ten-Card Golf?

The ten-card golf is played with at least two decks of 54 cards, including jokers. Each player receives 10 cards which are arranged into five columns of two cards each. The players turn two cards face up, and the game is played in accordance with the rules of the 6-card golf game, with players drawing and discarding cards from the stockpile and discard pile.

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Can 5 people play golf card game?

Yes, five people can play the golf game using two standard decks of 52 cards each, including four jokers. Essentially, the 6-card golf game can be played by five people as well.

Can 2 or 3 players play golf game?

Yes. When there are less than four players, you can play a single-pack golf game that is played between two to four players. The rules remain the same as the double-pack golf game, and sometimes jokers are not included in the pack.

What is another name for the card game golf?

The card game of golf is called by various names mainly because of the different variations. It is called Crazy Nines, Polish Polka, Turtle, Hara-Kiri, and Polish Poker.

Vijaya Bharti
Vijaya Bharti is an experienced gaming writer fuelled by a passion for virtual worlds and interactive storytelling. Her profound understanding of game design and culture shines through her compelling content pieces captivating readers. She finds leisure in playing online games, writing about anything related to games, and watching web series.


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