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How to Play Palace Card Game

Palace is a fun and fast card game that you can play between 2 to 5 players. Due to its worldwide popularity, it is also known as Shed, China Hand, and Ten-Two Slide. It is also a fan favorite amongst tourists and travelers because one round hardly takes about 10 to 20 minutes.

What is the Palace Card Game all about

You can play Palace with a standard deck of 52 cards. The ranking of the cards in the deck is in the following order from the highest to the lowest card: 2, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3. Two’s are special cards that you can consider as either high or low.

Drawing a high card among the remaining cards is one way to determine seating positions and the first dealer. The player who draws the highest card would take the first choice of seats at the table and becomes the first dealer. The player drawing the next highest takes any of the remaining seats, and it goes on until each player gets a seat at the table.

Aces are high, and 3s are low. The 2s are used as wild, the 5s change the game’s direction while the 10s remove the current existing pile and the person who played the card gets the opportunity to start the next pile.

Another rule in the Palace card game is that if you play multiple cards of the same value, like four of a kind in a pile, they work exactly like the 10 card. It removes the existing pile, after which the person who played the last card starts the next pile. You can play these cards in one or multiple turns.

How to play Palace?

The game begins when players take turns placing cards on the top of the discard pile, doing so with ‘normal cards’ in their hand that are either of equal or greater value than the card on top. The ‘normal cards’ value from the highest to the lowest value are Ace; King; Queen;9; 8; 6; 5; 4.

The missing cards become the ‘special cards.’ These are 10, 7, 3, and 2. You can play all the cards at any time, irrespective of the order, except for the 7, which you still must play in the correct sequence.

In the game play, once a player plays a card, they have to pick a card from the draw pile till they are gone.

Once the three cards in their hand get used up, players can move on to the six cards in front of them.

You can take the remaining three as face-up cards in any order, and the players can know what they are. If these cards are face down, players cannot look at them until played. If a player cannot play the correct card, they need to pick up the entire discard pile to add to their hand, with the player on the left choosing any card to restart the discard pile.

The game ends when the first person who removes all the cards wins the game.

How to Play Palace card game

Special Cards

The ‘special’ cards have different uses that can change the course of the game. Each card has a specific use that multiple players can use.

  • 2- This card resets the entire discard pile, and the player to the left can play any card that they can choose. The play continues thereafter.
  • 3- The player on the left has to play a card that is equal to or greater than the card below 3.
  • 7- Reverses the entire discard pile. This creates a new discard pile. The player on the left has to play a card lower than the card below 7. It reverts to normal subsequently.
  • 10- Destroys the entire pile (discard) and removes those cards till the game ends.

Players can play the special cards irrespective of the previous card played, except for 7, given that it is equal to or greater than the previous card.

A player cannot finish the game on a special card. If the last face-down card is a special card, the player must pick up the draw pile. The game goes on thereafter.

Scoring In Palace

There is no particular scoring system in the Palace card game. However, county each player’s turn and victory to calculate a score and declare a champion at the end. Players receive penalty points depending on the sequence of how they got rid of all their cards. The first player gets no penalty points, the second player scores 1 point, and the last player scores three penalty points. All the others score 2 points.

Also Read: 10 Best 3 Player Card Games to Play in a Small Group

Variations in Palace Card Game

Palace – Multi-Deck:

This game uses a double deck (two standard 52-card decks, shuffled). You can include up to 9 players. If not, you can continue the game for a longer period of time. All of the rules in this version are the same, other than you can play eight cards of the same rank or type on a player’s turn. When four or more cards are of the same rank, the current player gets the chance to burn the deck, that is, eliminate the play pile and make the first move to start a new pile.

Six Card Hand:

In some versions, the initial deal is somewhat different. Deal at least three cards similar to the standard game, with three face-down cards that cannot be seen immediately. After that, the dealer distributes six more cards face down to form a hand.

The player then selects three face-up cards and three face-down cards. The remaining three then become the current hand. After the deal, the play continues as a regular Palace card game.

No Finishing on a Special Card:

Here, a strict mandate is that a player cannot end the game with a ten or two. Thus, if they have only a ten or a two, he has to take up the current pile into his hand. Also, the last card cannot be an Ace.

Larger Hands:

The hands containing more cards are dealt with games related to two or four players. In the event of this version, each player gets four face-down cards and four face-up cards, and four card hands. When the turn ends, the same player has a newly drawn card from the deck to restock.

Spanish Skitgubbe:

Spanish Skitgubbe is the Swedish version of the Palace card game. This game is played identically like Palace, with a few differences.


How many cards does each player get?

The dealer deals six cards to each player face down. Players can look at these cards. Players select three cards from their hand and place them face-up on the three face-down cards in front of them. Typically, place the higher value cards face up.

What is the highest and lowest card in the Palace card game?

In this game, the Aces are high, and 3s are low.

What does the significance of a 2 Card in Palace?

This card resets the entire discard pile, and the player to the left can play any card that they can choose. The play continues thereafter.

What are some three-player card games?

Some 3-player card games are Crazy Eights, Rummy, Go Fish, Bluff, Teen Do Paanch, Slapjack, 99, and Skat.

How to win Palace?

To win a game of Palace, you need to play all your face-up and face-down cards to win. The first person to do so ends the game. There are two options: Either continue the game after the first person is out or start another game instead.

Madhuboni Banerjee
A graduate in engineering who later completed her post-graduate degree in Mass Media. Writing has always fascinated her, and she wishes to pursue her interest in the same. She wants to discover and write about new themes and topics. She always likes to venture in various writing forms and continues exploring her interest there.


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