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6 Card Golf Rules and Overview

If you’re looking for a fun card game you can quickly learn and play while killing some time indoors, this is a good one. It’s called 6 card golf, and you’ll know how to play it in no time. 

First, get some paper and a pencil, because you’re going to need to keep score with this one. 

What is 6 Card Golf?

6 Card Golf is a matching card game for two to six players. For two to four players, Golf requires a standard 52 playing card deck with two Jokers. For five to six players, Golf requires two standard 52 playing card decks with four Jokers.

The game is suitable for ages 8 and up, so it’s definitely in the “family card game” genre.

The objective of Golf is to have the lowest score after nine rounds.

This article focuses on the rules for 6 card golf, but you can play other variations with 9 or 12 cards as well.

How to Play 6 Card Golf

To start, get set up around a table and choose the first dealer. An easy way to do this is to each draw a card from a shuffled deck. The highest card gets to deal first. If you have a tie, just redraw to determine who wins. 

The dealer gives the deck another good shuffle and then deals out 6 cards to each player. The cards should be dealt face down. Players arrange their cards in 2 x 3 grids, with two cards facing up, like this:

The remaining cards are placed in the middle of the table and become the stock pile.

Now draw one card from the stock pile and place it face up to the side. This is the discard pile. 

Card Values

The object of Golf is to have the lowest possible score. So, before we start playing, let’s go over the point values for each card:

  • Aces are worth 1 point.
  • Cards 2-10 are worth their face value.
  • Queens and Jacks are worth 10 points.
  • Kings are worth 0 points.
  • Jokers are worth negative 2 points.

If cards in a column match, with one card above the other, they equal a set and cancel each other out. So their collective point value is 0.

If two Jokers are in the same column however, their collective point value is negative 4.


Begin with the player to the left of the dealer and proceed clockwise.

For the first turn, each player has two cards flipped over. They can then try to lower their score by drawing a card from either the stock pile or the discard pile. If they like this card, they can swap it for one of the face up or face down cards in their grid. If they don’t like the card, they can just return it to the discard pile. 

For each turn, you can try to lower your score by swapping out a card from your grid with a card from the discard or stock piles. When you take a card from the piles, that card gets placed face up in your grid. You must always have 6 cards in your grid. 

Keep playing in this manner until one player has all 6 cards showing face up. At this point, all players have one more turn and then the round ends. Then all players flip over their cards and tally up the score for the round.

Record your points on the score sheet and reshuffle the deck to start the next round, rotating the dealer clockwise each round. 

The player with the lowest score after 9 rounds wins the match.

You can also extend this game to 18 rounds if you have some more time to kill. Totally up to you. 

If you run out of cards in the stock pile during a round, simply shuffle the discard pile and use that as the new stock pile, flipping the top card over to form a new discard pile. 


Like we said, this one is fun and easy. But it requires some strategy and quick thinking; hallmarks of a good card game for all ages. 

Check it out and let us know what you think. 

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