Home » Cards and Dice » Deer in The Headlights Game | Rules & How to Play?

Deer in The Headlights Game | Rules & How to Play?

Deer in The Headlights celebrates a decade on store shelves this year! This fun card and dice game is a great choice for a family game night. But it would also make a fun addition to an adults-only gaming session. 

Its unique gameplay is easy to learn but also surprisingly strategic in places. While it’s all about the luck of the roll, players will also have to make decisions throughout the game that could affect events in significant ways when it comes to the dice. Let’s take a more detailed look at what the game is all about. 

What is The Deer In The Headlights Game?

Deer in The Headlights combines elements of some of the best dice games and mixes them with classic card games to form a fun, unique experience. The aim of this game is simple; you need to score the fewest points and have the least cards in your hand. 

Once the cards have been dealt, each player takes a turn rolling the dice, which means that on each turn, you’ll be trying to rid cards from your hand. The game is not too dissimilar to Pitty Pat in this respect. 

The dice in this game are a little unusual. While they contain numbers, they also have symbols like a car or running deer. There is also the titular deer in the headlight symbol, which you’ll want to avoid at all costs! 

The fun of this unique card game comes with the dice rolls. Some rolls will allow you to discard multiple cards, while others may force you to miss a turn completely. The game includes a dice chart that outlines each combination of symbols. 

Some rolls even allow you to give cards to another player or choose who will be frozen out of the game for several turns. This is where the strategy in the Deer in The Headlights game comes into play. 

So, if you’re looking for a new family game to play, Deer in The Headlights is undoubtedly worth trying. To help make playing this game even more fun, we’ve outlined everything you need to know in the rules section below. But before that, let’s look at what you need to know when getting a game set. 

What You’ll Need To Play?

Deer in The Headlights might not be Monopoly-level famous when it comes to games, but finding a game set shouldn’t be overly complicated. It’s easy enough to find a Deer In The Headlights set online.

On Sale Deer In The Headlights

Now when you open the box, you might be surprised to find playing cards. Well, when you get right down to it, Deer in The Headlights is a shedding card game like Mao or Canasta. So, it makes sense to use playing cards. 

Alongside the cards, you’ll find three colorful dice and a dice chart that outlines how each roll combination works. Learning these combinations can take a while, so don’t worry if you have to refer to the chart after each roll to double-check. You’ll also have some small paper pads for players to use to mark down their scores.

Rules and Gameplay

Rules and Gameplay

The Aim of The Game 

You win the Deer in The Headlights card game by scoring the fewest points. Like Crazy Eights, it is essentially a race to see who can discard all their cards first. But what makes this game unique and challenging is the addition of the dice. 

Each turn, you’ll roll three dice, and they will define how you can move. For example, you may be able to freeze another player out, discard multiple cards at once, or force another player to take some of your cards and add them to their hand. Let’s take a look at the rules in more detail below.

The Set-Up

Deer in The Headlights makes a great two-player card game but can be played with four people. First, you should choose a dealer; usually, this will be the oldest player. The dealer should shuffle the deck well and then deal out cards equally to all players.

Once the cards are dealt out, place the dice and role chart in the center and ensure every player has a pad and pen/pencil. Once done, the game is ready to begin! 

The Gameplay

The dealer should start the game with play continuing in a clockwise motion. You should roll the three dice on your turn and carry out the instructions on the roll chart. You may simply need to discard some cards in the center, or you might get a unique role. 

You could have to give cards to another player of your choosing or select a player to miss a turn to provide you with just a couple of examples. When one player manages to discard all their cards, the round is over, and all other players must stop playing. 

Any players with card lefts must tally up their score and mark them on the pads. When tallying up your cards, remember to follow the instructions below, which show how the cards are scored.

King, Queen, Jack – 10 Points 

Ace – 1 Point 

2 – 10 Cards – Corresponding Point Value 

Deer in The Headlights is played over multiple rounds and doesn’t end till one player scores 150 points. When this happens, all players tally up their points, and the player with the least points is declared the winner! 

Deer in The Headlight – A Fun Hybrid Dice and Card Game! 

Deer in The Headlights is a fun game with unique gameplay. It would make a perfect addition to a family game night and fits nicely alongside side classics like Clue and Battleship. But it would also make a fine choice for adult players as well. 

About Bar Games 101

Bar Games 101 is a website devoted to helping you learn about the best games to play with your friends. We review the games, research the rules, and uncover helpful tips and strategies.

Get our free guide to the 50 Best Bar Games.