Golf Card Game Rules and Variations

Golf Card Game – How to Play?

Most of the people when they hear the term golf, what comes to mind is the outdoor game that involves golf balls and a 9 or 18 hole course — but, there is more to it. There is also the golf card game, which is popular and involves 2 or more players. This game is fun to play as anyone that knows the rules can play it.

Most of us love easy card games, and I guess that includes you…well this one of them!

Some like to refer to this game as Crazy Nines or Nine Holes.

Players: golf can be played with up to 10 players. 2 or 3 players will use a single deck of standard playing cards while 4 or more players will need to use two decks of standard playing cards.

Cards: a deck has typically 52 playing cards when you exclude the jokers. The cards are usually allocated numbers.

Game Variations

There are a number of variations of the golf card game, but the most common one is the 6-card rule followed by the 4-card rule.

In this kind of game, players will sit in a circle arrangement to wait for the deck to be shuffled. Two decks will be shuffled together if there are 4 or more players. Players will get a chance to agree on the game playing rules before the game commences since the rules will not be changed once the cards are dealt.

Golf Card Game

6-Card Rules


When it comes to making a deal, you can choose either to select anyone randomly, or someone can decide to volunteer. The individual will take the deck and deal each player 6 cards face down. After finishing, those cards that remain will be placed on the table, and the top card will be turned up and placed beside the remaining cards. For multiple rounds, you take turns to deal.

*Nobody should look at the cards dealt, otherwise if that happens the cards will be re-shuffled.


Players should aim to possess the lowest cards value through either swapping the lower value cards or pairing cards of equal rank.


Players will arrange their cards in two rows of three; in such a way that one row will be in front of the other. Then, the players will commence play by flipping any of the two cards.

Starting with the individual sat at the left of the dealer, players will take turns to draw cards from either the discard or stockpiles. After picking up the cards from the pile, a player has the option of either swapping the card with one of the 6 cards or to put it on the discard pile. The swapped card will remain face up even if it was switched to replace a face-down card. After the first player finishes their turn, the play will continue in a clockwise manner. The final turn occurs when one of the players has replaced the last face down card, thereby giving one last turn for each other player. Therefore, a game round will end in a situation where all the remaining cards are faced up, and the score will be calculated.

Scores will be kept, and the player who has the lowest total score will be declared the winner. You can choose to play a game of 9 holes (rounds) or any that you agree upon.

Scoring Strategy

Scores are calculated from the cards that the players’ possess according to the following system:

  • Ace – 1 point
  • Numerical card 2-10 – face value
  • A jack or queen – 10 points
  • King – 0 points
  • A Joker – -2

Equal cards that pair up in a column amount to zero points.

4 face-down cards variation


For this type of game, a dealer will shuffle the deck and deal out 4 cards to the players. The players will arrange the cards in a grid so that the cards don’t overlap each other. Remaining cards of the deck will be placed on the middle of the table. One card will be flipped up from the deck to start the discard pile next to the stockpile.


When commencing play, players are permitted to look at only 2 of their cards. Make sure you memorise the cards as this is only allowed once in a round. While all the cards are face down, the player sitting at the left of the dealer will start the game by picking a single card from either the stock pile or discard pile. You can choose to replace it with the peeked cards or the others. When replacing the card, the new card will be placed face down on the table while the old card will be put face up on the discard pile. There will be no looking at the cards again once they join the face-down group, but replacement occurs many times. If a player wishes not to change any card and discard it because it might be advantageous to the others, it is not a must to draw a card and discard it immediately. The individual can opt to “knock” or simply pass their turn (do nothing). In that way, the play will continue clockwise to the next player.

These are the two different variations of the golf card game. Why not give it a play yourself now that you understand the rules?