This summer, our entire family got really into playing card games. Even our 6-year-old played with us, which was a great way for him to learn his numbers and simple addition. (He actually got quite quick at adding up all the scores at the end of each round!)

I thought I would share the card game of Golf with you so you can play with your kids. (For bigger kids, you can play the more advanced version of the game called Cabo, which was also really fun!)

Here are the rules for the GOLF Card Game:

Just like the outdoor game of golf, the card game known as GOLF has a goal of keeping the score as low as possible.

Time to complete: 

Play for 9 or 18 hands (like golf), or for as long as you’d like. 

Game equipment (or requirements):

One full deck of cards (including jokers). At least two players.

Game instructions:

Pick a dealer. Shuffle the cards well. The dealer will deal 4 cards, face down, to each player each round. Arrange your cards faced down (don’t look at them) in front of you in a square (2 rows of 2 cards). After dealing, the dealer will stack the remaining cards in the centre of the table. Each player can then take a peek (discreetly) at the two bottom row cards of their dealt cards once. Note: You need to remember what they are because you only get one peek. Next, the dealer flips the top card of the deck face up (starting the discard pile) and lays it next to the deck. Remember, the objective of the game is to try to reduce the value of the cards you have in front of you, one card at a time (hence the lowest “golf” score). You do this by swapping a card from your hand with one in the discard pile (or one from the deck) when it is your turn.

The values for the cards in a game of GOLF are as follows:         

  • 10, Jacks & Queens = 10
  • Ace = 1
  • Numeric cards = face values
  • A pair of cards = 0 (two identical cards zero out the value of the cards)
  • Kings & Jokers = 0 (and are ‘wild’ so they zero out the highest value card)

Game objective:

You cannot look (except for the initial peek of your two bottom row cards at the beginning of the game) at your own face down cards.The objective or goal is to switch the cards you have with those of the lowest values you pick up from the deck or discard pile as you go around taking turns. 

Here’s how to play:

At each turn, you must pick a card from either the deck or discard card pile. You can choose, on your turn, what to do with the card you picked up from either pile. But on each turn, one of your cards has to be revealed. Once a card is flipped face-up, it is fixed in place.  You may chose on each turn:

1) To discard the card you picked up and reveal one of your four cards (turn it face up). 

2) Or, you can exchange it with one of your face-down cards (leaving it face up) and discard the exchanged card onto the discard pile. 

The hand is over when all players have their cards facing up (all cards revealed). Then, everyone counts and records their score. After nine (9) or 18 hands, the player with the lowest overall score is the winner.

If you’d like to print the rules, I’ve created a download here