Garbage Card Game
Are you looking for an easy card game for multiple players? Try the Garbage card game! Despite the name, this is not a game you will throw out. The garbage card game rules are simple and straightforward, making this a great game for kids and adults alike.
Maybe you’ve heard of this game and have always been eager to learn how to play with your family. Keep reading for the rules and play instructions!
How to Get Started
As with any card game, there are two essential factors: the cards and the players. Garbage, also known as “trash,” is meant for two or more players. A standard card deck of 52 cards is normally sufficient for the game. However, if there are additional players, you will need to add more decks of cards.
The general rule of thumb for the garbage game is:
- One deck for two players
- Two decks for three to four players
- Three decks for more than five players
Alright, players and decks secured? Let us move on!
How to Deal
The objective of the game is to be the first person to have all their cards in sequential order, starting with the Ace card.
It begins by shuffling the deck and then dealing ten cards to each player. The dealer should start with one card to the player on their immediate right and then continue clockwise around the group. This is done until everyone has ten cards. All the cards should be face down at this point.
When players receive their cards, they can lay them out in one of two ways:
- To have one row of ten cards
- To have two rows of five each
Since the objective of the game is to line cards in sequential order, the layout does matter. The first card in the layout would be the Ace, the second a two, and so on and so forth until ten. More on the significance of this in a moment.
Did you notice that there are only ten cards being dealt, and the sequence starts with Ace and goes to ten? If you are familiar with a deck of cards, you will know there are more cards floating in there. Good eye! The suits (King, Queen, and Jack) have a different role to play in this game. More on that in a moment!
All the remaining cards should be placed face down in the middle to serve as a deck to draw from. This is known as the garbage heap, or trash pile. Yes, this is where the name comes from!
How to Play Garbage
Okay, so the cards are dealt and the players are ready. Now, the question is, how exactly do you play garbage? As we have been saying, it is simple!
The first player to make a move is the player immediately to the dealer’s left. They will draw the top card out of the garbage pile. If the card is between an Ace and a ten, they will place it face down on the corresponding card in the layout before them. For example, if they draw a five, it would be placed on the fifth spot in the layout.
Then, the player would turn over that first card that is being “replaced” by the card they just drew. It would be moved accordingly, if possible. So, if you flip over the fifth card in the lineup and have a ten, you would move that ten to the tenth spot and continue.
This continues until the player reveals a number already face-up in the line-up or until they draw a Jack or Queen. The Jacks and Queens are garbage and end up in secondary discard pile. They signify the end of a turn.
Now, if your question is, “What about the kings?” then you are on the right track and certainly have been paying attention. A King is a wildcard and can replace any face down card in the layout. If a King is being used as a wildcard and the player reveals the correct card for that wildcard spot, the card can replace the King. Then, the King can be moved to another spot.
When a move is no longer possible, the last card a player has is placed in the pile and the game moves onto the next player.
The next player can either take that top card from the discard pile or draw from the face down garbage heap. This is great if that top discarded card corresponds to a slot in their own layout. After drawing a card, their turn commences in a similar fashion and ends in the same way as player one.
How to Win
Isn’t this the question we are actually all here for? A player wins when the cards are all face-up and in sequential order from Ace to ten, with any Kings in appropriate wildcard slots. At this point, the player wins the round. Next, the other players have one more turn to try to fill their layouts.
In this next round, the cards are reshuffled and dealt again. The player who won the previous round, and whoever was able to complete their layout in that next turn, are dealt one less card than the round before.
For example, if this is the second round and the first layout of ten was just cleared, the winner of the round would be dealt nine cards instead of ten. Every other player receives the same number of cards they had in the previous round.
Being dealt one less card makes it just slightly easier for the player to clear their layout. Instead of going Ace to ten, they will now only need to go Ace to nine. This continues until a player is down to one card in the layout.
The final win occurs when a player is down to just one card and is able to clear it with an Ace or a wildcard King.
Garbage Rules and Variations
Garbage card game rules and variations can be used to ensure fair play and shorten the game.
Here are some of the rules and variations that can be applied to garbage:
- It is a rule that the other players get an additional turn after a player flips all of their cards.
- If a player is able to flip all of their cards on that additional turn, they also go down by one card in the next round.
- Wildcards can be moved to different spots.
- The winner of the round plays first in the next round.
- To create shorter game, players can agree to play to a different layout than one card. For example, the winner can be the first player to reach a six-card layout.
- Some variations of the game allow for Jokers to be wildcards as well.
Garbage is a fun game to play because it is flexible and can be adapted to a number of group sizes. With so many rounds, the floor is open for anyone to win, catch up, or sweep the floor. If you are looking for a shorter game, you can just adjust the rules to fit your time frame and make it happen! There’s nothing “garbage” about this game – your whole family might get addicted!