Golf Card Game Rules (Simple & Printable): How to play 9 card, 6 card, and 4 card Golf

If you are looking for Golf card game rules, you’ve come to the right place.

Golf is one of our favorites. It can be played with many people or just two. It works really well as a game to play with the family. It also makes a great game for date night. The best games are perfect for a crowd or a quiet night in.

It’s a very flexible game and can take 15 minutes or an hour, depending on your time to play. It’s wonderful!

The best part is all you need is two card decks and the golf card game rules. Round up some cards; I want to teach you how to play the card golf game and give you a few strategy pointers.

Note: There are a few variations on the 9-card game of golf. Below, you’ll find simple rules for golf card game with four cards and golf card game rules with six cards. Both variants have slightly different rules.

rules for golf card game

How to Set Up 9 Card Golf Card Game Rules

How do you play the card game golf with nine cards? I’ve included printable golf card game rules and a few pictures to help make your first golf card game easy.

What you need:

Printable Rules (including golf card game rules for 9 cards, 6 cards, and 4 cards)

Two Standard Decks of Cards (This is an affiliate link.)

Age: 6 – 93 in our home.

Just like the outdoor game of golf, the card game known as Golf has the goal of keeping the score as low as possible. The person with the lowest number of points at the end wins. The game requires two decks of cards and at least two players, but the more players, the more fun the game.

  • Pick a dealer, and the dealer deals nine cards to each player. The cards remain in a face-down position.
  • The remainder of the deck is then placed in the center of the table. This is the draw pile (also called the stock pile).
  • Each player then arranges their cards in three rows of three. This is the player’s layout. They select two of their cards to flip face up.
  • The dealer flips the top card of the deck face up and lays this next to the deck. This becomes the discard pile.
  • The player to the dealer’s left of the dealer goes first.

Scoring for Golf Card Game Rules

Golf card game scoring is pretty simple. The goal is to reduce the value of the cards in front of you, one card at a time. You can do this by swapping a card from your layout with the card on top of the discard pile or one from the deck on your turn.

The values for the cards in Golf card game scoring are as follows:

  • Ace = 1
  • Numeric cards = face value of the card
  • Queen and Jack = 10
  • King = 0
  • Joker = -5

Three identical cards in a vertical column score zero points, except for three jokers, which would reward the player with a negative score of -15 score.

Golf card game strategy. A great golf card game strategy is to work on clearing a high-value row of cards. The person on your right will probably not want to keep the high card, making it easy to collect them. 

How to Play Golf Card Game with Printable Rules

Playing golf with cards is quite simple. (Print the rules above)

  • The player left of the dealer starts.
  • That player chooses to either draw the top card of the stock pile or from the draw deck.
  • Without looking at face-down cards, decide whether to keep the card or discard it.
  • If the value of the card is higher than you would like, simply discard the drawn card face up on the stock pile and play moves to the next player.
  • If you want to use the card you have selected, take any layout card from your nine and replace it with the new card. This card can replace a face-up or face-down card. Sometimes this means you will give a really good card to the next player.
  • If you get 3 of the same card in a column, remove all 3 (shown below).
  • Once a card is discarded, play moves on to the next player.
rules for golf card game
If you get 3 of the same card in a column, remove all 3.

Golf card game strategy. A great golf card game strategy is to pay attention to what the person to your left needs. Because they will have the option to pick up from the discard pile you may decide to keep something just so they can’t have it. 

The hand is over when a player has their cards all facing up.

  • At this point, gameplay ends, and the other players turn over the cards remaining face down to face up.
  • The scoring is done according to the chart provided above.
  • The player with the lowest total score after nine hands is declared the winner.
rules for golf card game
Scoring of this hand would be:
column 1 = 14    column 2 =8     column 3 = 2     Total score for this hand is 24

One of the reasons we love this game is that you can play one hand or 9 hands. If you think you’ll play more than one hand, keep a scorepad handy and keep track of the scores after each hand. The object is always to have the lowest score.

How to Play Golf Card Game with 6 cards

How to Play Golf Card Game with 6 cards

While preparing this post, I came across a few variations for the game of golf. The rules for 6-card golf are very similar to playing with 9 cards. Use the same setup in six-card golf and scoring rules expect:

  • The dealer deals 6 cards to each player face down.
  • If you get 2 of the same card in a column, remove both.

This game moves quicker than 9-card golf. If you have more than 4 players, this is the better choice.

How to Play Golf Card Game with 4 cards

Golf Card Game with 4 cards has quite a few differences from the other two versions. It’s fun to mix up game play from time to time without needing to learn a complete new set of rules.

  • Dealer deals 4 cards to each player face down.
  • The remainder of the deck is then placed in the center of the table. This is the draw pile.
  • Each player then arranges their cards in two rows of two.
  • Each player looks ONCE at the two cards closest to them, without showing other players.
  • Play continues the same as with 9 card golf except when a new card is added to a player’s cards it’s kept face down.
  • When a player is satisfied with their hand, they knock on the table. Each player gets one more turn.
  • At this point, gameplay ends and all the players turn their cards face up.
  • Scoring is the same as with 9-card golf.

This version of golf adds a memory component.

Best Fun Family Card Games

Golf card game is without a doubt a favorite around here, but it’s not the only card game we love to play as a family. Here’s a list of fun family card games that have helped us create amazing family game nights.

This list contains affiliate links.

  • Phase 10 – This card game came from my house as a kid. We loved it growing up and have continued to play over the years.
  • Five Crowns – The tag line is “The game isn’t over ’til the kings go wild!”. Each round has a different number of cards and a different wild card. This is the game we buy for other families most often.
  • Exploding Kittens – This one wouldn’t normally make the list of best family card games for me… but as I write this it’s inspired many silly, fun-filled game nights at our house over the past few months.
  • Twenty-two – You only need a regular deck of cards for this one. It’s a shorter game and doesn’t require a scorekeeper.
  • Nerts – You’ll need a deck for each person. This game is all about speed, which makes it really fun.

Share your favorite card game or Golf card game tips in the comments.

golf card game rules
Golf Card Game Rules with Printable | Confidence Meets Parenting
Golf Card Game Rules with Printable | Confidence Meets Parenting

28 Comments

  1. This is really neat! We play Golf too but in our version, you are only dealt 4 cards and you can peek at 2 but you don’t flip those two until you decide to keep them or switch them from the deck. Getting 2 of the same card flipped over cancels them out. So there are 4 turns each and we have 9 rounds, lowest score wins. The scoring is the same as yours but we have never used the jokers. I really like this version and can’t wait to share it with my family, we are big card/board gamers here! Thanks for sharing, I Pinned it! Now off to check out the rest of your Blog 🙂

  2. A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary device with which the game is played, be they traditional or game-specific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games (such as poker). A small number of card games played with traditional decks have formally standardized rules, but most are folk games whose rules vary by region, culture, and person…

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  3. I play Golf as much as I can. Disappointingly, I don’t make as much time as I did back in the day. Sure it’s the similar situation for a lot of folks. – Mckelvey

  4. My 23 year old grandson taught me to play this game tonight. Four of us played 2 games. It was so much fun! Our family reunion is coming up soon and we have a canasta tournament. We always introduce new games for those who lose out. Last year it was the dice game Tenzi, a wild, wonderful game. I’m anxious to tell everyone about Golf. I looked at a lot of different rules and yours are the the same as he taught me and by far explained in the best way. The greatest thing is you can play with a various number of players, like 3 or 5. I’m sure it will be a big hit. Thank you!

  5. Please forgive me for being dense, but I don’t see how the final score on your sample game is 17. Please explain!
    Thanks!!!!

  6. Thank you and your Mom for sharing the game and rules of GOLF. I’ve played games my whole life and never heard of it. It sounds similar to Knock Knock but with more cards. Love it!

  7. Thank you for the new card game my hubby and I are retired senors and playing crib all the time was getting boring so it’s nice to have something new. Could you please send rules and scoring for hand and foot canasta? Will be watching for next game eagerly thank you

  8. Our family loves this game! I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of the card game SNIP, SNAP SNORT. If so, I need to know the rules.

  9. Thank you! I’m not even a native English speaker but you explained it so simply! We just played the game with my husband and we loved it!

  10. We play this with a different version. Ace=1pt, 2-9 are face value, 10,J,Q,K=10pts and Jokers are -3pts. We start by flipping 3 cards. Whoever goes out is saying they have less points than everybody else and everybody else gets 1 final turn. If any player ends up with less points than the person going out…the person who went out has to add 13 pts. to his/her score.

  11. Cool game! For the life of me, I can’t figure out how the total score is 17 (0+20+3=23)or how the last column in your scoring example equals 7. [2+K(0)+ Joker (5)+7]

  12. We play 9 cards start by turning over 3 cards
    The jokers are minus 3. Kings aren’t worth nothing. They are both desirable cards. Of course any card turned over goes to the player on the left
    They can keep or draw another card. Counting is the same after game. Except the kings don’t count anyting and the jokers are used to minus 3 off your score. The more jokers you end up really helps your score. Plus your canceled out rows.

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