There's no winners in this game, only one loser! Shithead is a card shedding game for 2-5 players in which the last player with cards left in hand is the loser or the...Shithead.
- In Shithead, the goal is to not be the last player left with cards in hand.
- Shithead uses a standard 52 card deck.
- Deal each player three cards face down (set these side by side for each player). Players DO NOT look at these cards.
- Deal a face up card onto each face down card previously dealt.
- Deal a three card hand to each player.
- The remaining cards form the draw deck.
- Before play begins, players may exchange any cards in their hand with any of their own face up cards (the idea here is to trade better cards from your hand with lesser cards from the table).
Playing the Game
In Shithead, the first player to play 3's into a pile goes first. If nobody has 3's, then the first player to play 4's goes first and so on. As soon as play is initiated, play moves clockwise around the table with each player playing cards onto the "pile" that was started at the beginning.
A player may play a maximum of 4 cards from their hand. These cards must all be the same rank and must match or beat the rank of the card(s) that were previously played.
After playing card(s), a player draws cards from the draw deck until they have 3 cards in hand. If a player already had 3 cards in hand after playing their card(s), they do not draw from the draw deck.
Play continues this way until a player cannot match or beat the rank of the previously played card(s). When this happens, they must add the pile to their hand.
After a player has taken the pile, the next player starts a new pile by playing any card from their hand and drawing another card from the deck if necessary and play continues as it did at the start.
- As soon as the pile has four-of-a-kind on top (either from a player playing four-of-a-kind or from a player completing four-of-a-kind), the pile is "burned" (removed from the game permanently by setting the cards off to the side).
- The player who burned the pile then draws a card if necessary, plays again to start a new pile and then draws again if necessary.
- 2's and 10's are special wild cards, though they each act differently.
- 2's can be played on top of any card and any card can be played on top of a 2. 2's do not burn the pile.
- 10's act the same as if a four-of-a-kind is completed, they burn the pile. When a 10 is played, the pile is burned (set aside) and the player draws if necessary, plays again to start a new pile and then draws again if necessary.
- If the draw deck is empty and a player has no cards left in hand, they then play cards from their face up cards on the table (still needing to match or beat the previously played rank).
- If they cannot match or beat the previously played card with their face up cards, they must take the pile as usual. They cannot play any face up cards again until their hand is empty.
- Once a player has no hand and no face up cards left, they must play from their face down cards. Since players do not know what these cards are, they are flipped over when played, using the same card rules. If the card matches or beats the previously played card, play continues. If not, the player must add the pile to their hand and cannot play face down cards again until their hand is empty.
- Whoever is the last player with cards left on the table or in hand is the Shithead!
There is no winning in Shithead, only one loser!
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