Rules for 4 Card Golf Game

By Robert Preston
A player's hand in golf consists of four cards.
A player's hand in golf consists of four cards.

Sitting in the clubhouse waiting for a storm to roll through so you can tee off? Pass the time with some cards. Golf is a card game that requires players to have a good memory and to use strategy to create a winning hand. The game is so named because the objective is to achieve the lowest score possible.

The Deal

The dealer position rotates from player to player around the table in a clockwise manner, changing at the end of every deal. Each player is dealt four cards and then arranges his cards face down to create a two-by-two grid. Players are permitted to look at the bottom two cards before placing them back on the table face down. From that point, players are not allowed to look at their cards unless making a play with one of them. One card is turned face up from the top of the pile to form a discard pile.


Players attempt to create a combination of four cards with the lowest possible point value. Aces are worth one point, numbered cards are worth their value, and kings and queens are worth 10 points. A jack is worth zero points, making it the best card. Adjacent cards — in the same row or column — of the same value (face cards must match; i.e. king and king) cancel each other and are worth zero points. Point totals are recorded at the end of each round. Typically, a game of golf consists of nine or 18 hands. The player with the lowest point total at the end of the round wins.


The player to the left of the dealer goes first. He may take the top card off the discard pile and exchange it with one of his four cards, placing his original face-down card in the discard pile. Or he may take the top card off the deck and either exchange it in similar fashion or, if the card is not to his liking, place it in the discard pile. Play rotates around the table in a clockwise manner. Players may exchange their cards as many times as they like. When a player thinks he has achieved his lowest possible score for the hand, he "knocks" on his turn. Every other player gets one more turn.

Photo Credits

  • Scott Halleran/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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