Hang Ten

This game, contributed by by Douglas Wall , is a variant of 10-card Golf in which instead of all discarding to a central pile each player has their own discard pile, and can draw the top card of any opponent's discard pile.

The Deal:

This game is for 4 to 6 players, using 4 standard decks of 52 playing-cards with no Jokers.  The dealer deals 10 cards to each player that cannot be looked at.  Each player arranges these face-down cards in two horizontal rows of 5 cards each on above the other to make a 5×2 array.  The dealer places the remainder of the deck face down, flips over the top card and places it face up next to the face-down deck.  No other cards are ever flipped up in the center.  Each player turns two cards of their array face up. Players can choose any two cards to expose provided that they are not next to each other vertically or within a horizontal row. 

The Play

The first player at the dealers left begins, and must draw either the top card of the face-down deck or the face-up card from the center. Having looked at the drawn card, the player may use it to replace any one of his cards, be it face up or face down. However, if he chooses a face-down card he will replace it without knowing what it is. He then discards the rejected card - either the drawn card or the card that was replaced - face up above his 10-card array. This card begins his own discard pile. His play is over and the turn passes to the next player to his left.

Play continues clockwise. Each player's turn begins by drawing a card, which may be the next card (unknown) from the top of the deck. Alternatively the player may take the top card from any of his opponents’ discard piles (not from his own discard pile), or the face up card from the center if it has not already been taken. When a player chooses to draw the face-up center card, no new card is turned up to replace it and that option is no longer available until the next deal. As before, the player can either discard the drawn card or use it to replace a card in his array, discarding the replaced card on top of his own discard pile.

Objective and Card Values

The aim of the game is to make an array whose score is as low as possible - ideally even a negative score. The card values are:

  • Sevens: 0 points
  • Aces: 1 point
  • Kings, Queens and Jacks: 10 points
  • Other cards: face value

To score for an array is the sum of the card values in it, with the following exceptions.

  • A column with a pair equal cards (same rank but possibly different suits) is scored a zero. For example two Queens, one above the other would score zero, but a King above a Queen would score 20 - they are not a pair even though both are 10-point cards.
  • A block of four equal ranked cards - for example four Jacks or four Sevens or four Threes - scores minus 10 points.

Note that there is no particular advantage in having a column of Sevens - 7's score 0 points anyway and the column also scores 0 points.

End of the Play and Scoring

Play continues until one player has all 10 cards of his array face up. After that each of the other players has one more turn and then the play ends. All players turn any remaining face down cards in their arrays face up, everyone calculates the score for their array and adds it to their running total.

Then all the cards are shuffled and there is a new deal. The turn to deal passes clockwise. A complete game consists of 10 deals. The player with the lowest total score at the end is the winner of the game.

Playing For Money

4 Player Game:  Each person puts $1.00 into the pot.  The winner of each deal (the player with the lowest scoring array) takes out 25 cents (a quarter) and the 2nd placed player (next lowest score) takes a dime (10 cents).  If two people have the same lowest score they each take 15 cents.  If more than two people tie for first place they each take 10 cents (a dime) from the pot. If there is a tie for second place, each of the tied players takes a nickel (5 cents). After settling up the 10th deal, all money remaining in the pot is collected byte overall winner (or shared equally betwwen the winners if there is a tie for lowest total score).

5 Player Game: As above, but at the start of the game each player puts 80 cents into the pot.

6 Player Game: As above, but at the start of the game each player puts 75 cents into the pot, and on each deal the third placed player takes out a nickel (5 cents).