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Rocket Pants

A game for 3 or 4 players contributed by Jacob B. Gohlke

Rocket Pants (also mistakenly called Rocket Pocket or Pocket Rocket) is an intense card game where the objective of the game is to match every card you hold to a card on the game Floor as fast as possible. Similar to Speed, the players do not take turns and each player's physical speed, alertness, and memory usually determine the game's outcome.


Game play

Rocket Pants is played with a regular deck of 52 playing cards.

Each player must have a back pocket on their pants to be able to play Rocket Pants. This rule can be waived if the other players agree.

The Deal

The right to deal each hand usually goes to either the most senior player in the group or can rotate between players.

The dealer then deals out 3 cards to each of the players. This is the Initial Hand. The players cannot look at this hand until the dealer starts the game.

Again the dealer deals out 10 cards face-up on a table or surface of some sort. This is the Floor.Any repeating cards (of the same value) are combined into one Stack.

Finally, the dealer distributes the rest of the cards evenly between the players. This will change between 3 and 4 players. The players cannot look at these cards. The players should put this in the aforementioned back pocket of the pants. This is the Refill.

The Game

The dealer will call Ready and all the players may look at their initial hands.

All players now must match the cards in their initial hands to the cards on the floor by putting their card down on the match's respective stack. [That is: a player may play a card on a stack if and only if the rank of the played card matches the rank of the top card of the stack.]

At any time, the player may shout "Fill me up!" to Swap Out the hand in their back pocket for the hand their currently playing. In this way, you can swap between your refill hand and initial hands. However, each time a player does this, the other hand must be put entirely into their back pocket, and they must say the exact phrase "Fill me up". The hand the player is currently playing is the only hand they may look at.

When a stack accumulates four of the same value cards, that stack becomes wild. This type of stack is a four-of-a-kind wild. [This means that any card can be played as the next card on that stack, but as soon as the top card of the four-of-a-kind is covered, the stack ceases to be wild. The rank of the covering card must be matched next.]

Cards of the value of 2 are wild and anything can be played on top of them. [Also a 2 can be played on anything except a 2.] This 2 does not count for four-of-a-kind wilds. You cannot play a 2 on top of another 2

End of the game

Once a player has put down their last card and shouted "Rocket Pants!", they win the game. The player must say the phrase "Rocket Pants" to win the game. The last person with cards still in their possesion is the loser.

Pocket Rocket

Alteratively, if a player happens to obtain the Ace of Spades (spadeA) and the Ace of Hearts (heartA), they can put it down on the floor while shouting "Pocket rocket!" to win the game instantly. Both of these cards must be in only one of the two hands. This is called the Pocket Rocket.


There are only a few variations to Rocket Pants, most were created while the creators were refining the game.

  • The dealer may deal 13 cards for the floor, and 10 to each player. This limits the game to 3 players, and slightly speeds up the game.
  • When 4 cards of the highest value are all played on the floor, the next lowest value becomes wild. (i.e. When all 2s are played, all As become wild)

Learning Curve

The game can be picked up suprisingly easily, and after three or four rounds a new player can grasp the game quite well.


The game of Rocket Pants was created by a group of guys (Jacob Gohlke, Ian Haley, and Harry Ha) that, at the time, were attending Pearland High School. As legend has it, they were tired of playing VC and were looking for a new game. One of them thought of a random word (Rocket Pants) and all of them ran with it creating a new game. Consequently, the game shares a few elements from VC, Speed, and other games, but is an entirely original game.

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Last updated: 17th January 2007