How to Play Garbage Card Game (Rules and How to Win

How to Play Garbage Card Game (Rules and How to Win)

Garbage (also known as Trash) is a card game that can literally be played by anyone. There’s no age limit for it as it’s highly customizable and modular. For example, Garbage is a good way of utilizing cards in order to teach children about numbers. The game requires one standard deck and it’s intended for two players. However, there’s a possibility to play it on your own and we’ll explore that in the text down below. Another requirement is a surface that’s large and flat enough to allow the player to spread the cards.

In order to win the game, the player has to assemble a specific set of cards. The set needs to have an Ace, cards from 1 to 10, and wildcards. The game itself and its rules are kind of flexible, meaning that players can choose to play 1, 2 or even 10 rounds. Speaking of rules, let’s talk about them briefly.

Other Names for Garbage Card Game

Other Names for Garbage Card Game

When it comes to the name of the game, the term ‘Garbage’ might be the most common of all. However, there are a few alternative ways of calling it. For example, some people call it ‘Trash’ or ‘Rubbish’. Furthermore, there are numerous board game manufacturers who optimized the game for kids, calling it ‘Rubby’.

How Many Can Play Garbage

Garbage is a very flexible game that can be played by two, three, or five players. The number of players basically depends on the number of available card decks. Having one card deck is completely sufficient for two players. Two card decks are needed for three players and three card decks for five players. There might be some instances where people added even more decks and people. Though it’s a bit uncommon to play the game like that, it is still possible.

Garbage Card Game Rules and Scoring

Garbage Card Game Rules and Scoring

We know that there are people who are unfamiliar with the official rules for Garbage card game. For their sake, we’ll shed some light on how to play Garbage with cards.

As mentioned above, the player needs to collect a set of specific cards in order to win. Each player is dealt 10 cards at the beginning of the game. The player who’s closest to the left of the dealer gets an additional card. So, the game begins with the player to the left of the dealer and continues in a clockwise direction. There’s a ‘Goals Table’ with a set of designated goals which players have to achieve. The player who achieves one of the goals has the right to discard one card.

At each new turn, the players have to draw one more card from the deck. Alternatively, they can draw another card from the stack of discarded cards. When one player runs out of cards, the round ends. The player who managed to run out of cards does not get any penalty points, while everyone else does (more on that in the following section). The entire game ends when one of the players achieves the last (eleventh) goal.

Queens in Garbage Card Game

Queens play an important part in the game because they can be used to construct runs. For those who don’t know, a run refers to a same suit of cards in a series. Runs are extremely beneficial to the players and there’s a limited number of cards in them. They allow them to empty their hand further by extending other players sets or runs. However, keep in mind that players need an Ace in order to construct a run. In addition, Queens are part of one run only, which is ‘Queen, King, Ace’.

Garbage Card Game Scoring

When it comes to scoring, there are several things that should be mentioned. First of all, let’s take a look at the value of the cards in points. Card numbers from one to nine are worth 5 points while Ten, Jack, Queen, and King are worth 10. The only two cards that are worth more than that are Ace (15 points) and Joker (20 points). Scoring is based on the number of cards each player has in their hand at the end of the eleventh round. It’s quite simple. Now, let’s move on to the game setup.

Garbage Game Setup

Garbage Game Setup

Setting up the game isn’t as complicated as many believe it to be. The first thing to do is to determine the number of players and the available card decks. Next, the dealer needs to shuffle all the cards into one deck (if there’s more than one card deck). Afterward, the dealer has to deal 10 cards to each player one at a time. Additionally, the person who deals the cards must not look at them, so the cards should be facing down.

After they receive their cards, the players need to line them up in two horizontal rows (five cards in each row). The order of the cards is completely irrelevant.

Finally, the dealer has to set up a discard and draw pile after everyone receives their cards. Our advice is to place the remaining cards in the center of the table (or another playing area) and take the top card. The top card should be laid next to the draw pile facing up. That’s it. As we said, it’s not complicated at all.

How to Play Garbage by Yourself

Garbage is typically a two-person game. However, playing solo is also one of the available options. Here’s a brief guide on how to do it.

First of all, the players need to make two rows of five cards in front of them. The cards need to be face-down as well. Now, the player needs to draw one card from the deck and take a look at its number. Let’s say that the player drew a 7. That means that the seventh card in front of the player needs to be replaced. The card on the seventh spot will probably be a different number. For example, if the players replaced the card on the seventh spot with a 7 and now they have a 5, they need to replace the card on the fifth spot.

The players need to continue replacing the cards until they find all ten. When they find all ten, they need to shuffle the deck again and start all over. That’s how it works.

Garbage Card Game with Pennies

Garbage Card Game with Pennies

Some people might be wondering whether it’s possible to play Garbage with coins or pennies. Well, it is but then the game turns into ‘Garbage Poker’. Since we showed our readers how to play garbage with cards, we thought that we might talk about this as well. It’s important to mention that there are four different game plays with their own sets of rules. Therefore, we’ll focus on penny/coin utilization through each of these game plays.


Just like any regular poker game, Garbage poker requires that players bet and add their amounts to the middle pot. The players have to match the bet by placing equal amounts of pennies. If they fold, they’re basically out for the entire poker hand. Those who don’t fold throughout the entire game, win the middle pot.


When it comes to ‘Count’, the dealer needs to count to 10 and flip over a card on the table after each number. If there’s a card on the table that matches the count number the players have to pay that amount. For example, if the dealer flips an 8 with the 8th card, the players pay him/her 8 pennies.

In and Out

For this one, the dealer has to flip over the top card that’s in the remaining deck. Afterward, the players have to match the card number (with the same rank) with their pennies. For instance, the players have to put one penny for the 1st card, 2 for the 2nd, etc. The process lasts until the 5th card is placed on the table. After that, the process reverses and the players take out pennies in the same manner. At the end of the takeout, the dealer can either pay the players or vice versa.


The players have to flip their cards face-up. When the dealer starts discarding the cards, he/she will announce the rank of the card. Anyone who has a card of the same rank will place a penny on top of it. The player who has at least one penny on each of his/her cards wins the bingo.

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