Rules for Hit the Deck Card Game

By Sophie Johnson

"Hit the Deck" is a card game for two to six players by Fundex Games. The game is played with "Hit the Deck" cards and four card sets of different colors containing numbered cards, "Cut the Deck" cards and "Flip the Deck" cards. Opponents discard cards to play, trying to earn as few points as possible.


Each player receives seven cards. The remaining cards form a face-down draw pile, and the top card is turned over to start the discard pile. If a "Hit the Deck with a Hand" card is flipped over, put it back into the deck and turn over the next card. If the flipped card is a "Cut the Deck" or "Flip the Deck" card, the first person to take a turn follows the directions on the card. The person left of the dealer goes first, and play continues clockwise.


On your turn, try to discard a card from your hand. The card you play must match the top card of the discard pile by number or color. All of the "Hit the Deck" cards can be played on any color. If you can't discard, draw a card.

Play continues until one person plays all of the cards in her hand. If the draw pile runs out before then, make a new one by shuffling all of the discarded cards except for the one in play.


When a "Cut the Deck" card is played, the next player must pick up about half of the draw pile, take the face up card and put it on top of the discard pile. A "Flip the Deck" card makes the next player reverse everything. He turns the draw pile over so it becomes the discard pile, then turns the discard pile over to become the draw pile. The turns reverse direction as well; for example, from clockwise to counterclockwise. If the new top card of the discard pile is another "Flip the Deck" card, the card is buried and the next card becomes the top of the discard pile.

A "Hit the Deck with (Some Number)" card decrees that the next discard must match the number printed on the card. If the next player can't obey, he must draw. If he draws the correct number, he can play it immediately; otherwise, the next player tries to obey. The "Hit the Deck with (Some Color)" cards work the same way as "Hit the Deck with (Some Number)" cards.

When a player discards a "Hit the Deck with a Hand" card, he yells, "Hit the deck with a hand!" Everyone tries to slap their hand onto the discard pile—or onto a quicker player's hand. The person whose hand lands on top has to draw four cards. If the player who discarded the card forgets to yell the instruction or slaps the deck before saying it, he is the one to draw four cards. If a player slaps the discard pile when a "Hit the Deck" card hasn't been played, he draws two cards.

Scoring and Winning

After a player goes out, the remaining players total their remaining cards. The number cards are worth their face value, and the rest are each worth 10 points. New hands are played until someone reaches 100 points, and the player with the lowest score wins.

About the Author

Sophie Johnson is a freelance writer and editor of both print and film media. A freelancer for more than 20 years, Johnson has had the opportunity to cover topics ranging from construction to music to celebrity interviews.