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Hit the Deck Card Game Instructions

"Hit the Deck" is a card game for two to six players ages 6 and up. The deck consists of 110 cards divided into four color sets. Each set contains four each of cards numbered 1 through 5, two Cut the Deck cards, and one Flip the Deck card. The deck also has 10 Hit the Deck With a Number cards, four Hit the Deck With a Color cards, and four Hit the Deck With a Hand cards.

Preparing for Play

Players should remove jewelry from their hands to avoid injury. Choose a dealer to shuffle and distribute seven cards face down to every player. The remaining cards are placed in the playing area face down, forming the draw pile, with the top card turned up next to the pile, making a discard pile. If a Hit the Deck with a Hand card is the first card flipped, bury it in the deck and flip a new card. If another word card is flipped first, the player who takes the first turn must do what the card instructs.

Game Play

The person to the left of the dealer goes first. The player tries to play a card from his hand by matching the top card of the discard pile by color or number. If he is unable to play a card, he must take a card from the draw pile. If he still cannot play a card, his turn is over and play passes to his left. The hand continues until one player has no cards in his hand.

The Cards

Some cards require players to perform specific tasks. If a person plays a Cut the Deck card, the next player must cut the deck in half (approximately) and place the cut card on top of the discard pile. She then skips her turn.

Flip the Deck cards require the next player to switch the draw and discard piles. Play direction is also reversed, so whoever played the Flip the Deck card takes another turn and play then continues in the opposite direction. If another Flip the Deck card is revealed immediately following the one just played, it is buried and the next card is flipped over.

Hit the Deck With a Number and Hit the Deck With a Color cards can be played on cards of any color. If one of these cards is played, the next player has to lay a card with the same number or color, respectively. If she does not have a matching card, she has to draw. If she still does not have a matching card, her turn is over and the next player must lay a corresponding card.

Hit the Deck With a Hand cards can be placed on any color card. Whoever plays this card must say, “Hit the deck with a hand,” out loud. All players must put one hand on the discard pile. The player who gets her hand in the pile last must draw four cards. Play then proceeds as normal. The next player can play any card in her hand.


If a Hit the Deck With a Hand card is played and the person who played the card does not announce it, he has to draw four cards, rather than the last player to put a hand on the deck. If someone places a hand on the deck when a Hit the Deck With a Hand card was not played, he has to draw two cards.


Once a player goes out, the other players added up the points of the cards left in their hands. Hit the Deck cards and all word cards are 10 points each. Number cards receive face value in points. The winner is the person who has the fewest points once someone in the game reaches 100 points.

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