In the game of Garbage, players try to form sets of cards to discard from their hands. The first player to run out of cards ends the round while all remaining players are penalized for still having cards. The goal is to have the lowest possible score after 11 rounds of play. This card game can be played by two to eight players.
You will need two decks of cards with jokers included. Shuffle the cards. The dealer grabs what he thinks is the exact number of cards needed to be dealt to the players. The number can be calculated by multiplying the number of players by 10 and then adding 1. For example, if there are four players, the dealer has to grab 41 cards. Starting with the player to the dealer's left, distribute 10 cards to each player, one at a time, and deal the final card to the player to the left of the dealer. If the dealer has chosen the exact number of cards, subtract 50 points from his ongoing score. If he did not take the exact number, deal the needed cards or return the extra to the deck, and do not change his score.
Each round of play consists of each player trying to meet a specific goal. These goals change each round, with 11 rounds total. The goals are as follows: Round One requires two sets of three cards. A set is cards of the same value such as a set of fours. They can be of any suit. Round Two requires two runs of three cards. A run is a series of cards that follow the same suit. One example is the 4, 5 and 6 of clubs. Round Three requires one set of three cards and one run of four cards. Round Four requires two sets of four cards. Round Five requires one set of three cards and one run of five cards Round Six requires three sets of three cards Round Seven requires one run of seven cards. Round Eight requires one set of three cards and one run of six cards. Round Nine requires two runs of four cards. Round Ten requires two sets of five cards. Round Eleven requires one run of 11 cards.
Jokers are wild cards and can represent any value and suit of a card in the deck.
Aces can be used to end a run or begin a run; they cannot be used in the middle of a run.
The player to the left of the dealer begins the round by seeing if he can achieve the goal for the round. If he can, he will lay his cards onto the table. If he cannot, he discards one card into the discard pile and the next player goes. Beginning with the second player, each player draws one card from either the top of the deck or the top of the discard pile. The player checks his hand to see if he can complete a goal, then discards one card so at the end of each turn, the player is left with 10 cards.
Once a player completed a goal, he will try to discard the remaining cards from his hand by adding onto another player's sets and runs. For example, if you have a four in your hand and have completed the goal, you can add that four to another player's set of fours. When player is out of cards, the round is ended.
At the end of each round, count up points by scoring the cards still in a player's hand. Number cards are worth five points each, face cards are 10 points each, aces are 15 points, and jokers are 20 points. Begin the next round with the player to the left of the dealer taking over the dealer role. At the end of 11 rounds, the player with the lowest score wins.
Dan Chruscinski has written pieces for both business and entertainment venues. His work has appeared in "Screen Magazine" as well as websites such as Starpulse.com. Chruscinski graduated in 2006 with a degree in English literature from Illinois State University.