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How to Play the Card Game Screw Your Neighbor

Last player in wins the pot.
playing cards image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com

This version of the card game Screw Your Neighbor originated in the Midwest. In this fun-filled card game, players are dealt a single card to gamble on. Of course, "gamble" is a fairly strong word as you’ll never see anything remotely close to this game at the tables in Vegas. Once you’re dealt a card, you have the option to "stay" or "pass." When you pass, you trade with the player to your left. From there, it’s all up to chance.

Start out the game of Screw Your Neighbor with each person having the same amount and number of coins in front of him.

Determine the first deal (and order of play) by dealing out the cards until one player is dealt a Jack. This person will act as the first dealer. Subsequent deals move to the left and around the circle in a clockwise direction.

Deal one card to each player in the game, setting aside the remainder of the deck. It will not be used until the end of the round.

Look at your card. If your card is a King, you may immediately lay it down in front of you. This locks your card for the round. After anyone who has a King for a hand has locked it down, play can continue around the table.

Choose to stay or trade. Starting with the person to the left of the dealer, you may opt to stay with your card or trade it for your neighbor’s card, which is the card of the player to your immediate left. You do not want to have the lowest card at the table. Once you’ve opted to stay or trade, your card is locked, but you should still keep it hidden.

Play continues to the left with each player opting to stay with or trade the card in her hand — this card may either be a card that was dealt or traded to her. How you got the card doesn’t matter in the game of Screw Your Neighbor. The dealer is the last player to choose. He may either stay with the card in his hand or take the top card of the unused deck.

Turn over your card to reveal its rank. The lowest card throws a coin in the pot. If two people tie for lowest card, both players throw in a coin.

Play until only one player is left. Players are eliminated when they lose all their coins. The remaining player wins the pot.

Things You'll Need:

  • Deck of cards
  • Playing surface
  • Spare change


Play with chips to avoid using money. This game is sometimes called Ranter-Go-Round or Moogle.


  • Don't play with more money than you care to lose.
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