Garbage Card Game: Rules & How to Play

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Garbage, also known as ‘Trash’, is a simple yet entertaining card game that’s loved by players of all ages. It’s simplicity makes it perfect for any setting, because it’s easy to learn and start. Here, we will take you through the Garbage card game rules so you can start playing right off the bet.

At its heart, Garbage is a sequence card game. The main goal for each player is to arrange their cards in a specific order, from Ace to 10, as quickly as possible.

Aside from the normal game, there’s also the Garbage drinking game. Below, we will also provide you with the drinking rules.

Your Game Information




20-30 party cups, 2+ ping pong balls


5-10 minutes







Garbage Card Game Rules

Garbage is played with 2 to 8 players. For a game with 2-3 players, you’ll need one standard deck of 52 cards. When playing with 4-8 players, it’s best to use 2 decks.

Make sure to remove the Jokers, as these are not played with.

Setting Up

  1. Deals ten cards face down to each player.
  2. Players arrange their ten cards in front of them in two rows of five.
  3. Place the remaining cards in the center of the table. This forms the draw pile.
  4. Decide who will go first. Starting with the youngest player is always a good choice.

The cards in front of each player correspond to positions 1 through 10. The top left card is position 1 (Ace), and the bottom right is position 10. This setup is key for placing the cards correctly during the game.

All setup? Continue reading the following section to learn how to start the game

How to Play

If it’s your turn, do the following:

  • Draw a card from the draw pile in the center. Your aim is to get cards that can be placed in the correct sequence from Ace (1) to 10.
  • If you draw a number card (Ace to 10), place it face up in its corresponding position.
    • For example, an Ace goes in the first position, a 2 in the second, and so on up to 10.
  • When you place a card, turn over the face-down card that was in that position. If this new card can be placed in another position, move it accordingly.
  • This continues until you draw a card that cannot be placed, which ends your turn.

Face Cards

Face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) have no place in the sequence and end the player’s turn. These cards are placed in a separate discard pile.

(Optional): to add more dynamic to the game, you can introduce the rule that specific face cards, such as Kings, count as wild cards.

Winning a Round

You win a round when you’re the first player to successfully place all cards in the correct order from Ace to 10.

Preparing For the Next Round

After a player wins a round, collect all cards, shuffle them, and deal again.

The winner of the previous round receives one card less, so that their new sequence is one card shorter.

The game continues in this manner, with the winning player needing to complete a shorter sequence each round.

Winning the Game

To win the game, you’ll need to be the first player who completes the final sequence of just one card, the Ace.

Garbage Drinking Game

Garbage’s simplicity makes it a perfect drinking game candidate. Simply tweak and add some rules to make an entertaining card drinking game:

  • Each card you draw that fits your sequence counts for a number of sips that can be distributed to other players.
  • When a round is won, all players except from the winner chug half their drink.

Other Fun Card games

Garbage is one of the various card games that are very easy to grasp yet fun to play. Whether you play it as a drinking or normal game, its low competitiveness and slow pace make it perfectly relaxing.

Do you love this game? Then you’ll love one of the other simple but fun card games:

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