Screw Your Neighbor Card Game: Rules & How to Play

Share on:

Are you and your friends looking for a simple card game that requires minimal thinking? The Screw Your Neighbor card game is very easy-to-play but fun nonetheless! It doesn’t require an elaborate explanation, so you can immediately start playing after reading the rules.

The general idea of this game is as follows: All players have one card in their hand, and they have one opportunity to trade their card with that of their neighbor at their lefthand side. At the end of one round, all cards are revealed. The player with the lowest card value loses the round.

Originally, Screw Your Neighbor is a standard card game. However, here you can also find the drinking and betting game variations. Simply choose the variation that best fits your hangout and start the fun!

Your Game Information

Players: 2-8 per deck

Equipment: deck of playing cards

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Area: indoor

Tabletop: yes

Drinking: both

Rules of Screw Your Neighbor

Before starting the game, there are some minor preparation steps to be taken. We will first describe the standard game. Below the standard game you can find the drinking and betting variations.


  1. Players gather around a stable playing area, creating a circle for the game.
  2. Each player begins with three lives.
  3. All players draw one card from a shuffled deck.
  4. The player with the highest card becomes the initial dealer. In case of ties, you should repeat the shuffling and drawing.
  5. The dealer shuffles the deck and deals one faced-down card to each player.


As soon as the dealer’s chosen and all players have their cards, you can start playing. The game starts with the player to the left of the dealer. Here’s how it goes:

  • Players look at their cards and decide whether to keep it or swap with the player on their left. Once a swap occurs, it is permanent.
  • Gameplay proceeds clockwise, with each player having the option to exchange cards with the person on their left.
  • If a player reveals a King, they must immediately flip it over. Kings cannot be swapped, meaning that the player to the right of the King must retain their card.
  • At the end of the round, it’s the dealer’s turn. The dealer is the only player that can switch their card with the top card of the deck.
  • After the dealer’s turn, all players simultaneously reveal their cards.
  • The player holding the lowest card loses a life.
  • Reshuffle the cards, and the dealer position rotates clockwise.
  • Repeat the previous steps until there is only one player left. The last remaining player wins the game!

The order of cards from low to high is as shown in the image below.

Screw Your Neighbor Drinking Game

The Screw You Neighbor card game is also perfect as a drinking game, because it only requires the addition of a few drinking rules. There’s several ways to do this, but our favorite rule ensures that everyone drinks after each round:

  • The winner of the round takes one sip, while the other players drink sips based on their ranking.

So, for example: You are playing with seven people. The player with the highest card takes one sip, the player with the second highest card takes two, etcetera. In this way, it’s not just the loser that drinks, keeping it more equal for everyone.

Alternatively, you can add the rule that only the player with the lowest card must chug a beer or drink a shot, or that the winner of the game can choose someone to drink.

Just make sure that you choose a rule that best suits your group. Adding a drinking element can definitely add some more excitement, but the most important thing is that everyone’s having a good time.

How to Play the Screw Your Neighbor Card Game With Money

Instead of playing for lives or drinks, you can also play Screw Your Neighbor for money. It does work like the normal game with lives, but instead of lives everyone starts with a predetermined amount of money. Usually, this amount is three units of a specified amount, such as $1. This means that everyone starts with $3 instead of three lives.

At the end of one round, the player with the lowest card value puts one unit into the pot. Players that lose their three units are out of the game, and the last player remaining wins the pot!

Wrap Up

Whether you playing for coins, lives, or drinks, the Screw Your Neighbor card game never disappoints! The simplicity of this game allows you to play it the way you like.

If you’re looking for a similar game that does involve playing for stakes, you should check out the High Low dice game. As the name indicates, you do need a couple of dice for this game.

There’s a fun game for any setting!

In case you’re looking for fun drinking games, our drinking games with cards are the place to be.

Remember to always drink with moderation. Know your limits, and make sure that others are doing okay. Never pressure others into drinking, and vice versa. The main goal of these games is to have fun, and not to get drunk. Be safe and enjoy!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top