Golf: A Card Game
(Also known as Crazy Nines, Hara Kiri, Poison, Polish Poker, Polish Polka, and Turtle)

By Dick Oakes


This fun card game is played by the Meyer clan who learned it from Don and Kay Hunt. Although it is quite widespread in Britain, North America, and other English speaking countries, Golf is seldom found in card game books. The game is so named because the object of the game is to finish the game with the lowest score.


Up to 10 players.


For 2 to 3 players, use one deck of standard playing cards with 2 Jokers. For 4 or more players, use two decks of standard playing cards with 4 Jokers.


The object of the game is to finish the game with the LOWEST score as in the game of GOLF!


The value of the cards are:

  • A = +1
  • 2 through 10 = +number value
  • J & Q = +10
  • K = 0
  • Joker = -2


Scores may be kept by a designated person who keeps all scores (although individuals may keep their own scores, if so agreed). All scores are subject to review.

To Begin:

Deal 6 cards to each player, one at a time, face down, starting to the dealer's left. Players do not look at their cards, but place them face down, separately, in two rows of three, one row above the other. The remaining portion of the deck is the draw pile with the first card turned up to make a discard pile.

To Open:

Each player first turns 2 cards of his choice up in front of himself, one above the other.

Game Play:

  1. The player to the dealer's left draws one card from either the draw pile OR the discard pile and MAY replace any one of his 6 cards with that card. He then must discard either the card he drew OR the card he replaces.
  2. Play continues clockwise around the table.
  3. When a player's cards match, one above another, his count is zero for that set. For example, a 9 above a 9 = 0.
  4. Each of the three sets is scored separately and added together. Examples, 3 + 4 = 7, K + K = 0, and 6 + Joker = 4 for a total of 11.
  5. Jokers should be matched up with a different card to get full value of minus 2. If matched together, their value is zero (0), not minus 4.
  6. A player may also try to get 4 cards (2 sets SIDE-BY-SIDE) of the same number. Examples: 2 sets of 3s, 2 sets of 7s, etc. If this is accomplished, 10 points are added to the score of EACH of the OTHER players at the end of the hand (or round).

End Play:

  1. Play continues around the table until someone turns up their last down-card.
  2. When someone turns up their last down-card, all remaining players then turn all their down-cards face up and EACH remaining player gets one final card, but ONLY from the DRAW pile (not the discard pile). This card can be played or discarded.
  3. Each player then counts his score and the scorekeeper records it. Each player's score is added to his previous score to reach a total of 9 hands (rounds).
  4. Low score indicates the game winner.


Unknown as of this writing.

Golf Instructions © Dick Oakes (after Orval Meyer), May 11 2001.