S#!t Head is a card game I’ve played since college. My friends came back from their semester in Ireland and taught everyone this addictive game. We would play for hours on breaks from writing papers, in the middle of parties or just any old time. Some years later, I taught the hubs and our friend John. Both of them are now addicted; I submit as proof the fact that we just spent two hours playing on a Friday night. The rules may sound a little complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it is really quite simple and fun!
Everyone is dealt three cards down that they MAY NOT look at and that remain face down until the end of the game. Everyone is then dealt three cards up and three cards down. Players pick up their cards and select the best three (or whatever strategy you choose) to place face up, one on top of each face down card to play later, leaving three cards for their hand to start the game. It should look like this.
The rest of the deck becomes the draw pile. A black three starts. If no one has one, black four. If no one has that, black five, etc. Once someone starts by laying down a card, the next person just has to play the same number/face or higher. Play does NOT have to go in strict order (3s followed 4s followed by 5s etc) and players may play multiples of the same number/face. Note: if someone plays three Jacks, one Queen MAY be played on top. This is NOT like other games where you have to beat the number/face AND the number of cards played.
Players must have at least three cards in their hand at all times, so players draw from the draw pile at the end of their turn if, on their turn, they went below three. If a player cannot beat what’s been played to them, that player must pick up the whole pile of played cards. Play then continues to the next player who may start with whatever card, she/he wishes.
Play continues. When the draw pile is gone, players play until they have no cards left. Then they may pick up those three cards they placed face up in front of them, leaving the ones they’ve never seen face down. This will happen at different points in the game for everyone. A player must have an empty hand with no cards in the draw pile to pick up these three cards.
Play continues. Once a player’s hand empties again, he/she may play a face down card on their next turn. Only ONE and the player may not look at it until it is their turn. If that player has to pick up the pile, she/he cannot play another face down card until she/he empties his/her entire hand again. This continues until someone runs out of cards completely and wins!
Here’s the catch; there are wild or “special” cards.
2: can be played on anything and resets the pile at two.
3 (red only): can be played on anything and acts like an invisibility cloak (it is the same as the card it is played upon).
7: must be played in order, but the next person must play a seven or lower.
8: must be played in order, skips the next player. Two 8s skip two players, etc.
10: can be played on anything and clears the pile. The player who lays the 10 gets to start again with anything she/he wishes.
Ace: highest card in the game and the player may decide who to send the ace to if they wish to force someone other than the person who plays after them to beat it. (This is particularly useful when playing the blind cards at the end).
A few other tricks: four of a kind also clears the pile. The player who plays the fourth card in four of a kind gets to start with any card. If a player plays a card (say a Jack) and then draws a Jack from the draw pile, said player is permitted to play the second Jack as well.
Also, technically play continues until only one person is left with cards. That person is the s#!t head and must deal the next round as well as buy drinks, get snacks, etc, though we aren’t always that mean.