Shithead, or Danish Bastard in Germany, is a really cool card game popular among travelers. It’s really simple and you can customize it a bunch to make it even more fun.
It’s played between 2-6 players with a single deck of standard four suit cards.
So let’s take a look at what it’s all about!
The object of the game
The main object of the game is to get rid of all your cards. The last person that is left with cards is crowned as the Shithead (or a Danish bastard, if you are in Germany).
The deal and start of the game
Each player is dealt 3 cards face down, 3 cards face up on top of the face down cards and 3 cards in hand (5 cards in hand, if there are only two players). The rest of the cards form the stockpile
No one is allowed to look at their face down cards, but before the game starts they can exchange any number of their face up cards with the cards in their hand.
Start of the game and gameplay
The player with a trey in his hand starts the game by discarding it. If none has a trey, the player with the lowest card, that is not a deuce, starts the game by discarding that card. He then has to replenish his hand by drawing from the stockpile.
The game continues clock-wise.
Every player has to discard at least one card on their turn and then replenish their hand to 3 cards by drawing from the stock pile. The card they discard has to be higher than the card that the previous player discarded. If someone has two or more of the same cards (for example, two eights), they can discard them in one turn.
If a player doesn’t have anything he could discard on his turn, he has to pick up the entire discard pile. He then doesn’t draw cards until his hand consists of less than 3 cards.
When the stockpile runs out, players don’t have to draw anymore. When they run out of cards in their hand, they play with their three face up cards. When they run out of their face up cards, they play their face down cards (they are still not allowed to look at each of them, until they play them one by one!). When a player runs out of ALL his/her cards, he/she is home free from being a shithead:)
So the important things are:
- all players must have 3 cards in their hand until their is a stockpile.
- you always have to play a higher card than the person before you.
- you can discard more than one card in one turn, if they have the same value.
- you first play the cards in your hand, then your face up cards, then your face down cards.
- if you are the last person with cards in front of you… then you are the Shithead… Danish bastard, if you’re German:)
There’s a little bit more to this game. Some cards have special “powers” and some can be played at any time. Here are the usual special cards:
- Deuces = A new start. They can be played on any card and the game continues normally (the next player has to go higher than a deuce).
- Tens = A ten can be played on any card. When it’s played, the discard pile that accumulated to that point is taken out of the game (along with the ten) and the next player can play any card he wants.
- Sevens = Go lower. Seven can only be played on a lower card (like all normal cards), but the next player has to play a lower card instead of a higher card.
- Eights = Skip. Eights have to be played on a lower card, like all normal cards, but when someone plays an eight, you skip the next player.
You can add other rules as well. You can make them game related or you can just make them fun (playing in a bar? maybe when you play a 9 the next player has to buy a round of drinks:)). You can also attach special rules to number of cards discarded and not specific cards (for example, if someone discards two of the same cards, then the next player has to do the chicken dance:)). Use your imagination:)
Have fun playing and be careful not to become a shithead… or Danish bastard:)