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Shithead is a popular card game, similar to the slightly more complex Palace, played with a standard deck of 52 cards. Two or more players can play the game. 

Group of friends playing cards.

Objective of the Card Game Shithead

The objective is to play all your cards before the other players.

Setting Up for Shithead

The cards rank from lowest to highest: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. The suits (hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades) do not have any significance in terms of ranking.

Shuffle the deck of cards and deal each player three cards face down as their starting hand. Then deal three cards face up on top of the starting hand.

Playing the Card Game Shithead

The player to the dealer's left goes first, and the play continues clockwise. On their turn, a player must play one or more cards equal to or higher in rank than the topmost card in the pile. Players who cannot play any cards must pick up the entire pile. Players must play at least one card if they can and may choose to play more if they wish. Players can only play cards of the same rank together (e.g., two 6s or three Jacks).

Unique Cards: There are two cards that have special effects in the game:

The 2 (Clear Card): If a 2 is played, the pile is cleared, and the player who played the 2 starts a new pile.

The 10 (Burn Card): If a 10 is played, the entire pile is burned, and the 

player who played the 10 starts a new pile.

If a player cannot play a card, they must pick up the entire pile and add it to their hand. After picking up, the player must play a card on their next turn if possible.

After each round, the players replenish their hands back to three cards from the remaining undealt cards. If there are not enough cards left, the players do not draw any more cards.

Ending the Card Game Shithead

The game continues until one player has gotten rid of all their cards. Once a player has played their last card, they are declared the winner.

If multiple players run out of cards on the same round, the player who played their last card first wins.


Shithead is a versatile game, and different variations may exist in different regions or among players. Some variations include using jokers as wildcards, introducing additional special cards, or implementing different penalty rules.

Remember, Shithead can also be played with house rules, and players can agree upon modifications or additional rules before starting the game.

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