How to play The Pickleball Card Game
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The object of the game is to be the first team to score 11 points, must win by 2. There are 2 teams. Each team has 1 or 2 players with teammates sitting across from each other. Give each team 1 serve card and 2 score cards. Place one score card faceup with the other one face down on top of it. Each time your team earns a point, reveal a Pickleball on the score card. If you need to score past 11, flip over the top score card to continue. Flip over the instructions and place the scoring quick reference guide on the table for everyone to see.
To determine who serves first, shuffle the deck and deal cards face up to all the players. The first player to get a kitchen card becomes the first server. On your turn to serve take your team’s serve card and place it next to you face up then shuffle the deck and deal 7 cards to each player. Players look at their own cards but keep them hidden from others. Place the remainder of the deck face down to start a draw pile. Discard the top card to start a discard pile. Play now begins, which is called a rally.
The player to the left of the server goes first, then play proceeds clockwise. On your turn, you must draw 1 card from either the top of the draw deck or discard pile. Then you end your turn by discarding one card and the next player goes.
The goal of each rally is to form a complete hand of sets and/or straights. A set is 3 or more numbered cards of the same number and a straight is 3 or more numbered cards in consecutive sequence. When all the cards in your hand fit into sets and/or straights, your hand is complete, and you can end the rally. A card may not be in both a set and straight at the same time, it must only be in one or the other.
Smash and Pickler cards are wild cards that may be used in place of any number card. You may have multiple wilds in a set or straight. The kitchen and dink shot cards allows you to have a complete hand with 6 other cards that make up sets and/or straights. If you have more than one kitchen and/or dink shot in your hand, then you do not have a complete hand. When your hand is complete, at the end of your turn, after you discard, you lay your hand down face up on the table. Every other player gets 1 final turn to try and complete their hand, then points are scored.
Except for the Dink card, only the serving team scores each round. If a player on the serving team completes their hand, then they score 1 point for their team for completing their hand, and 1 additional point for every pickler card in their complete hand. Pickler cards in incomplete hands are worth zero. Dink shots, always scores 1 point whether your team served or not and whether in a complete hand or not. However, when playing with 2 teams of 2, called doubles, each team only scores for the best hand between each teammate. Teammates may not trade cards or combine points for the round.
The first team to complete a hand, ends the rally and wins the serve, becoming the new server. Use the serve cards to keep track of servers.
The dink shot has a special ability that allows you to end a rally without having a complete hand if you choose. To do so, lay down your hand with a dink shot and everyone else gets 1 additional turn. Whoever played the first dink shot, whether in a complete hand or not, their team automatically wins the serve, even if the other team played a complete hand first. If both teams’ best hands each have a dink shot, then they each score a bonus point. If your team’s best hand is incomplete and has 2 dink shots, then you score 2 points. The most points possible in a round for a complete hand is 4 while the most points possible for an incomplete hand is 2.
The first team to 11 points, wins!