Trash Game Rules

Trash Game Rules

(Above is the set up for the card game Trash)

(Above is the set up for the card game Trash)

Card Game Rules

Trash, or Garbage, is a classic card game for two player. It requires a standard 52 playing card deck and is suitable for ages 8 and up. The objective of Trash is to be the first person with a complete hand of 10 cards.

For more classic card games, check out our guides for Kemps and Crazy Eights.

If you are looking for cards to play Trash with, check out a standard deck here or check out one of our more recent arrivals here.

Set Up

To set up a game of Trash, players need to first sit around a suitable gameplay area. Before gameplay can begin, every player draws a card from a shuffled deck. The player with the highest card becomes the first dealer. Ties are broken by a redraw. The dealer then shuffles the deck and passes out ten cards, faced down, arranged in a 2 x 5 grid. Players do not look at these cards.

The remaining deck forms the the stock pile.

In Trash, Aces are 1, 2s-10s are their face value, Jacks are wildcards and Queens and Kings are unplayable.

How to Play

The player who doesn't deal the cards starts the game. The first player draws from the stock. If they can play the card (meaning Ace through Jack) the player places the card in the appropriate spot on their grid. If they drew an Ace, for instance, they would place it in the top left position of the grid; a 10 would be the bottom right and so on. When they place a card on the grid, they flip over the faced down card previously in that position. If they can use that card then they do the same thing until they get a card they cannot play (meaning a King, Queen, or a card they have already played).

When they have an unplayable card, they place it face up beside the stock pile, forming the discard pile, and player 2 begins their turn.

Starting with player 2's first turn, players can choose to either draw from the stock pile or the discard pile.

The first player to fill out their entire grid wins the round


The player who won the previous round removes one card from their grid. This means that the 10 will be unplayable for them in round 2, the 9 in round 3, and etc. 

A player wins the game when they only have one card in their grid and draw an Ace or Jack.

For more information, check out Pagat's article here.

Looking for more card games to play?  Check out this article:

40+ Great Card Games For All Occasions

About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about card games here and his LinkedIn profile here.

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Last update date: 02/08/21

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S.Arth on 2022,11,24

If one player has completed their 1-10 or whatever place they are in, is that deal done or can the next player take their turn, especially if the last card thrown in the discard pile is a card that the next player can use?

Elaine Vaughn on 2022,11,24

Can you be have a tie game in trash?

maggie kurtzhas on 2021,11,09

i love the game trash great to pay with family or friends

Loretta on 2021,10,05

Why is this game called trash Or garbage?

Nicole on 2021,10,05

How many people can play trash at one time ? For 6 people would we need more decks ?

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