What is Trash?
Trash is a matching card game for two players, also known as Garbage in some places. The game is American in origin, and very similar to another American game known as 7-Up. Much like in 7-Up, Trash is predominantly a game of chance. There is very little strategy, although there is some.
How to Play Trash?
Trash is played using the standard Anglo-American 52-card deck. As there are only two players in a given game, one must be the Dealer and one must be the Elder Hand. Elder Hand merely refers generally to the Player to the left or right of the Dealer, depending on the regular turn order of a game.
The Dealer can be decided upon, or chosen randomly, though keep in mind that the Elder Hand has a very slight advantage by going first in the game. Once the Dealer is chosen by the means the Players deem necessary, The Dealer may shuffle the cards and begin the deal.
Each Player should receive ten cards from the Dealer, dealt in packets of five cards each. Each Player should organize their cards into two rows of five cards, with each packet of cards making up a whole row.
These cards should be dealt face-down, and Players should imagine the backs of these cards as placeholders for a coordinating number.
- A 2 3 4 5
- 6 7 8 9 10
In Garbage, these face-down cards represent the “zone” of their corresponding number. Gameplay begins with the Eldest hand drawing the top of the remaining cards in the deck, placed face-down between the two players in the center of the board.
The card drawn from the stock of cards determines the next course of action for the Player. If their card is any card from A-10, they place it in the respective zone, and turn over the corresponding card.
- Player 1 draws a 3, and Player 1 draws the 3rd card in the top row from their two rows of cards.
- Player 1 places the 3 in the empty zone, and may now play with the new card.
- Assuming the card is a 5, they may place it at the end of the row, in the “5” zone, and repeat the same process.
A Player may continue their turn until they draw a card that already has its zone filled, a King or a Queen.
If it is any King or Queen, the Player must immediately place it face-up, next to the stock, and end their turn. If it is a Jack, they may place the card anywhere on their two rows, and continue the game normally.
Furthermore, if a Player draws the card which corresponds to a zone currently occupied by a Jack, the Player may place that card in the zone, and may then move the Jack to another empty zone on the board. This may only be done if the Jack’s proper substitute is drawn.
When a Player cannot use a card they draw, or if they draw a King or Queen, they should place the card face-up next to the stockpile and end their turn.
At the start of their turn, Players must draw one card, and may either draw the top card of the stockpile, or of the discard pile. At the end of their turn, Players must discard the card in their hand.
The game continues until one of the Players completely fills each of their zones, either with the cards of corresponding rank (Ace-10) or with Jacks acting as wild cards. Once a Player completes their zone, they end the game with a win. However, this is merely one round of Garbage.
Trash is a very long game, as traditionally after a round of completion, the winning Player will be dealt one less card. For Example:
- Player 1 wins round 1.
- Player 2 becomes Dealer, Player 1 becomes Elder Hand.
- Player 2 deals 10 cards to themselves, and only 9 cards to Player 1.
- Player 1 begins the game, and does not have to fill their 10 zone this game.
The zone removed is always the highest-ranking zone. 10 is first to be removed, then 9, then 8, continuing until a Player only has a single card. If that Player draws an Ace or a Jack at any point, they instantly win the overall game.
Rules for Garbage
The Garbage/Trash rules can be summarized as follows:
- Trash is almost entirely a game of luck, rather than skill. The minimal skill involved is too, a matter of chance, gauging whether it would be better to draw from the deck, or draw the top-card of the discard.
- Players may only move a single card at a time, and zones may only be filled by their corresponding cards, or by jacks.
- The King and Queen instantly end a Player’s turn, and must be discarded.
- If the stock is emptied, shuffle all but the top-card of the discard pile into a new stock.
Scoring & Points
Trash is scored by pure win-loss ratio. As the card zones descend during the game’s progress, a scoring system is not necessary. As Players reduce their zones, it becomes obvious which Player is leading judging by the two Player’s rows alone.
A Player with fewer zones to fill out is leading in the game, and the Player to remove all 10 of their zones (by drawing Ace or Jack with the last zone on the board) Is immediately made the winner.
A hand of Garbage is, in reality, merely a single card. However, this single card could result in a chain reaction of cards, particularly in the first or second turn of a game, that allows for multiple zones to be filled in a single turn.
- Player 1 begins the game, and draws a 5.
- Player 1 flips the card in their completed 5 zone, and it is an 8.
- Player 1 then places their 8 in their 8 zone, and draws the face-down card.
- It is a Jack, which Player 1 places on their Ace zone.
- There is a Queen in the Ace zone, and Player 1’s turn ends.
1 card led to a 3 card combo.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Play Garbage/Trash with more than two players?
No, as the deck is required to draw cards from, and players are already dealt 10 cards a piece. Adding players runs the risk of making the game unfinishable, like Solitaire, where necessary cards are locked under zones that can’t be reached.
How many cards do you get in Trash?
A traditional game of Trash is set up using 10 cards in two rows of 5.