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Polish Poker Rules and Game Mechanics


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A.K.A. Six Card Golf

More popularly known as Six Card Golf (or just Golf), Polish Poker is a unique variety of poker in which the objective is not to get the best possible hand, but the lowest possible score (i.e., the total value of cards) after nine deals – much like an actual game of golf.

A game played by a maximum of four players uses a single standard deck of 52 cards. Games with more players require additional decks.

Scoring system

Face ValueScore
Ace1 point
2-2 points
3-10Same as face value
J-Q10 points
K0 points
Pair of any value0 points

The deal

The game starts with each player getting a total of six face-down cards, which they would arrange in a 3×2 fashion in front of them on the table like in the example below:


What’s left of the cards is set face-down in the middle of the table as a draw pile. The top card from the draw pile is then drawn, turned face up and put right beside the draw pile to start a discard pile.

Each player then turns any two of their cards face up:


How to play

Again, the goal in Polish Poker is to get the lowest possible score, and you can do so by swapping out your high-value cards for lower value ones or pairing them with cards of the same value to cancel them out.

Starting with the player to the dealer’s immediate left, each player draws one card at a time from either the draw or discard piles. Each drawn card may either be discarded or exchanged for any one of a player’s six cards. If the player card exchanged for the drawn card was face down, the drawn card will remain face up.

Let’s take a look at our sample cards again:


If, for example, you drew a 7D, then you can swap out the face-down CARD 4 for it, which would give us something like this:


This new arrangement pairs the 7H with the 7D (pairs must always be in the same column), effectively canceling out its value and giving us a total of 0 points for the first column.

A round ends when all players have all their cards turned face up. The player with the lowest score after nine holes (i.e., rounds or deals) wins.

Other variations

Based on what you’ve seen so far, the game seems simple enough, right? Polish Poker, however, can be played in many ways. Some games use as many as nine player cards (including jokers) per round and an alternative scoring system. Others even have penalties and bonuses. If you wish to learn more about them, click here.

Now go out (or don’t) and start playing Polish Poker!

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