What Are House Rules in Card Games?

Photo of author

By Valerie Becker

Have you ever played a card game and wondered why certain rules were being followed? Chances are, those are the “house rules”. In this article, we’ll discuss what house rules are in card games and why they’re important.

What are House Rules?

House rules refer to the specific set of rules that a group of people playing a card game have agreed upon. These rules may differ from the official rules of the game or even from another group’s house rules for the same game.

Why are House Rules Important?

House rules serve several important purposes. Firstly, they help to clarify any confusion or ambiguity in the official rulebook.

Additionally, they can make the game more enjoyable or challenging for players. Finally, house rules can help to prevent cheating by creating a level playing field for all players.

Examples of Common House Rules

Here are some examples of common house rules that you may encounter when playing various card games:

  • No Wild Cards: In some games that allow for wild cards, such as Poker, some groups may choose to disallow them altogether.
  • Mandatory Discards: In games where players must discard cards before drawing new ones, some groups may enforce mandatory discards instead of optional ones.
  • No Talking during Gameplay: To prevent collusion between players, some groups may enforce a strict “no talking” rule during gameplay.
  • Scoring Differences: Some groups may assign different values to certain hands or scoring combinations than what is outlined in the official rulebook.
  • Time Limits: In games where turns can take a long time, such as Bridge, some groups may impose time limits on each player’s turn.

The Importance of Establishing House Rules

When playing card games with a group of people, it’s important to establish house rules before the game begins. This can help to prevent any confusion or disagreements during gameplay. It’s also a good idea to write down the house rules and distribute them to all players so that everyone is on the same page.


House rules are an important part of card game culture and can make games more enjoyable for players by clarifying rules, preventing cheating, and creating a level playing field. By establishing clear house rules before gameplay begins, you can ensure that everyone has a fun and fair experience.