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We’re talking TRASH

I credit my friend, Jenn, for intuitively knowing I’d reached my quota on GO FISH and UNO.

Because she posted about TRASH.

At which time I grabbed two decks of cards and the nearest kid and ‘learned’ ourselves how to play.

After which we carried those two decks in a brown pony tail holder we found on the floor of the van to Lake Wenatchee, to our cousins’ house, to grandma’s…and taught everyone along the way.

It’s simple–really…but it merits more than that. Little peeps still figuring out their numbers–finally figure them out. Adults don’t cry bored tears or mentally rehearse their grocery list while staring at cards with kids. Strategy required–zero.

So if you’re up for learning a new family game, or a sanity-saving game when kids trot off to play on their own, here’s how to play TRASH.

Using two decks of cards, we deal ten cards to each player.

Each of us then lines up our cards–without peeking–face down into two rows. Five on the top. Five on the bottom.

What our objective is… is to be the first person to have all of our cards turned over.

But in order to do so, we have to put them in numeric order (1-10).

Aces represent ones. Cards 2-10 represent what they are. KINGS are wild. And QUEENS and JACKS  are naughty and end our turn.

When it’s our turn, we take a card from the pile and put it in the correct sequence of our cards.

My son went first.

Only he turned over a JACK, which ended his turn before he actually got started. He simply places it in the discard pile.

And, well…I turned over a QUEEN, which ended my turn as well.

Yikes. Another JACK for my son.

But a FOUR for me.

Which means I get to put the four in its correct spot. So starting from the top left row of my cards, I count four spaces over until I reach the fourth card.

That’s where my four goes.


I get to turn over the card that was in its place.

It’s a KING.

Which usually sets off much rejoicing…because a KING can be placed anywhere.

I’ll stay calm, though.

I chose to put my KING next to my four, which is the spot for my five.

So right now my KING represents a five.

And I get to keep going.

Underneath the card in my five-spot, was a TWO.

So counting from the top left again, I count over two spaces and place my TWO in its correct spot.

Underneath my TWO card, however, was another TWO.

I’ve already got a TWO, so I discard this one and my turn is over.

My son drew a FOUR.

So counting from his top left, he put his FOUR in its spot.

The card that was in his four-spot…



he’s puts it in the right spot.

Beneath the SEVEN, though, was another SEVEN, so he discards that one, and it’s my turn.

I drew a SEVEN.

So counting my cards from the top row….one-two-three-four-five

And then beginning from the bottom left…six-seven….

I find where my SEVEN goes.

Beneath my SEVEN, was a FIVE.


I already have a KING sitting in my five-spot.

Which means I get to replace the KING (since it’s wild) with my FIVE, and use the KING to turn over any other card I want.

Slick, eh?

Yay for KINGS!

I put the KING in my ten-spot.

Only the card beneath it ended up being a SEVEN.

I’ve already got one of those.

So my turn is over.

My son drew a SIX.

And then counted his cards until he found where the SIX went.

Underneath it was an ACE, so he put that in the one-spot.

Underneath the ACE, though, was a SEVEN. A card he already had, so he discarded.

Oop. Got a QUEEN.

My son turned over a FIVE…and put it in its spot.

Underneath it was a SIX. He’s already got one of those…

So into the discard pile it goes.

I drew a KING.

And placed it in my nine-spot.

Underneath it, though…a QUEEN.

My turn is over.

My son drew a THREE…then had the same luck.

A QUEEN underneath.

I drew a THREE.

And still needed one of those.

But underneath it, a TWO, which I already had.

My son drew a NINE and uh…put it in the ten-spot…I see.

I must have checked out for a moment.

Anyway….underneath that card was a SIX, which he already had.

Okay…almost done here.

My next draw was a SIX. A card I needed.

And underneath my SIX…

A TEN, which is great news, if I care about winning, because…what I do now, is replace my KING in my ten-spot with my TEN, and use the KING to turn over the card in my one-spot–the only card I have left to turn over.

It doesn’t matter what that card in my one-spot was or is.  It only matters that all of my cards are turned over.

In this case, I have KINGS representing my ONE and NINE.

But it works…and for what it’s worth…I win.

Good game, Son!



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