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Slap the Deck Board Game: Rules for How to Play

Slap the Deck Board Game: Rules for How to Play

Looking for a specific Slap the Deck rule?  |  Set Up  |  Playing the Game  |  Cards  |  Making a Mistake  |  Winning the Game  |  Alternative Rules  |  FAQ  |  Components  |


The objective of Slap the Deck is to be the first player to get rid of all of the cards from your hand.

Set Up

  • Choose a player to be the dealer. They will shuffle all of the cards together. After they have shuffled all of the cards, the dealer deals out all of the cards to the players face down. They should evenly distribute the card to the players. Players may not look at the cards that are dealt to them.
  • Each player chooses a foam hand and places it on their dominant hand (the hand you use to write and do most tasks).
  • Players should sit close enough where they can reach the rest of the players as well as the center discard pile.
  • The player to the left of the dealer starts the game. Play moves clockwise to start the game.

How to Play Slap the Deck

To start each of your turns you will flip over the top card from your deck. You should flip the card away from you so you can’t see what is on it before the other players.

As you are flipping over the card and adding it to the center pile, you will say a number out loud. The players will count up from one to ten. The first player starts with one. The second player says two, and so on. Once you reach ten, you will go back to one.

Flipping over a card
The first player flips over the top card from their deck. They flipped over a five card. At the same time they will say the number one out loud. Since the number they said didn’t match the number that was played, nothing happens this turn.

Whenever the played card matches the number said by the player, the players will race to slap the card in the middle of the table. You will use the hand that has the foam hand on it. The last player to slap the card loses the current round. Their punishment is taking all of the cards from the middle of the table and adding them to the bottom of their personal pile.

Slapping the cards
A player played a card that matched the number they said. All of the players race to slap the pile. The last player to slap the pile has to add all of the cards from the middle pile to their own stack of cards.

A new round then begins with the player that slapped the pile the slowest. They will start the count at one and play will continue in a clockwise direction. If play was moving in a counterclockwise direction, it will still move in a clockwise direction.

Cards of Slap the Deck

There are some unique cards in Slap the Deck. These cards have a unique effect on the game when they are played.

Reverse card


When a player plays a Reverse card, turn order changes direction. If play was moving clockwise, it will now move counterclockwise. If it was moving counterclockwise, it will now move clockwise.

Slap cards


There are a few different Slap cards in the game. Each card has a different direction printed on it. You first need to follow the direction from the card. You will slap in the corresponding direction with your hand that has the foam hand on it.

  • Slap Head – Slap yourself in the head.
  • Slap Left – Slap the player on your left.
  • Slap Right – Slap the player on your right.
  • High Five – All players share a high-five in the middle of the table with their foam hand.
Slapping another player in Slap the Deck
One of the players played a Slap Right card. This player slaps the player on their right with the foam hand. They will then try to slap the middle pile as quickly as possible.

After you finish the action printed on the card, you will then slap the middle pile. The last player to slap the middle pile, has to take all of the cards from the middle of the table.

Making a Mistake

During the game players may make mistakes. You can make a mistake in a few different ways. First you could end up saying the wrong number on your turn. Otherwise you could slap the center pile when you weren’t supposed to or fail to correctly follow the direction from a Slap card.

If you end up making a mistake, you automatically become the slowest slapper for the round. You will be forced to draw all of the cards from the center pile.

Winning the Game

The goal of Slap the Deck is to play all of the cards from your hand before the other players. The first player to play the last card from their hand, wins the game.

There is a catch though. If you either play a number card that triggers the players to slap the center pile or a Slap card, you do not win the game until the slowest slapper is determined. Should the player who no longer has any cards left be the slowest slapper, they are forced to draw all of the cards from the center pile. If the player was not the slowest slapper, they win the game.

Alternative Rules

There are a couple additional rules that you can consider using in the game to add more challenge.

Doubles: If two players play the same number card in a row, all of the players slap the center cards in the same way as you would if the called out number matched the card that was played. When you slap the pile you should do so with the palm side of your foam hand face up.

Silent Numbers: If you choose to use this variant, players only count up to three out loud. For numbers four through ten, players need to keep track of the current number in their head.

Slap the Deck FAQ

If you have any questions about how to play the game, leave a comment below on this post. I will try to answer any questions asked as best and as quickly as possible.

Components for Slap the Deck


  • 80 cards
  • 4 Foam Hands
  • Instructions

Year: 2022 | Publisher: Goliath Games

Genres: Action, Card, Family, Party

Ages: 7+ | Number of Players: 2-4 | Length of Game: 20-30 minutes

Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Moderate-High

For more board and card game rules/how to plays, check out our complete alphabetical list of card and board game rules posts.