OBJECTIVE OF DECK THE YARD: To have 8 or more claimed cards by the end of the game 


CONTENTS:  18 pattern cards, 58 bulb card deck, 4 event cards, 6 character cards 

TYPE OF GAME: Solitaire card game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 10+ 


Deck the Yard is a solitaire card game designed by Don Riddle.  The contents from the Christmas Lights card game are used.  In this game, you are trying to draw and play bulb cards in order to capture pattern cards.  The luck of the draw will help you score character cards as well for your claimed pile.  If you can manage your hand well and claim 8 cards before the game ends, you win. 


To play Deck the Yard, the Christmas Lights card game is required.  From it,  you need 18 pattern cards, 42 bulb cards (7 from each color), 6 bubble bulbs, 8 plugs, 5 broken bulbs, 3 draw event cards, the power outage event card, and 6 character cards. 

Shuffle all of the pattern cards together and turn the first two face up on the table.   

Shuffle all of the bulbs, plugs, and event cards together to form the draw pile.  Place the Power Outage card face up near you.  This is a reminder of the event card effects. 

Draw five cards from the draw pile.  You cannot start the game with any character, broken bulb, or event cards.  If drawn, place those aside and replace them with another draw.  One you have five bulbs in your hand, shuffle the cards that were set aside back into the deck. 


Begin your turn by playing a card from your hand.  There are three options for play. 


To meet the objective of collecting at least 8 pattern cards, you will create strands of lights that are identical to the pattern on the card.  There can only ever be five cards out on the table at once.  You may play one card from your hand per turn.  If it is the first bulb played, place it down on the table.  Any bulbs played after that are put to the right of the lineup, and they must match the pattern card exactly.  If you cannot play the next card in the pattern, you cannot play a card. 

Once you have played five bulbs to match the pattern exactly, you may collect the pattern card and add it to your claim pile.  Immediately turn over the next pattern card from the pile.   


If you choose to play a bubble bulb, it goes to the far right of your lineup.  It sits there as the final bulb in the pattern.  The rest of the bulbs are filled in between it and the previously played bulbs.  There can only be one bubble bulb played in a pattern. 


You can discard one card from your hand.   

After completing one of the above actions, draw back up to five cards.  Bulb cards are added to your hand.  Any event cards must be resolved immediately and discarded unless you have a plug card.  If you have a plug card, you can discard it along with the event card and nothing happens.  If you do not have a plug card, the power outage even goes into action.  Discard your whole hand and draw up to five.  If this happens, event cards, character cards, and broken bulbs are not kept in the new hand.  They are shuffled back into the deck.  It is essentially a complete reset.   

If you draw a character card, you can only add it to your claim pile by discarding a plug.  If you cannot discard a plug, the character card is discarded. 

If you draw a broken bulb, it can be discarded by also discarding a plug from your hand.  If you do not have any plugs, the broken bulb is discarded along with any lights you have in your lineup.  If a broken bulb is drawn, and you do not have any bulbs in your lineup, nothing happens.  Just discard the broken bulb. 

A player continues to draw and resolve cards until they have five bulbs in their hand.   

You are not required to discard a plug.   

Play continues until you can no longer draw up to five cards.  At that point, play the rest of your hand as best you can.  


If you collect 8 or more cards in your claim pile, you win the game.   

Mark Ball
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