OBJECTIVE OF GNOMING A ROUND: Be the player with the lowest score at the end of the third round. 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 – 7 players

CONTENTS: 110 playing cards

TYPE OF GAME: Set collection

AUDIENCE: Kids, Adults


Gnoming A Round is a commercial version of the classic card game Golf published by Grandpa Beck’s Games.  In this beautifully designed game, players are competing on the Gnome’s mini-golf course to see who can get the lowest score.  During each round, players will draw cards and exchange them with cards in their layout in order to minimize their score.  Mulligan cards are wild and help with completing matching sets.  Watch out for hazards because they allow everyone else to flip over a card.


Gnoming A Round contains and instruction booklet, a recipe card, and 110 playing cards.  There are 82 positive valued cards, 22 negative valued cards, 6 special cards, 3 hazard cards, and 3 mulligan cards.


 Shuffle and deal nine cards to each player.  The cards are dealt face down to form a 3×3 grid.  Players should not look at their cards.  The rest of the deck is placed face down as a draw pile.  Flip two cards over to create to discard piles.

Players choose two cards from their layout to turn face up. 


The youngest player goes first.  A player’s turn is composed of three phases: draw, play, & discard.


The player can choose to draw one card from the draw pile or take one card from the top of either discard pile.


If the player wants to keep the card they drew, they use it to replace a face down or face up card from their layout.

When playing cards to the layout, positive cards will earn the player positive points unless they are able to create rows or columns of matching cards.  If a matching row or column is created, the player will deduct points from their score equal to the value of the matching card.  For example, if a row of 5’s is formed, the player will deduct 5 points from their score at the end of the round.

Negative cards always reduce the player’s score at the end of the round.  It does not matter if they are matching with other cards or not.

When a hazard card is discarded, all other players at the table get to flip over one card in their layout.  A player’s final card cannot be flipped over due to a hazard card.

Mulligan cards are wild, and they can be equal to any value needed to complete a matching row or column (or both!).  The card can represent different values based on what the player needs.  A player can only have one mulligan in their layout at the end of their turn.


When a player replaces a face down card in their layout, they first turn that card over.  If it is a positive value card that matches the card the player is replacing it with, or one or more other cards in the layout, the card being replaced can bounce to another spot on the layout.  That card is now replaced.  If the new card being replaced also matches, the bounce may continue.  Negative cards and mulligans cannot be bounced.


If the player does not want the card they drew, they can discard it onto one of the discard piles.  If they replace a card from their layout, that card is discarded.  Hazard cards are removed from play.

If one of the two discard piles are empty at the end of a player’s turn, they must begin that second pile again with their discard unless they draw a hazard.


Once a player turns over the final card in their layout, the endgame has been triggered.  The rest of the players have one more turn.  Then, any cards still face down are flipped over and revealed.  These cards cannot be rearranged or traded.  Mulligans and hazards also stay put.


Matching rows and columns of 3 positive cards earn negative points for the player.  They reduce their score by the number of points shown on the card.  For example, a row of matching 6’s would allow the player to deduct 6 points from their score. 

Any negative cards also allow the player to deduct points from their score equal to the value of the number on the card.

Mulligan cards not used in a matching row or column are worth zero points.

If the round ends and a player has a hazard card in their layout, they add 10 points to their score.

If the player who flipped over their final card first also has the lowest score, they are able to deduct 5 more points from their score.  If they do not have the lowest score, they must add 5 points to the score as a penalty.


The player with the lowest score at the end of the third round is the winner.  If there is a tie, the player with the lowest third round score is the winner.  If there is still a tie, the victory is shared.

Mark Ball
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