Deck the yard game rules – how to play deck the yard

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor


Hey there! Deck the Yard is a super cool card game created by the one and only Don Riddle. It’s based on the Christmas Lights card game and it’s loads of fun. So, in this game, the goal is to draw and play these awesome bulb cards and try to capture pattern cards. Pretty neat, huh? Oh, and if you can get your hands on some character cards along the way and claim 8 cards in total before the game ends, you win! How awesome is that?


Now, to play Deck the Yard, you’ll need the Christmas Lights card game. Make sure you have 18 pattern cards, 42 bulb cards (that’s 7 of each color), 6 bubble bulbs, 8 plugs, 5 broken bulbs, 3 draw event cards, the power outage event card, and 6 character cards. Phew, that’s a lot of cards!

Alright, here’s what you gotta do to get started. Shuffle all the pattern cards together, mix ’em up real good, and then turn the first two face-up on the table. Got it? Awesome, you’re all set to start playing! Have a blast!

Hey there! Let’s get started with the game setup. Gather all the bulbs, plugs, and event cards and give them a good shuffle. This will form our draw pile. And don’t forget to place the Power Outage card face up nearby. We’ll need that later to remember the effects of the event cards.

Now, let’s draw five cards from the draw pile. But wait, before we get too excited, remember that you can’t start the game with any character, broken bulb, or event cards. So, if you happen to draw any of those, put them aside and draw another card instead. Once you have five bulbs in your hand, shuffle the cards that were set aside back into the deck.

Welcome to the World of “The Play”

Let’s dive into the exciting game of “The Play”! To start, it’s time to play a card from your hand. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered on the rules and strategies.

Play Color Bulb Cards

Your goal is to collect at least 8 pattern cards. How? By creating strands of lights that perfectly match the pattern on the card. Remember, we can only have five cards on the table at a time.

Here’s how it works: when it’s your turn, you can play one card from your hand. If it’s your very first bulb, go ahead and place it on the table. Easy peasy!

But wait, there’s more! If you’ve already played a bulb, the new bulb you play must match the pattern card exactly. It should be placed to the right of the lineup. Oh, and if you can’t play the next card in the pattern, you’ll have to sit this one out.

Okay, now pay attention. Once you’ve played five bulbs that perfectly match the pattern, guess what? You can collect the pattern card and add it to your claim pile. To keep the excitement going, flip over the next pattern card from the pile. Are you ready for more?

Try a Bubble Bulb Game

When you decide to try a bubble bulb game, you’ll place it all the way to the right of your lineup. It will be the last bulb in the pattern, with the other bulbs filling in between it and the ones you’ve already played. Keep in mind that you can only play one bubble bulb in a pattern.

Get Rid of a Card

You have the option to get rid of one card from your hand.

Once you’ve done one of those things, you can get up to five cards again. Bulb cards join your hand. Any event cards have to be dealt with right away and thrown away, unless you’ve got a plug card. If you do, you can toss it along with the event card, and nothing happens. But if you don’t have a plug card, the power outage event comes into play. Toss out your whole hand and draw up to five cards again. Any event cards, character cards, and broken bulbs don’t make it into the new hand. They all get mixed back into the deck. It’s basically like starting over.

If you get a character card, you can only add it to your pile by tossing a plug. If you can’t toss a plug, you get rid of the character card.

Imagine you’re holding a broken light bulb in one hand and a plug in the other. If you don’t have any other plugs, you can just get rid of the broken bulb along with any other lights you have. But if you do have other plugs, you can discard the broken bulb by letting go of one of the plugs.

However, if you draw a broken bulb and you don’t have any bulbs in your lineup, it’s no big deal. All you have to do is get rid of the broken bulb.

The goal is to collect five bulbs in your hand. You keep drawing and dealing with the cards until you reach that goal.

Remember, you don’t have to discard a plug if you don’t want to.

The game goes on until you can’t draw any more cards to reach a total of five. Then, you just have to make the best moves you can with the cards you have left.


If you collect eight or more cards in your claim pile, congratulations! You’ve won the game.

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