Click the discard if you can't beat it
Click to remove the discard pile and grant an extra turn

Bonehead is a great card game for 2-5 players, ideally for 4. It's simple to learn, but still offers entertaining gameplay; click the Rules button to learn how to play.

In this computer version for 4 players, the computer will play the other 3 hands.

New players should uncheck the "Fast deal" box before pressing "Play".



The aim of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all his cards.

Quick start

To get started in your first game without ploughing through the rules below, just click on your 3 best cards in hand to be your exposed head cards (your cards are always automatically sorted from lowest to highest) and click OK. On your turn click on the card (in hand) that equals or just beats the value of the current discard (if there is no discard, click on your lowest card, ie leftmost card).

If you are unable to beat the discard you must take the discard pile instead, by clicking on it. Once your hand is empty you play from your head cards; and when they are all gone, from the bone cards.

The cards have a special ranking in this game. The cards are ranked in this order, starting with the lowest: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, J, Q, K, A, 2, 10. The 2s and 10s are wild cards and beat any other card. When a 10 is played a spinning skull is displayed; click on it and the discard pile is eliminated and the player who played the 10 is given another turn.

Full Rules


Each player is dealt 3 bone (face-down) cards, followed by an initial hand of 6 cards. You choose 3 of these (by clicking on them) to be your head cards, which are placed face-up onto the bone cards. This leaves 3 cards in your hand. You can click on the head cards at this time if you change your mind. When you are settled on your choice, click "OK" and the play will begin with the player indicated by the pointing finger icon.


In his turn, a player with cards in hand will attempt to discard one or more of them. To make a discard, click on the selected card. To be permitted, the card chosen must be equal to or greater in value than the card currently at the top of the discard pile (the suits are immaterial). If the discard pile is empty, any discard is allowed. After a discard is made and while any cards remain in the stack (cards not originally dealt), a player's hand of less than 3 cards will be topped up to 3 cards.

Multiple cards of the same value can all be played at once, e.g. if you hold 3 sevens, you can discard all 3 together in one play.

If you do not hold a card that equals or beats the discard, you must click the discard pile and take up all of the discards into your hand. You can choose to take the discard pile instead of making a play for tactical reasons (which will become apparent the more you play).

When your hand becomes empty you can discard from your head cards subject to the normal rules. Once your head cards have all been played, you can play your bone cards (but without first looking at them! The computer players are also handicapped in this way). A bone card selected for play is not revealed unless it equals or beats the discard; otherwise it is simply added to the hand and the discard pile taken. Your bone cards are shown to you (when selected) to allow you to play the game, but the computer does not cheat and look at them!

If you take the discard pile while trying to play your head or bone cards, you must revert to playing from hand until your hand is clear again.

When a 2 is played, it can then be beaten by any other card. When a 10 is played, the spinning bonehead icon is shown - click it and the entire discard pile is eliminated and the player of the 10 is given another turn.


When you play a card and have another card of the same value, the program will ask you whether you want to play it. Generally you do, unless it is high, (eg King, Ace, 2) and you will be drawing replacements from the stack.

A 10 and a pair make fine head cards, even if the pair are very low. This is because the 10 can be played over any lead, and allow you an extra turn (and so lead the pair together).

When the opponent following you (named Tom!) has cleared his hand and will begin playing the (exposed) head cards, try to make discards that he will not be able to beat and thus force the discard pile upon him.

When Tom is down to bone cards, generally make higher discards than normal, in an effort to prevent his blind choice from being allowed to play - and thus he must take the discard pile.

If James is winning, particularly when down to 1 or 2 cards, try not to make life difficult for Tom - because if he is obliged to take the discard pile, James will be able to play anything onto the now empty discard pile.

Valid XHTML 1.1

Your boneheads

Tom's boneheads

James's boneheads

Kathy's boneheads

Discard pile
Fast deal?
Your hand