how to play deer in the headlights

“Deer in the Headlights” is a card game designed by Front Porch Classics. It’s a fast-paced game that involves playing cards and trying to be the first player to get rid of all their cards. Here’s how to play:

Objective: The goal of Deer in the Headlights is to be the first player to discard all of your cards.

Materials Needed:

  • Deer in the Headlights card deck


  1. Shuffle the Deer in the Headlights card deck thoroughly.
  2. Deal each player 5 cards to form their hand. Place the remaining deck in the center as the draw pile.


  1. The player to the left of the dealer goes first, and play proceeds clockwise.
  2. On a player’s turn, they must play one card from their hand into the center of the playing area. There are specific rules for playing cards:
    • Number cards (2-10): Players must play a card that is one higher or one lower than the card currently on top of the discard pile. For example, if the top card is a 5, the player can play a 4 or a 6.
    • Skip cards: Skip the next player’s turn.
    • Reverse cards: Change the direction of play (clockwise to counterclockwise or vice versa).
    • Stag cards: Act as wild cards and can be played on any number card. The player who plays a Stag card calls out a new number (within the range of 2-10), and the next player must play a card of that number or a Stag card.
    • Headlights cards: Freeze the play temporarily. When a Headlights card is played, all players must immediately slap the discard pile. The last player to slap the pile must draw 2 cards as a penalty.
  3. The game continues with players taking turns playing cards and following the rules until one player successfully discards all their cards.

Winning: The first player to get rid of all their cards wins the game. The game can be played over multiple rounds, and the player who wins the most rounds is declared the overall winner.


  • Some versions of Deer in the Headlights include additional special cards or variations of the rules, so it’s a good idea to check the specific rules that come with your card deck.

Deer in the Headlights is a fast and entertaining card game that requires quick thinking and strategy. Enjoy playing with family and friends!

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