Welcome To Scramble: Learn The Basics and Advanced Strategies 

Nick Sahrmann | Game Updates

Welcome to CGT’s guide to Scramble. In this blog, you’ll find helpful information regarding the basics of Scramble in CGT, as well as advice on strategies you should take advantage of while playing your round. For instructional videos on how to play Scramble in CGT, visit our YouTube channel.  

Learn The Basics

To begin, we should first establish an understanding for what Scramble is. This article from the Florida State Golf Association summarizes the basics of how you would play Scramble in actual golf. Scramble is a team game, and will start out by having each member of the team hit their tee shot. The team will then determine which of the tee shots was the best, and will each hit their next shot from where that ball ended up. This process is repeated until the hole is complete.  

Setup- In Card Golf Tour, Scramble is a game that can be played with an even number of people (Ideally four but it can be played with six or eight people). To begin, teams must be created. Players will be paired with the person to left or right of them (it is up to the group how they decide), making teams of two players each. Next, the deck size must be determined. The size of the deck will be based on the size of the group: 

  • 4 Players = 2 decks 

  • 6 Players = 4 decks  

  • 8 Players = 6 decks 

Once the deck has been assembled, the dealer will use their scorecard and stroke index chart to determine which four cards will be removed for the stroke index of the hole (just like in standard stroke play). The dealer will then shuffle the deck upon removal of the four cards, and subsequently deal each player at the table four, six, or eight cards based on the par of the hole. At this moment, each player will flip over their card(s), signaling the tee shot on the hole. The remaining cards are placed in the center of the table, forming the draw pile, and the top card is turned face up on the table, creating the discard pile.  

Play- To determine the order of play, each player will roll the die (note: the die roll is done before each hole, meaning the order of play can change on each hole). As in standard stroke play, the lowest die roll is best. However, the person with the lowest die roll can go first or decide to let their teammate go first instead of them. In either case, the member of the team who dosent play first will play second. The order of play will then continue in this direction for the remainder of the hole. Since Scramble is a team game, the options a player has during their turn will differ than those of standard stroke play. Below is a list of possible moves a team may make during their turn. 

Player 1 (first person between the two members of team to play):  

  • Option 1- Replace face down card in hand with card from draw pile or discard pile.  

  • Option 2- Replace face down card in teammates hand with card from draw pile or discard pile (reference note 1 below). 

  • Option 3- Discard card taken from draw pile. 

At this moment it is player 2’s turn (second person between two members of the team to play). Player 2 may: 

  • Option 1- Replace any card in hand with teammates discarded card.  

  • Option 2- Replace any card in hand with card from draw pile or discard pile (reference note 1 below).  

  • Option 3- Discard card taken from draw pile.  

  • Option 4- Replace any card in teammates hand with card from draw pile (reference note 1 below).  

After each member of the team has had their turn, it is now the next teams turn. Each team will repeat this process of taking their turns until one player has turned each of their cards face up on the table. At this moment, each remaining player has one more turn (reference note 2 below).  

Score- At the conclusion of the hole, each player will find their score to par for the hole, like in standard stroke play. However, only the best score to par between the two members of the team will be recorded. This means that each individual player will not be keeping track of their score, but rather, the team will have one singular score between the two members. After each team has had their score to par for the hole recorded, the dealer will collect all cards and prepare for the next hole.  

Note 1- Within a singular turn for a team, each member of the team is only allowed to replace one card in their hand. For example, let’s say that player 1 decides to give player 2 their drawn card. Even though it is now player 2’s turn, they cannot keep a card they draw. They would either need to give the drawn card to their teammate (player 1) or discard the drawn card. 

Note 2- If player 2 (the teammate who plays second) goes out first, their teammate, player 1, does not get one more turn. Additionally, if player 1 in the partnership goes out first, player 2 has their turn skipped. This is due to the fact that this team already has an advantage by going out first and forcing other players’ hands. Allowing this team to also have one last turn would be unfair.   

Note 3- Players are not allowed to take cards from their teammate that were face up when replaced. This is due to the fact that it would be unfair to knowingly be discarding good cards from one hand as a way to get the card into the better of the teams two hands.  

Learn The Strategies
  1. How to determine which teammate should go first: A unique component of Scramble is the ability for the team who wins the dice roll to choose which person goes first. While a seemingly unimportant decision, making the right call could save your team a stroke. Three factors should be considered when making this decision: 

1. Strength of each teammates hand. Typically, the teammate with the worst starting hand will want to go first.  

2. Strength of opponents’ hands. Typically, the player who would be discarding to the best opposing hand will want to go second.  

3. Composition of opponents’ hands. Observe what cards your opponents have turned over. If any of these cards could be useful in a cancel out, determine team order so that the teammate who needs this card would be receiving from the opponent who has it.  

  1. Attempt to ‘stack’ one teammates hand: Since only the best of the two scores for a team is recorded, don't be scared to sacrifice one teammates hand to benefit the other. Essentially, try to get all your good cards in one hand and all your bad cards in the other. Ways to do this include: 

- Placing all good cards in one hand when possible (reference note 1 above) 

- Replacing as many cards in your teams ‘bad hand’ in hopes of discarding a good card you could use (reference note 3 above) 

  1. Play defense: Use your hand that you have used to hold bad cards as a way to play defense against your opponent. For example, let’s say that the opponent that you discard to needs a black eight to cancel out and you draw a black eight. Usually you wouldn’t keep this card, but since your teammate has a good hand at the expense of yours, you would be smart to hold on to this card and ensure your opponent can’t cancel out to save points.  

Scramble is often called the most fun way to play CGT, and rightfully so! The inter-team strategy present in Scramble far exceeds that of any other CGT format, and can lead to some of the most exciting rounds you’ll play. But don't just take our word for it, get a group together and try it out! Also, don't forget to stay tuned to our blog page; this is where we release new ways to play CGT, as well as monthly updates on how the business is going.  

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