Crazy Eights Card Game Rules
Crazy Eights is a fun card game where players aim to get rid of all their cards. You might recognize this classic card game by other names like Eights or Swedish Rummy. Regardless of the name, all you need is a standard deck of 52 cards for a group of five or fewer players. If you have more players, simply add a second deck. Are you ready for some fun? We’ll guide you through how to play, explain all the Crazy Eights card game rules, and even share some winning strategies. Let’s get started!
The objective of the crazy eights card game is to become the first player to discard all your cards or to have the fewest points if you’re playing multiple rounds.
How Does the Scoring Work in Crazy Eights?
In terms of card values and scoring, the objective is to be the first player to get rid of all their cards and win the game. The winning player then collects points from each of the other players based on the remaining cards in their hands. Here’s how the scoring works:
- Each eight-card is worth 50 points.
- Every King (K), Queen (Q), Jack (J), or 10 card is worth 10 points.
- Each Ace is worth 1 point.
- For all other cards, their point value is equal to the number printed on it which means they are equal to their face value.
Shuffling and Dealing
To kick off a game of Crazy Eights, you’ll want to start by thoroughly shuffling a standard 52-card deck. Once it’s well mixed up, begin dealing the cards to the players. The dealing process starts with the player sitting on your left, and you’ll distribute 8 cards to each player, one card at a time. Keep in mind that if there are only two players, deal 7 cards to each instead of the usual 8. And if you’ve got more than 5 players, simply combine two decks to have enough cards for everyone.
Setting Up the Draw Pile
Once every player has their 8 cards, the remaining cards should be placed face down in the centre of the playing area. This stack of cards is known as the draw pile. It’s where you’ll draw from if you can’t play a card from your hand just like we do in UNO. So, make sure it’s easily accessible to all players.
Starting the Discard Pile
Now, it’s time to start the discard pile. To do this, simply flip over the top card from the draw pile and place it beside the draw cards, face-up. This exposed card becomes the discard pile’s starting card. However, if by any chance an 8 card shows up as the initial draw pile card, just reshuffle and pick a new starting card.
How to Play Crazy Eights
Matching Cards: The core Crazy Eights card game rules revolve around matching cards. To play a card, you must either match the rank (like 4, 10, King, Ace, etc.) or the suit (Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades) with the top card on the discard pile. Place your matching card face-up on the discard pile, and then it’s the next player’s turn. In most card games, including Crazy Eights, the player to the left of the dealer goes first after the cards are dealt. Now, here’s the twist: 8s are wild cards in this game. When you play an 8, you get to declare the new suit. However, some versions of the game don’t allow you to end your turn with an 8.
Drawing Cards: If you can’t play any of the cards in your hand because they don’t match the rank or suit of the top card on the discard pile, you’ll need to draw cards from the draw pile until you get one you can play. Once you draw a playable card, play it, and then your turn proceeds as usual. Keep in mind that some players have specific rules about how many cards you can draw per turn, which can vary based on player preferences.
Playing One Card at a Time: The game continues with players taking turns playing one card at a time, following the matching rules. After the player to the left of the dealer goes, the next player to the left takes their turn, and so on. This pattern continues, with players either discarding a card that matches or drawing until they can. The game only ends when a player successfully gets rid of all the cards in their hand.
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Variations Of The Crazy Eights Card Game
Aces Reverse Direction: Playing an Ace card reverses the direction of play. So, if the game was going clockwise, it now goes counterclockwise. This can lead to interesting changes in the flow of the game and keep players on their toes.
Queens Skip: In this variation, playing a Queen card causes the next player to miss their turn. It adds a twist to the game by introducing moments of strategic play when deciding when to play your Queen cards.
Crazy Eights Countdown: This is a popular variant of Crazy Eights in the United States. In this version, players start with a score of 8. The score determines both the number of cards they are dealt at the beginning of each round and which rank of card is wild for them. For example, if a player’s score is 7, 7s become wild for them, but 8s remain wild for everyone else. The goal is to be the first player to reduce their score to zero, and they win the game.
Draw 2: When a two is played, it forces the next player to draw two cards, unless they can play another two. This rule can lead to stacking effects, where multiple twos are played in succession, requiring the next player to draw even more cards. However, if the game ends on a special card, its rule isn’t applied.
Crazy Eights Card Game Rules
Card Distribution: Each player is dealt either five cards or seven in a two-player game. This forms their initial hand.
Stockpile: The remaining cards from the deck are placed face down in the centre of the table, creating the stockpile.
Starting the Discard Pile: To begin the game, the top card from the stockpile is turned face up and placed on the table as the first card in the discard pile.
Matching and Discarding: Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, players take turns. They can discard a card from their hand by matching either the rank (like matching a 7 with a 7) or the suit (matching a heart with a heart) to that of the card on top of the discard pile.
The Power of Eights: Players can play any 8 card at any time. When an 8 is played, the player declares the suit that the next player must follow, or they can play another 8 and choose a different suit.
Jokers (If Included): If you’re playing with Jokers, they act as blank cards. The player following a Joker can play any card on top of it.
Winning a Round: The round ends when a player successfully gets rid of all the cards in their hand.
Scoring: After one player wins a round, the remaining players count the points in their hands. The points go to the winner. You can set a target score to win the game. A common starting point is 50 points for each player in the game. For instance, in a two-player game, the first to 100 points wins. In a three-player game, it’s the first to 150 points, and so on.
Strategies for The Crazy Eights Card Game
Now that we clearly understand Crazy Eights card game rules, it’s time to learn some strategies that can help you master the game.
Choosing the New Suit with Eights: When you play an 8, you have the power to choose the new suit. You can use this strategically by either selecting the suit in which you have the most cards, giving you more options to play in subsequent turns, or picking a suit in which you know your opponents have fewer cards. You can often deduce their card count in a suit by remembering the last time they had to pick a card of that suit.
Rank Matching vs. Suit Matching: In most cases, it’s a good idea to prioritize matching the rank of the card on the discard pile before matching the suit. However, this rule isn’t set in stone. Depending on the cards in your hand and the current game situation, there might be times when matching the suit is a better strategic move. Assess your options carefully, as one choice may be more advantageous than the other based on your hand and the cards in play.
Playing High Cards First: When you’re matching a suit and aiming for points, it’s generally a smart move to play your higher-ranked cards in that suit first. This can force your opponents to play their valuable cards or draw from the draw pile, potentially accumulating more points. Saving your lower-ranked cards in that suit for later can give you an edge.
Crazy Eights Card Game Rules FAQs
Can You Play Crazy 8 with 2 Players?
Yes, you can play Crazy Eights with 2 players. In this case, you would typically deal 7 cards to each player instead of the usual 8. The game still follows the same rules, with players taking turns matching cards or playing 8s to change suits.
What Is the Penalty in Crazy Eights?
In some variations, players may decide on a penalty for certain actions, like drawing extra cards for not being able to match the top card. However, these penalties can vary based on house rules and player preferences.
What Card Skips in Crazy 8?
Some variations of Crazy Eights might include additional rules where certain cards, like Queens, have special effects such as causing the next player to miss their turn.
What’s the Difference Between Uno & Crazy 8?
Uno and Crazy Eights are similar card games, but they have some differences:
- Uno typically uses a specialized deck with coloured cards and unique action cards (like Skip, Reverse, and Draw Two), while Crazy Eights uses a standard deck with a focus on matching ranks or suits.
- Crazy Eights allows players to play 8s as wild cards, while Uno has specific action cards with special effects.