Home Blog How to Play Crazy 8s

How to Play Crazy Eights

Updated: Oct 13, 2023
Crazy Eights card game
Crazy Eights can be played with 2 to 7 players. It requires a standard deck of 52 cards, including all suits. After the players sit around a table, the dealer deals the cards clockwise, one at a time, until each player has a hand of seven cards.

The primary objective of Crazy 8s is to be the first player to discard all the cards in your hand. As you play, your goal is to strategically match cards in your hand with those in the discard pile based on either rank or suit. This process continues until you have no cards left.

1. Dealing

Shuffle the deck thoroughly. Deal 5 cards to each player. If there are more than 5 players, combine 2 decks to create a single shoe for a larger group.

Place the remaining cards face down in the center of the table; these form the Stock, your “Draw” pile. Flip over the top card from the Stock; this becomes the Starter for the Play pile, determining the first valid cards to be played.

2. Play

The objective is to empty your hand of cards, so it’s crucial to understand the basic rules of play. Generally, the top card in the Play pile sets the criteria for the cards that can be played on it. For example, if the top card is 5 of diamonds, you can play any 5 from any suit or any card of the same suit. Play proceeds clockwise, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. Continue taking turns, playing cards legally, and using special cards to disrupt your opponents’ strategies.

If a player cannot make a legal move, they must draw a card from the Stock. However, players have the option to draw or pass even if they have a playable card. When a special card serves as the Starter, treat it as though the dealer played it, and the next player is affected by its special effect. If the Stock runs out, and a player can’t make a legal move, they may pass instead.

3. Special cards

Queens skip the next player’s turn, causing a shift in the order of play.

Aces reverse the order of play immediately upon being played.

Twos make the next player draw 2 cards and can stack, passing the penalty cards to subsequent players if more twos are played.

Eights can be played on any card, a player has the option to change the discarded suit.

4. Scoring

When you play multiple games, each game is a round within an overarching match, where each reshuffle and re-deal causes scoring to vary. Rather than determining the victor based on the most rounds won, each card holds an assigned point value. These point values are as follows:

  • Eights: 50 points (Special Card)
  • Kings: 10 points
  • Queens: 10 points (Special Card)
  • Jacks: 10 points
  • Tens: 10 points
  • Nines: 9 points
  • Sevens: 7 points
  • Sixes: 6 points
  • Fives: 5 points
  • Fours: 4 points
  • Threes: 3 points
  • Twos: 2 points (Special Card)
  • Aces: 1 point (Special Card)

At the end of each round, players calculate the total point value of the cards remaining in their hand. The player with no remaining cards is the round’s winner. Other players must tally the point values of the cards in their hands and pay those points to the round winner. The player with the highest overall score at the match’s conclusion is declared the true winner.

5. Variations and House Rules

Crazy Eights is a game that encourages creativity and adaptability, making it ripe for variations. Players often tweak the rules to add their own unique flavor to the game.

Here are some popular variations:

  • Crazy Jacks. Instead of eights, Jacks become the special cards with unique effects. For example, a Jack could skip the next player’s turn or require them to draw extra cards.
  • Progressive Crazy Eights. In this variant, players must match both rank and suit when playing a card. This adds an extra layer of challenge and strategy to the game.
  • Drawing to Match. If a player cannot match the current card, they must keep drawing from the draw pile until they can make a valid play.

6. Frequently Asked Questions

How many players can play Crazy Eights?

Crazy Eights is highly versatile and can be played by 2 or more players. It’s often more enjoyable with a group of 2 to 7 participants.

What happens when the draw pile is empty?

When the draw pile is exhausted, reshuffle the discard pile (except for the top card) to create a new draw pile. Play continues.

Can I play multiple cards in one turn?

In most versions of Crazy 8s, you can usually play only one card per turn. However, house rules may allow variations where multiple cards can be played.

What’s the best strategy for winning?

A key strategy is to manage your hand effectively, keeping special cards like eights for strategic moments. Try to anticipate your opponent’s moves, and when in doubt, play defensively to prolong the game.

Are there any advanced strategies?

Some advanced tactics include counting cards, memorizing played cards, and baiting opponents into drawing cards. These strategies can give you an edge in competitive games.

With the knowledge you’ve gained from this guide, you’re well-equipped to become a Crazy Eights pro. May your hand be filled with eights and your games be filled with endless enjoyment. Happy playing!
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This product is intended for people over 18 years of age for entertainment purposes. This game includes in-app purchases. Practice or success in social casino gambling does not imply future winnings in real money gambling and gambling in general.

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Copyright 2024 All rights reserved

This product is intended for people over 18 years of age for entertainment purposes. This game includes in-app purchases. Practice or success in social casino gambling does not imply future winnings in real money gambling and gambling in general.