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Crazy Eights Rules and Gameplay
Crazy Eights is a fun card game that can be played with a standard 52 card deck. You need at least 2 people to play. If more than five players play, you might need two decks to have enough cards for the game to be fun.
Starting the Game
Typically 2 to 4 people play Crazy Eights. If there are two players, deal 7 cards each. If there are more deal 5 cards each. The remaining cards go in a stack face down in the middle. Turn the top card over.
Playing the Game
The player to the left of the dealer starts the game and turns move clockwise from there.
During a player's turn they can play cards face up that match the current card in either suit (i.e. hearts, diamonds, etc) or rank. For example, if the current face up card is the 5 of clubs, you may play either a five or a clubs.
Eights are wild and can be played at any time. When a player plays an eight, they then get to pick the current suit, whether that be hearts, clubs, spades, or diamonds.
If the player can't match the top cards, then they must draw cards from the deck until they get a match. Once the draw pile is empty, then players that don't have a match, lose their turn.
Winning the Game
The first player to discard all their cards is the winner!
Strategies for Crazy Eights
Alternate Ways to Play the Game
- If you play an eight, you can either choose the suit that you have the most cards in or you can try to pick one that your opponent doesn't have. You can know this by remembering what suit they last had to draw a card to.
- Generally play a rank match before a suit match. But think about this depending on the cards you have. One may be a much better play than the other.
- If you are playing for points, play the high cards first when you are matching a suit.
- You can play Crazy Eights over a series of games by keeping track of points. At the end of each game you add up the remaining card in the losers' hands and award the points to the winner. Typically you give 10 points for each face card like the queen or king, the face value of the number cards (6 points for a 6), 1 point for an Ace, and 50 points for an 8. Better not hang onto those eights!
- Allow players to continue to discard more than 1 card if they can on each turn.
- Play where the Jack skips the turn of the next player. If only two players are playing the game, then the Jack allows for another turn.
- Try choosing a reverse card that changes the direction of play. A queen is often used as the reverse.
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