How To Play Crazy Eights

– Everything You Ever Needed To Know

By: - Arts & Entertainment - May 26, 2011
how to play crazy eights

Photo: old Vanity Fair playing card from the late 19th century – public domain photo

If you want some fun, you might want to learn how to play crazy eights and enjoy gathering friends and family for fun evenings of playing crazy eights.  Being a game designed for 2 to 7 people, this shedding game’s primary goal is to rid each player into a discard stack.  In fact, if you ever played the 70s school time favourite games of Mau Mau and Switch, you will love this game.

If you only have under six people to play, you will only need a fifty-two card deck.  If you are planning on having more than that, you can shuffle two decks together and use all one hundred and four cards.

Originally, crazy eights was born out of many games, though most Europeans will know it as Black Jack.  However, the game began as we know it today in the 40s, taken from a game derived for allegedly mentally unstable and no longer military worthy soldiers.  Extreme versions were also created, including UNO and Taki, as well as a few others.

The first step to learn about how to play crazy eights is to deal only eight cards per player.  The rest of your cards are put face down on your table, placed in the center for all to see.  To being playing crazy eights, you turn over the card on the top of the pile and players being discarding their cards by matching or suiting theirs with the overturned card.  However, you must always begin a play with the player that is sitting just to the left of your designated dealer.

You may find that a player cannot make a match or suit, so that player must see if they have an eight, which can be placed on top instead.  If an eight is not available, then the player must take a card from the large card pile until that player can make a match or suit.  However, once the player gets a card that is playable, the game continues and the next player gets a turn.  Each player must play the visible suit or match until someone runs out of cards and wins the game.

Playing crazy eights has some basic rules.  For example, when you learn how to play crazy eights, you can:

  1. Match the same number or face card
  2. Match the same suit with any card from that same suit
  3. Use an eight card instead and declare the suit change to the other players
  4. Take a card from the main pile until play is possible
  5. If you get down to your last card, you must cry out ‘last’ and as long as the other players are not down to one card, you have to take another card before continuing
  6. If you get down to your last card, have cried out ‘last’ and at least one other player has only one card left, you can play your card, if it matches or fits the suit and win
  7. If your final card does not match or fit with the suit, you continue playing and gathering cards again

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