Crazy Eights: Rules and How to Play | Group Games 101 (2024)

If you’re a family-friendly card game fan, you’ve probably already heard about Crazy Eights. Are you wondering how to play it? My Crazy Eights rules guide explains all you need to know about the game in detail.

Crazy Eights, sometimes also spelled Crazy 8s, is one of the most popular and widespread card games. It was previously known as Eights and most likely appeared first in the 1930s when kids used to play it with the leftover cards from Euchre (see our Euchre rules, too!).

There are dozens of variations and alternative house rules to this game, but the principle always stays the same: Get rid of your cards as fast as possible.

Similar to games like Continental (checkContinental rules for comparison), the game involves wild cards that players can use universally. All the cards also have their points value, which is counted after every round.

This Crazy Eights rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is Crazy Eights?
  • What you’ll need to play Crazy Eights
  • Crazy Eights rules
  • How to play Crazy Eights (video tutorial)
  • FAQs
  • Other similar games to Crazy Eights (our guides)

If you want to learn how to play Crazy Eights, continue reading.

What is Crazy Eights?

Crazy Eights: Rules and How to Play | Group Games 101 (1)

Playing Crazy Eights is so undemanding that it’s often one of the first games people introduce their kids to.

Number of Players: 2 to 7

Ages: 5+

Difficulty: Easy

Length of Play: 10 – 30 minutes

Category: Shedding-type card game

Similar to: Classic UNO, Craits, Macau

Main Objective: Get rid of all the cards in your hand and collect the fewest points.

Why We Love It: Crazy Eights immediately bring back childhood memories. This simple game can be played anywhere and anytime – the fun is always guaranteed.

What You’ll Need to Play Crazy Eights

If you want to play Crazy Eights, make sure you have a standarddeck of 52 cards.

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Crazy Eights: Rules and How to Play | Group Games 101 (2)

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Note: If more than two players play, you can use two identical card decks.

Crazy Eights Rules and Gameplay

The basic version of Crazy Eights is perfectly straightforward, with just a few rules to follow.

Starting the Game

  • First, shuffle the cards thoroughly.
  • Spread them face-down on the table and let each player pick one card.
  • The player with the lowest value card becomes the game’s dealer.

(Note: In Crazy Eights, Aces are considered the lowest and Kings the highest cards)

  • The dealer now gives five down-facing cards to each player, one at a time.
  • Players can check their cards immediately, keeping them hidden from each other.
  • The remaining cards form a draw pile.
  • Flip the top card and place it next to the pile as a basis of the discard pile.
  • If the flipped card is eight, put it back in a pile and draw a new card.

Now you can start playing.

How to Play Crazy Eights

  • The player to the left of the dealer takes turns first. After that, the game proceeds clockwise.
  • When on a turn, the player discards a single card on the discard pile. It must always match the value or suit of the card below it.
  • Eights, however, are considered wild cards. They can be played on anything. Playing eight, you also pick a suit for the next player.
  • The next player must match the selected suit – or play another wild card.

What if you don’t have any matching or wild cards?

If you cannot legally discard any of your cards, you must draw cards from the draw pile as long as needed until you get the card you can play. The top limit is five cards. Then the next player takes their turn.

What if you discard your last card?

The round ends when one of the players discards all their cards. Now you must count your points.

Crazy Eights Scoring

Players receive points for all the cards left in their hands when the round ends. For this purpose, use the following scoring chart:

  • Eights: 50 points each
  • Jacks, Queens, Kings: 10 points each
  • Number cards: Face value (e.g., seven = seven points, etc.)
  • Aces: 1 point each

In the next round, the role of the dealer moves clockwise among the players. Play until one of the players collects 100 or more points. This player, however, loses the game. The winner is whoever has the fewer points instead.

How to Play Crazy Eights – Video Tutorial

Crazy Eights Frequently Asked Questions

Are Crazy Eights and UNO the same?

No. The games have many similarities, but they are not the same. The legend says that Merle Robbins invented UNO to overcome arguments with his son over the Crazy Eights rules.

What does a joker mean in Crazy Eights?

The Crazy Eights game has many variations and optional rules. Although the basic game is played without jokers, you can also opt for keeping them in play. In that case, the joker is also a wild card. When someone plays it, the next player must always draw four cards.

How many points do you collect in Crazy Eights?

The basic Crazy Eights gameplay ends when someone earns 100 or more points. However, you can also play an extended game where the upper limit increases to 500 points. Such a game will take longer and is not preferred with smaller kids.

Other Similar Games to Crazy Eights (Our Guides)

Looking for some Crazy Eights alternatives? We have guides to numerous comparably simple and enjoyable card games for a whole family:

  • Classic UNO rules
  • DOS rules
  • Spicy UNO rules
  • Continental card game rules
  • Blink card game rules
  • Hearts rules (guide coming soon)
  • Switch card game rules
Crazy Eights: Rules and How to Play | Group Games 101 (2024)
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