How To Play Crazy Eights — The Easiest Of Card Games (2024)

History Lesson Time: Did you know that up until the 1940s, the super fun game Crazy Eights was simply called “Eights?” The name was changed during wartime as a sort-of callback or homage to soldiers who were sent home as a “Section 8.” A Section 8 was used to designate a discharged soldier as “mentally unstable.” Not exactly the nicest of delineations, huh? Whether you choose to call it “Crazy Eights” or simply “Eights” in your home is up to you.

No matter what you call it, however, you’re going to need to learn how to play. And what better time than quarantine? To start, it might help to know that Crazy Eights is classified as a “card shedding” game. That means the object of the game is to “shed,” or get rid, of your hand of cards. If you’re searching for a new card game to add to your repertoire, this is the jam. Ready to learn how to play Crazy Eights? Settle in.

How Many People Can Play?

If you only have one deck of cards, you can have between two to seven players. For more than seven players, it’s suggested you shuffle in a second deck of cards.

Dealing The Cards

To begin, select a dealer. Each round you play, you can rotate through players to make them the dealer, so it really doesn’t matter who starts. If there are any arguments, draw for the lowest card.

Next, the dealer should deal out five cards per player with the cards facing down. (If there are only two players, deal seven each.)

The rest of the cards go in a stack at the center of your playing surface (usually a table). Flip the top card face-up and place it next to the stack.

How To Play

You begin with the person to the left of the dealer and continue clockwise around the table.

Players must place cards on top of one another. There are a few rules about what cards are allowed to be “shed.” Each card must match the top-most card in either value or suit. They can also play an 8. If players cannot follow either of those rules, they must draw a card from the stack in the center until they reach a playable card.

Here’s an example:

Top card is 7 of Clubs. The next player can shed: 7 of diamonds 7 of spades 7 of hearts Any club card Any suited 8 card Draw until they pull a card that meets any of the requirements. *Note that if the stack changes suits (if they play a 7 of diamonds), it must be announced by the player. Think of it in the same fashion that players must announce “Uno!”

Easy-peasy, right? The game continues until the first person empties their hand. Winner-winner chicken dinner!

Scoring in Crazy Eights

If you’re playing with adults or with serious card players, one hand isn’t going to cut it. If you’re playing multiple hands, here’s how to determine an overall winner.

Once a player empties their hand, all other players must add up the values of their cards and give that many “points” to the winner. Note that eight cards are worth 50 points and court (or “face”) cards are worth 10 points each. All other cards are worth the value on their cards. (So, a six of diamonds is worth six points.) When playing multiple rounds, the overall winner is the one who first reaches the designated points limit. Official rules state that those limits are as follows:

2 players – 100 points 3 players – 150 4 players – 200 5 players – 250 6 players – 300 7 players – 350 But, honestly, you can set it to any arbitrary number in order to shorten or extend the game.

Need A Visual?

Sometimes seeing a game played out works better than just reading the directions. Here’s a helpful video.


Crazy Eights can be as simple or complicated as you want it. While the basic goal is simply to discard all your cards. Many families have since added their own rules to shake things up a bit. This can include things like, “If you discard a 4, the next person has to draw four cards.” Another popular rule is that playing a Jack will reverse the playing order. It can quickly become a bit like the first versions of UNO. You could often even change which card is wild. Families or groups of friends that play together often also occasionally play a sad*stic version with “Mao’s Rules.” In other words, new players aren’t told any of the rules and must simply learn as they go and are penalized for messing up. It quickly becomes a bit like Fight Club and can easily spiral into a pretty wacky game.

Now, grab a deck of cards and dive in. That’s genuinely the best way to learn. Experience builds confidence.

Card Jokes For Real Sharks

Once you’re sitting around the card table, it’s sometimes hard to figure out what to talk about. Work? Boo! School? Even worse! Your relationship? Uh… let’s save that for therapy. These jokes are the perfect, silly icebreaker.

1. Marriage is like a deck of cards. In the beginning, all you need is two hearts and a diamond.

By the end, you wish you had a club and spade. 2. Why do you never play a game of cards in the jungle? Because of all the cheetahs! 3. What has a heart but no organs? A deck of cards. 4. The Queen took a big hit at the poker table last night. It was a royal flush. 5. What’s the difference between prayer in church and prayer in a casino? In a casino, you really mean it! 6. Which playing cards are the best dancers? The king and queen of clubs. 7. Why don’t pirates like playing cards? There’s always someone walking across the deck. 8. I’m stuck in quarantine all alone with a deck of cards… I guess you could say I’m in solitaire confinement. 9. A patient bursts into a doctor’s office: “Doctor, I believe I’m a deck of cards!” The doctor calmly replies, “Go sit in the waiting room, please. I’ll be dealing with you later.” 10. How can you get four suits for under $2? Buy a deck of cards.

Quotes About Playing Cards

“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her; but once they are in hand,

he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.” – Voltaire

“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.” – Jack London

“One should always play fair when one has the winning cards.” – Oscar Wilde

“Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.” – Josh Billings

“When luck joins the game, cleverness scores double.” – Yiddish Proverb

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play them better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein

“No matter what your circ*mstances are in life, a simple card game can make you feel special and give great joy, if only for a few fleeting moments.” – Anonymous

This article was originally published on

How To Play Crazy Eights — The Easiest Of Card Games (2024)


How To Play Crazy Eights — The Easiest Of Card Games? ›

Each player in turn, starting from the dealer's left, plays a card faceup to the discard pile. Each card played must match the topmost card in the discard pile by rank or suit. All 8s are wild and can be played at any time, and whoever plays one can name any suit for the next player to follow.

How to win Crazy 8 every time? ›

If you have a hand full of spades, play the high one and stay in the suit. If you have a hand full of clubs, play your five of clubs to switch to a better suit. Generally speaking, if matching the suit when you play your card, you want to play your higher cards first.

How to play Crazy 8 with 2 players easy? ›

How to play Crazy 8
  1. 1: Gather at least 2 people and a deck of playing cards. ...
  2. 2: Determine who goes first. ...
  3. 3: Set up the game by dealing 5 cards to each player. ...
  4. 4: Play the first turn. ...
  5. 5: Play continues clockwise. ...
  6. 6: End the round after 1 player played all cards and score the round. ...
  7. 7: Play the next rounds.

What is the easiest card game to play alone? ›

13 best single player card games
  • The Idiot.
  • Solitaire.
  • Canfield — solitaire.
  • Chain solitaire.
  • March Same Rank.
  • Napoleon at St. Helena.
  • Devil's Grip.
  • Klondike.
Jan 9, 2019

How do you play crazy 8 for dummies? ›

How to Play: Players try to get rid of their cards by placing them on top of the flipped up card in the center. Players may do so if the card they want to get rid of is the same number or suit of the card flipped up. 8s are wild and if a player plays an 8, they must state what suit the 8 will be for the next player.

What is the ace rule in Crazy 8? ›

If a skip card (Ace) is played, the following player is not allowed to take any action. Their turn is skipped and the player after them continues. Alternatively, the player may play a skip card themselves and pass on the effect. If a player cannot play, they must pick up a card from the deck.

What does a jack do in Crazy Eights? ›

Jacks: When a jack is played the next player must play a picture card but does not have to follow suit. Eights: When an eight is played the next player misses a turn.

Can you play Crazy Eights with a regular deck of cards? ›

Crazy Eights is a fun game similar to the game Uno in which players take turns placing cards that match either in face value or suit with the goal to eliminate all cards in their hand; the only difference is that it is being played with a normal card deck instead of a specially-made cards.

What does a Joker do in Crazy Eights? ›

When a 2 or a Joker is played, the following player must draw two or four cards accordingly. Alternatively, they can play a draw card of the same rank, but regardless of suit, and pass the draw obligation on to the next player. Note: The 2 and the Joker cannot be combined.

What is the No 1 card game? ›

UNO! - The World's #1 Card Game-UNO! ™ – the Official UNO mobile game.

Which game is best to play alone? ›

Games for which this seems to work particularly well include:
  • Chess.
  • Go.
  • Backgammon.
  • Mancala.
  • Draughts (would recommend the 10 x 10 version)
  • Reversi / Othello.
  • Bridge.
  • Poker.

Which card game is hardest to play? ›

What Is the Most Difficult Card Game to Play?
  • Bridge. A trick-taking game using a standard 52-card deck, it is played by four players in two competing partnerships. ...
  • Poker. A family of card games that combines gambling, strategy, and skill. ...
  • Euchre. ...
  • Pinochle. ...
  • Hearts. ...
  • Spades. ...
  • Magic: The Gathering. ...
  • Chess.

What is the best card game for beginners? ›

Easy to Learn Card Games for the Whole Family
  • Spoons. Spoons can be played with three to five players. ...
  • Hearts. The game of hearts is for older players. ...
  • Poker. Poker is a traditional gambling game played by many. ...
  • Go Fish. Go Fish is an excellent game for a younger audience. ...
  • War. ...
  • Crazy Eights. ...
  • I Doubt It/Cheat.

How do you win in Crazy Eights? ›

The basic gameplay of Crazy Eights involves trying to get rid of your cards by matching either the rank or suit of the face-up card in the discard pile. The objective of the game is to be the first one to discard all your cards. Or, if you're playing multiple rounds, you want to have the fewest points.

What is the crazy 8 method? ›

Crazy 8's is a core Design Sprint method. It is a fast sketching exercise that challenges people to sketch eight distinct ideas in eight minutes. The goal is to push beyond your first idea, frequently the least innovative, and to generate a wide variety of solutions to your challenge.

How to keep score in Crazy 8? ›

Crazy Eights card game

Just like Uno your goal is to be the first player to get rid of all the cards in your hand. The player that does this wins the round. If you are keeping score you sum up the value of the cards on the rest of the players hands after each round.

What card skips in crazy 8? ›

Skip cards are usually both Aces and 4's. Players may agree that Aces and 4's may be played on each other regardless of suit ("Skips on Skips"). A similar option exists with draw cards, where 2's and the queen of spades may be played on each other interchangeably if players agree on "Draws on Draws".


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