Crazy Eights is a card game for two or more players. The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards to a discard pile.
There are a number of variations of the basic game, and a number of different names including Crates, Finlander's Uno, Last One, Mau-Mau, Pesten, Rockaway, Spoons, Swedish Rummy, Switch, Last Card, and Tschausepp. In Britain, it is often referred to as Black Jack (not to be confused with the casino card game Blackjack). Bartok, Mao, Quango and UNO are more extreme variations, containing elements not covered in this entry.
Generally, a standard 52-card pack is used, although some variations may use jokers as wild, and others may use more than one pack.
Basic play[edit | edit source]
Each player is dealt seven cards, with the rest of the deck being placed face down at the center of the table. The top card is then turned face up to start the discard pile. Some players may agree to the "Dealer's Goodies" rule, in which the dealer is permitted to take the first discarded card if it is a "special" card, (i.e. an Ace, 2, 4, 8, or Q♠) and continue taking cards until an "ordinary" card surfaces.
Players discard by matching rank or suit with the top card of the discard pile, starting with the player left of the dealer. Generally, any number of cards of the same rank may be played consecutively (see below for "Skips on Skips" and "Draws on Draws" rules). Runs are occasionally permitted. If a player is unable to match the rank or suit of the top card of the discard pile and they don't have an 8, they draw cards from the stock pile until they draw a card that they are able to play (alternatively they may pass after drawing one card — the rules over passing vary). If the stock pile runs out of cards, the top card of the discard pile is removed and the remaining cards in the discard pile are reshuffled and serves as the new stock pile. The first player to get rid of all their cards is the winner. Other players may choose to continue playing for second place, etc.
Variations[edit | edit source]
The main variations in play concern the characteristics of cards with special actions. In the basic form of Crazy Eights, the only card with such attributes is the 8 (hence the name). The 8 can be played irrespective of the top card on the pile, and unless the 8 is the player's last card, the player may then call a change of suit.
In other versions of the game, the suit-changing card may be a different card (often Jacks or Aces), and rules vary as to whether the card has to be played on a matching suit (ie. 8♥ has to be played on a heart) or whether it can be played irrespective of the top card.
Other special actions applied to cards include:[edit | edit source]
- Skip - The next player in the rotation is skipped. If more than one card is played, the appropriate number of players are skipped. 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".
- Reverse - Players may agree that play reverses direction when a King is played.
- Cancel Draw & Choose Suit (Crazy 8) - The player who plays an 8 can force the next player to play a card of a certain suit. In addition, playing an 8 cancels out any draw cards that would ordinarily be required.
- Draw Cards - When a draw card is played, the next player must take a number of cards from the pack. There are two basic draw cards: the 2 (draw 2) and the Q♠ (draw 5). If the next player can play another draw card, they add up and the third player must draw the total, unless he or she also has a draw card or an 8. Playing more than one draw card simultaneously will usually require a draw equal to the sum of the cards (i.e. three 2's = six cards). Some players use black jacks as draw 5's, and allow red jacks to cancel the draw.
A player who can make a final play on their next turn must announce "Last Card". Failure to announce "Last Cards" incurs a draw penalty (usually two or five cards). Note that this usually has to be caught by another player before the last card is discarded. A player may use the 8 to change suits, as well as also block draw cards. Therefore a player who uses the 8 as their last card is almost guaranteed victory. If a player's last card is an 8 (or multiple 8's) then the player must not only announce "Last Card" but also show the 8 to his/her opponents. Failure to show the 8 results in a penalty (drawing two or more cards.)
Another version of the game is "Crazy Eights Countdown", usually played to extend the length of the game. Once a player is able to discard his or her first hand, s/he draws another hand with one less card. For example, if a person was dealt eight cards in his/her first hand and discards them all, s/he draws a second hand - this time with seven cards (thus 7 becomes his/her particular wild card). This goes on until a player goes down all the way to drawing one card and is able to discard that hand. Whoever does so wins.
Scoring[edit | edit source]
Scoring varies depending on the weighting of special cards. Points are incurred for any cards left in hand at the end of a round. Traditionally, pure Crazy Eights is scored 50pts for an 8, 10pts for a picture card, and face value for a spot card. The winner is the player with the least points. If a player throws a 2 at the end of the game then the player must pick two cards up from the deck before adding up their cards to get their final score.