How to Play Crazy 8’s

How to Play Crazy 8’s - Joker and the Thief

One of the great things about Crazy Eights is that it can be played with any number of people between two and eight. While more players can add to the mystery and excitement of the game, it can also mean a smaller game span for each player, as there are fewer cards available.


But don't let that deter you! Whether you're playing with just a few people or a large group, Crazy Eights is always a blast. In this post, we’re going to be teaching you how to play crazy 8’s, so you can take game night to a whole other level! 

How to Play Crazy 8’s – A Complete Rundown

Starting with the basics of the game

To start the game, each player is dealt a hand of seven cards from a standard 52-card deck (or five cards from two decks if playing with more than two players). 


The remaining cards are then placed facedown on the table to form the draw pile, with the top card flipped over to start the discard pile. 


If an eight is turned up as the first card, it is "buried" in the draw pile, and the next card is flipped over to start the discard pile.


The objective of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all of their cards.


On your turn, you must either play a card from your hand that matches the rank or suit of the top card on the discard pile or draw a card from the draw pile. 


If you play an eight, you get to choose the suit that the next player must follow.


If you can't play a card that matches the top card on the discard pile, you must draw cards from the draw pile until you can play a card or until the draw pile runs out. 


If you have only one card left in your hand, you have to say "last card" or “Switch” to let the other players know. If you forget to do this and another player catches you, you must draw two cards as a penalty.


That one is quite difficult to come back from, and you might just find yourself losing a winning game!


The game ends when one player has played all of their cards, and that player earns points based on the cards remaining in the other player’s hands. 

This is where things get real. 


Eights are worth 50 points, face cards are worth 10 points, and all other cards are worth their face value. 


If the draw pile runs out and no one has played all of their cards, the player with the fewest points in their hand is the winner!


In Switch, players are dealt a hand of cards and must take turns discarding cards that match the rank or suit of the card on top of the discard pile. 


But watch out, because there are some special cards that can really shake things up!


First up, we have the powerful Aces. Aces are wild and can be played at any time to match the rank or suit of the card on top of the discard pile.


Next, we have the tricky Twos. 


When a Two is played, the next player must either play a Two or draw two cards from the stockpile and skip their turn. But beware, because if the next player draws a Two, the following player must draw four cards and lose their turn. And it only gets crazier from there - each additional Two played adds two cards to the penalty for not playing a Two, up to a total of eight cards!


But wait, there's more! 


The sneaky Fours also have a special rule. 


Just like Twos, when a Four is played, the next player must either play a Four or draw four cards from the stockpile. However, the maximum number of cards a player can draw is capped at 16, so be careful not to get too greedy.


And last but not least, we have the game-changing Jacks. 


When a Jack is played, it reverses the direction of play and forces the previous player to play a Jack as well or lose their turn. So if you were going clockwise, you'll now be going counterclockwise!


All of these little variations keep the game super unpredictable, but it also keeps the game fun! Now that you know exactly how to Play crazy 8’s, and all the sneaky cards you should watch out for, all that’s left to go is for you to round up some family and friends and give this card game a shot!

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