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)


How to play Crazy Eights step by step? ›

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 do you play crazy 8 party animals? ›

Crazy Eights Party Animals Card Game is themed around a game for two to four players. Players take turns discarding a card on the pile, the next one has to match what that one is. The eights are "crazy" and act as wild cards. Have a blast playing this game with friends and family!

How many people can play crazy 8 at once? ›

Crazy Eights is a shedding-type card game for two to seven players and the best known American member of the Eights Group which also includes Pig and Spoons. The object of the game is to be the first player to discard all of their cards.

What does Queen of Spades mean in Crazy Eights? ›

What does the Queen of Spades do in Crazy Eights? Some house rules play that the Queen of Spades is a “draw 5” specialty card, but must still be played on top of either a matching suit (spade) or rank (queen). However, in a standard game of Crazy 8, the Queen of Spades doesn't have any special attributes.

What does each card mean in Crazy 8s? ›

Card Values/scoring

The player who is the first to have no cards left wins the game. The winning player collects from each other player the value of the cards remaining in that player's hand as follows: Each eight = 50 points Each K, Q, J or 10 = 10 points Each ace = 1 point Each other card is the pip value.

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.

How do you play Party Animals with friends? ›

To play in a private match together, you must first add each other in Party Animals then create a custom match, make it private then invite your friend to the game, your all set, good to go. If you have any other questions, let me know. :-) Have fun and make sure to let me know who wins eh? lol.

What does ace mean in Crazy Eights? ›

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 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.

Can you go out on an 8 in Crazy Eights? ›

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.

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.

What does it mean when a girl is a queen of spades? ›

In cartomancy, the queen of spades is considered to be a sign of intelligence. It is representative of judgment that is practical, logical, and intellectual. It represents a woman who is creative and makes her plans ahead of time.

How do you play crazy 8 and win? ›

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.

Do you pick up 2 in Crazy 8? ›

Here is a blog post and discussion about Crazy-8-Countdown describing a version in which Jacks skip the next player, Twos make the next player draw two cards or play another Two as usual, and the Queen of Spades makes the next player draw five cards. Multiple cards of equal rank can be played together.

How to play card rules? ›

Play begins with the person on the dealer's left putting a card face upon the table. The next person to the left must play a card of the same suit if he has one, and the third player must then do the same to complete the trick. If a player has no cards of the right suit, he may discard any card of any other suit.


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