How to Play Crazy Eights Card Game in 5 Easy Steps

Date:2023-11-28 Category: Games
Crazy Eights Card Game

Today is all about a classic game that has been entertaining American families for generations: Crazy 8s. With simple rules that make it easy to learn but still present fun challenges, Crazy 8s is a staple game for all ages. The objective is to be the first player who gets rid of all their cards. But how?


In this article, we’ll explore the origins of Crazy 8s, how the game is played, tips and strategies to help you win, and why this game has stood the test of time.


A Little Bit of History: Who Called It Crazy In The First Place?!

The delightfully chaotic card game known today as Crazy Eights has origins dating back to the 1930s when it first emerged as “Eights,” David Parlett, a scholar of games, says. It wasn’t until the 1940s that the more colorful name “Crazy Eights” came about, likely referencing the United States military’s term “Section 8” discharge for mentally unstable soldiers. The game’s evolution over the decades is an interesting one, rising from its probable beginnings as a variation of the German game Mau-Mau to becoming a beloved family game night classic.


At its core, Crazy Eights challenges players to shed their hand of cards into a discard pile by matching numbers or suits. Eights are the wild cards that energize the game with unpredictability, allowing you to change the suit and keep opponents on their toes. The simplicity of Crazy Eights means fun for all ages while still offering space for strategic play. From kids to great-grandparents, Crazy Eights entertains across generations. The many variations of the basic game that have emerged over the years, like Crates, Last Card, and Spoons, only add to the fun. Crazy Eights has cemented its place in the pantheon of best card games for good reason.


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What Are The Rules For Crazy Eights Card Game?

Compared to other classic card games, like Blackjack, Crazy 8s is considered ruleless!! The objective of the game is to have the fewest points at the end of the game(if you are playing multiple rounds). Meanwhile, the objective of each hand(round) is to be the first player who gets rid of all their cards(if you play one round game, it is the game’s objective.)


The game is played using a standard 52-card deck. Remember, there are many variations of the game with slightly different rules. Hence, make sure to agree on the rules before starting to play. Here is a summary of Crazy Eights main rules:


  • The game starts from the person left to the dealer and rotates clockwise.
  • If you play the game at home setting, you should shuffle cards and let each player draw one card. The player with the lowest card value will be the dealer. The dealer position will not rotate after each round.
  • Crazy Eights is played with 2 to 5+ players.

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How To Play Crazy Eights: 5 Simple Steps

Like the rules, the Crazy Eights gameplay is simple to learn and master. Here are 5 easy steps to make it even more simple.


Step1: Shuffle and Setup

The dealer shuffles the 52-card deck and deals 5 cards face-down to each player(starting from the left). Each player will be dealt 7 cards instead of 5 if only two players are at the table. If more than 5 players are present, a combination of 2 decks should be used.

Step 2: Dealing

Once everyone is dealt 5 cards face down, the dealer places the remaining cards in the center of the table, known as the Draw Pile.


The dealer turns up the top card of the draw pile and places it next to the deck face-up. It creates the Starter Pile or Discard Pile. At this point, the game officially starts.


If the top card is 8, the dealer buries it in the middle of the deck and turns up another card.


Step 3: Gameplay

The player left to the dealer starts the game by discarding one card and placing it in the starter pile. But what cards can be discarded?


The card to be discarded must match the card on top of the starter pile in suit or number.


For example, suppose the top card is ♦9, and you are the first player to act. Your hand consists of the following cards:


♠7 K J ♠5 ♠A


You can discard your ♦J as it matches ♦9 in suit. The rest of the players discard cards in the same way, following the same rule. But what happens if a player has no card matching the top card on the starter pile?


In this case, they draw up to three or four cards from the deck until they get a matching card. If they don’t draw a matching card, their turn is over, and the action moves to the next player. Remember, you should keep the cards that you draw until you can discard each according to the discarding rule.


Step 4: Playing The Wild!

What’s so special about the Crazy 8s game is that an 8 card acts as a wild card. In other words, the player who discards an 8 can choose a new suit that other players must discard.


This way, the next players must play and discard cards with the new suit until someone else discards an 8 and chooses a new suit to play.


Step 5: Scoring and Winner

The first player who gets rid of all the cards in their hand wins the round or the game. If you play a multi-round game, when a player empties their hand, the rest of the players should count their total scores according to the following table:

Crazy 8s Card Values and Scoring System
Card Value
Ace 1 point
Jack, King, and Queen 10 points
8 50 points
2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 Face values

The game continues until a player reaches 100 or more points. At this point, the player with the lowest points wins the game.


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Can You Play Crazy 8s Online For Real Money?

Yes. But the challenge is to find a legit online real money casino that offers the game! There are plenty of Crazy Eights Apps that you can download from the App Store or Google Play for free. These apps allow you to play the game using virtual money and win. You can find slots with Crazy 8s theme at top legit online casinos or social casinos like Vegas Slots Online. But most of them do not offer the original game to play and win real money.


Wrap-Up: Should You Play Crazy 8s?

If you have not played it at home already, you have missed a big fun! Try it with family or friends today. All you need is a standard deck of 52 cards and five cool people to play with! With an easy objective to be the first to clear out your hand, Crazy 8s is the best game for all ages. Online social casinos also offer the game to play with virtual currencies and then redeem your winnings for cash prizes.

Crazy Eights FAQs

  • How Do You Win Crazy 8s?

    The first player to discard all their cards wins the game.

  • What Happens If The Draw Pile Runs Out Before A Player Wins?

    The dealer reshuffles the discard pile to make a new draw pile, and the round continues as normal.

  • Can Cards Be Added To Builds?

    No, Crazy 8s does not allow building. Cards must be discarded directly to the discard pile.

  • Does A 2 Beat An Ace?

    Yes, in multi-round Crazy 8s, a 2 is ranked higher than an Ace. Because 2 is worth its face value, while Ace is counted as 1.

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