• Angela Cumming

How to Play Crazy Eight Countdown

If you remember from my last post, Crazy Eights was the game of my childhood. When we had tons of time (indoor recesses, I'm looking at you) or we were bored, we would play the extended version, Crazy Eight Countdown. The game is exactly the same but it keeps going after the first person runs out of their hand! Check out the rules of Crazy Eights before reading below.

Number of Players:

2-4 is ideal but you can use more than one deck of cards and add more players!


-one deck (or more) of regular playing cards, jokers excluded

Objective of the Game:

The first person to finish all of their countdown hands wins.


The set-up is the exact same as Crazy Eights. Deal 8 cards to each player and create a draw pile with one card flipped up.


The player to the left of the dealer goes first. Just like Crazy Eights, they play a card from their hand that matches either the suit or the number of the top card of the discard pile. Multiple cards can be played as long as they are the same number. For example, if a three of spades was face-up, the player can play any spade or any three in their hand. If they have more than one three, they can play all of them.

If you cannot play any of the cards in your hand then you pick-up one card from the draw pile. If you can play the card immediately then go ahead, otherwise it is added to your hand. Play continues clockwise to the next player and continues until one player runs out of cards.

Now, this is where it gets a little trickier than normal Crazy Eights.

When any player runs out of their hand, they are NOT out of the game yet. This is where the countdown begins. The player picks up a new hand, but with one less card. They are now on sevens and instead of eights being wild, sevens are wild but only for that player. This continues each time you run out of cards, you pick up a hand with one less card and that card is now wild. For example, if you are on fives then you pick up a hand of five cards and your wild card is a five but your friend's wild card could still be a seven so nothing special happens when they play a five. Get it?

Special Cards:

The special cards are still the same as in normal Crazy Eights, with one exception.

-Wild Card: This card is different for each player depending on what round they are on. If they are on sixes, then sixes are their wild card. Wild cards can also be special cards. For example, if someone has fours as their wild card, they get to change the suit and the direction. Remember wild cards can be played at any time, on any number and any suit.


You are the winner you finish your countdown first AKA you are on one (you just picked up a hand of one card) and you run out of cards before anyone else.


-If you run out of cards in the draw pile, leave the most recent card from the discard pile face-up and reshuffle the remaining cards to make a new draw pile.

-Keep track of what your friends are on so you know what their wild card is!

Have you ever played of Crazy Eight Countdown? Let me know in the comments!


© 2020 by Cambio & Co. Created by Angela Cumming. 

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