• Angela Cumming

How to Play Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights was the game of my childhood. I can't tell you how many hands I've played with friends over the years but it was our go-to game during indoor recesses and social events because it's so easy! It was probably one of the first games I ever learned how to play and it's probably one of the games I've played the most in my life. Crazy Eights is similar to the famous game Uno, but it's played with a regular deck of playing cards.

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:

This game is played per hand so the aim of the game is to be the first person to play all the cards in your hand.


Dealer deals 8 cards to each player, one card at a time. Each player has 8 cards in their hand. You may look at your own hand but don't show other players. The remaining cards are placed face-down in the draw pile with one card flipped up on the side. This is the discard pile.


The player to the left of the dealer goes first. 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.

Special Cards:

That's the main idea of the game, however there are several "special" cards to make thing more interesting. When a special card is played, it applies to the next player. Special cards can only be allowed on the same number or suit, just like regular play, unless specified in the description. Special cards are as follows:

-Two: Pick up 2 cards. The only way to get out of this is to "pass it along" by playing another two on top. This means the next player picks up 4 cards. For example, player 1 plays a two. Player 2 would have to pick up two cards but instead, player 2 plays a two on top of the first one. Now player 3 picks up 4 cards. More than one two can be played at a time, this just compounds the total number of cards to be picked up.

-Four: Change direction. Play now moves counter-clockwise until another 4 is played.

-Eight: Wild card. An eight can be played at any time, no matter the suit or number of the discard card. The player who plays the eight changes the suit to whatever they'd like. The next player must play as if that suit is face-up.

-Jack: Miss a turn. If layer 1 plays a jack, then player 2 misses a turn or they can play a jack to cause player 3 to miss their turn. If more than one jack is played at once, that many players miss their turn (if two jacks are played then the next two players miss their turn).

-Queen of Spades: Pick up 5. This is directed at the next player and cannot be compounded with other cards.


You are the winner if you finish all the cards in your hand first! When you have one card left, you must say "last card" immediately after playing your second-to-last card. If you forget and someone notices then you pick-up two more cards and add them to your hand.


-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.

Do you have any variations of Crazy Eights? Let me know in the comments!


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

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