Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights is a card game for two or more players. The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards to a discard pile.

There are a number of variations of the basic game, and a number of different names including Black Jack (not to be confused with Blackjack), Crates, Last One, Mau-Mau, Pesten, Rockaway, Spoons, Swedish Rummy, Switch and Tchausepp. Bartok, Mao and UNO are more extreme variations, containing elements not covered in this entry.

Generally, a standard 52-card pack is used, although some variations may use jokers as wild, and others may use more than one pack. Each player is (usually) dealt seven cards, with the rest of the deck being placed face down at the centre of the table. The top card is then turned face up to start the discard pile.

Players discard their cards by matching rank or suit with the top card of the discard pile. Generally, any number of cards of the same rank may be played simultaneously. Runs are occasionally permitted. The first player to get rid of all their cards is the winner.

The main variations in play concern the characteristics of cards with special actions. In the basic form of Crazy Eights, the only card with such attributes is the 8 (hence the name). The 8 can be played irrespective of the top card on the pile, and the player may then call a change of suit.

In other versions of the game, the suit-changing card may be a different card (often Jacks or Aces), and rules vary as to whether the card has to be played on a matching suit (ie. 8♥ has to be played on a heart) or whether it can be played irrespective of the top card.

Other special actions applied to cards include:

Many versions of the game require "Last Cards" to be said by any player who can make a final play on their next turn. Failure to announce "Last Cards" incurs a draw penalty (usually two cards).

Scoring varies depending on the weighting of special cards. Points are incurred for any cards left in hand at the end of a round. Traditionally, pure Crazy Eights is scored 50pts for an 8, 10pts for a picture card, and face value for a spot card. The winner is the player with the least points.