How To Play Crazy 8: Rules, Tips, Variations & More


Welcome to the enjoyable world of Crazy 8, where learning how to play Crazy 8 is as easy as having fun. Crazy 8 is a card game that’s perfect for all ages and offers a simple yet engaging experience. The main goal is to be the first to get rid of all your cards. Using a standard 52-card deck, Crazy 8 introduces an element of surprise and excitement to each round. Whether you’re a seasoned card player or just starting out, understanding how to play Crazy 8 is a breeze, combining luck and skill for a great time. Join us as we explore the basics of how to play Crazy 8 and discover the secrets to becoming a master of this entertaining game.

Understanding Crazy 8: A Fun Card Game

Crazy 8 is a cool card game, kind of like Uno, but it uses a regular deck of cards. Here’s the deal: everyone’s trying to play all their cards first by matching either the suit or the number of the top card. Keep in mind that 8s are special – they can go on any card. But, if you can’t make a move, you’ll have to pick up cards, which slows down your mission to be the first to get rid of all your cards. Ready to have some fun and learn how to play Crazy 8? Let’s dive in.


The main goal of playing Crazy 8 is to have the least points until someone else gets 100 points. In each round, you want to be the first to play all your cards and have zero points, or keep your points low by holding onto cards that are worth less.

Number of Players

Crazy 8 is a game for 2-5 players using just one set of cards. If you have more friends (6-10 players), you’ll need to use two sets of cards.

Playing Time

When you play Crazy 8, you’ll have several rounds, and it usually takes about 20 minutes with 2-4 players. If you add more friends, it might take a bit longer. The time can also change if you decide to play with different rules, like using more cards that make you draw. If you’re in a hurry, you can finish one round in about 5 minutes.

What You Need/Equipment

To play Crazy 8, all you need is a regular deck of 52 playing cards. You’ll need two decks if you have more friends playing (6-10 players).


Playing Crazy 8 helps you get better at math, like matching numbers and adding them up, especially when scoring between 1 and 10 or adding up to 100. It’s also good for practising social skills, like taking turns, making the game more enjoyable.


Crazy 8 is great for kids starting from Kindergarten and up. You should know your numbers from 1 to 10.

Why We Like Crazy 8 for Kids

Crazy 8 is a fun game that’s easy to understand, and it’s a bit like Uno, which is also inspired by Crazy 8. The game moves quickly, and once you know the basic rules, you can add more fun rules to make it even better, like skipping turns or drawing extra cards. It’s not just fun; you also get to practice math and social skills while playing.

How To Play Crazy 8

Crazy Eights is a fun card game with different ways to play it. Let’s start with the basic version, where 8s are the special cards. It’s a good idea to begin with this one before trying out other rules.

Get at least two people and a deck of playing cards. 

You need at least two players and a deck of cards to play Crazy Eights. If there are 2-5 people, one deck is enough. For 6-10 players, you’ll need two decks.

Decide who goes first. 

To figure out who will deal the cards, shuffle the deck, and each person picks a card. The one with the lowest card (Ace is the lowest) becomes the dealer. The person on their left takes the first turn. You can also decide the dealer in other ways, like picking the highest card or playing rock-paper-scissors.

Set up the game by giving five cards to each player. 

The dealer shuffles the cards and gives five cards face down to each player. Everyone can look at their cards but keep them secret. The rest of the cards go in a pile in the middle, and the top card is turned over to start the game.

Note: If the first card is an 8 (which is a special card), put it back randomly in the deck and draw another card.

Play the first turn.

Initiate the game by having the player positioned to the left of the dealer take the inaugural turn, placing a card onto the discard pile. Players are limited to three methods of playing a card:

  1. Match the rank (number value): If the starting card is a 3 of clubs, the player can place any 3 of a different suit.
  2. Match the suit: When the starting card is a 3 of clubs, any other card of the club suit can be played.
  3. Play an 8 (wild card): An eight of any suit holds the flexibility to be played atop any up-card, disregarding both suit and rank.

In the event a player finds themselves unable to make a play, they must draw a card from the draw deck and:

  • If the drawn card is playable, it can be promptly played, concluding their turn.
  • If the drawn card is NOT playable, the player must persist in drawing until they acquire a playable card (which they then play) or until a maximum of 3 cards have been drawn in that turn, subsequently concluding their turn.

Continue Playing 

Let’s understand how the game continues. Players take turns in a circle, like going around a clock. The next person plays a card that matches the one on top or plays a special card called an 8. If they can’t play, they pick up cards until they can.

Finish the round when someone uses all their cards and counts the points. 

A round ends when someone plays their last card. Everyone counts points based on what cards they have left.

Scoring in Crazy Eights:

  • 8 = 50 points (it’s not good to have the special 8 cards)
  • Face cards (J, Q, K) = 10 points each
  • Number cards (2-10) = points equal to their number, except for the 8
  • Ace = 1 point

Start the next rounds. 

Another round begins with the next person becoming the dealer. Keep playing rounds until someone gets 100 points.

End the game and announce the winner at 100 points. 

When a player reaches 100 points, the game ends. The player with the fewest points is the winner.

How To Play Crazy 8: Rules

Important Note: In this version, we’re playing the regular game where 8s are the only special cards. If you want more ways to play, check out the variations section.

Wild Eights can be played on any card. The person playing the 8 gets to pick which suit comes next.

If the first card flipped is an 8, put it back randomly in the deck after flipping another card. Do this again if the next card is also an 8.

If you can’t play a card on your turn, pick up to 3 cards. When you’ve drawn three cards, your turn is done, and the play moves to the next person.

If, while picking up cards, you get one you can play, go ahead and play it right away—no need to pick up more cards, and your turn ends.

We don’t shuffle the deck again if we run out of cards to pick up. If someone can’t play and there are no cards left to pick up, they have to pass. If no one can play, the game ends, and everyone adds up points based on the cards they have.

Crazy 8 Gameplay Video

Crazy 8 Variation

There are many ways to change up the Crazy Eights game. Different rules can make it more fun and interesting.

Last Card Declaration

In this version, players need to say “last card” when they have only one card left, or they’ll face a penalty. If they forget to say it, any other player can say “last card” before the next player makes a move. If caught without saying it, they have to pick up a card. This adds some excitement to the game.

Additional Specialty Cards

Some versions add more special cards, making it a bit like Uno. These special cards need to match either the suit or the number of the last card played.

Here are some common special cards:

  1. Skip: This card makes the next player miss a turn, usually when it’s a Queen. Some versions use the Jack as the skip card.
  2. Reverse: Playing this card changes the direction of the game. If the game was going clockwise, it now goes counterclockwise. Aces are often used as reverse cards.
  3. Draw: This card makes the next player pick up cards before taking their turn. Usually, it’s the 2s that make the next player draw two cards. Some versions use the 4s, making the next player draw four cards.

These variations can make Crazy Eights even more enjoyable and keep things interesting.

Different Kinds of Special Cards

Special cards can be different in various ways when people play Crazy Eights. Some cards can make players skip turns, change the game direction, or draw extra cards. People sometimes use special cards like Jokers or certain face cards for extra actions. For example, the Queen of Spades might make someone draw five extra cards.

Starting with More Cards 

Players get seven cards in some games instead of the usual five at the beginning. This change can happen when there are not many players or with any number of players. But remember, having more cards usually means the game will take longer.

Drawing More Cards 

In a few games, if someone can’t play a card on their turn, they can pick up to 5 extra cards instead of the usual 3. This change is okay, but it might make the game last longer.

Playing Many Cards 

In certain games, players can put down more than one card with the same number at the same time. For example, someone with two 5s can play both cards in one turn.


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In conclusion, immerse yourself in the delightful world of Crazy 8, where the journey of learning how to play is seamlessly interwoven with the joy of the game. Tailored for all ages, Crazy 8 offers a simple yet engaging experience, with the primary goal of being the first to discard all your cards. Utilizing a standard 52-card deck, each round introduces an element of surprise and excitement. Whether you’re an experienced card player or a newcomer, grasping how to play Crazy 8 is a breeze, harmoniously blending luck and skill for an enjoyable experience. Join us as we unravel the fundamentals of playing Crazy 8 and unlock the secrets to mastering this entertaining game. Happy playing and mastering how to play Crazy 8.


Q: Can you play Crazy Eights with two people?

A: Crazy Eights is an enjoyable card game that utilizes a standard 52-card deck, demanding a minimum of 2 participants. If the player count surpasses five, employing two decks for an enhanced gaming experience is advisable. Generally, Crazy Eights is most enjoyable with a player range of 2 to 4 individuals.

Q: What does Jack do in Crazy Eights?

A: In the regular Crazy 8 game, the Jack doesn’t hold any special significance. However, in some variations, it takes on the role of a “Skip” card, causing the next player’s turn to be skipped upon play. It’s worth noting that, unlike the versatile 8, the Jack in this variation is not considered “wild” and cannot be played on top of any card.

Q: What does K mean in Crazy 8?

A: The winner is determined by the player with the lowest total points in their hand, not necessarily the fewest cards. Aces contribute one point each, and the value of numbered cards corresponds to the number of pips they display. Court cards (J, Q, K) consistently value 10 points each. The unique 8s live up to their “crazy” reputation, carrying an extraordinary value of 50 points.

Q: What is the Queen’s rule in Crazy Eights?

A: Card game historian John McLeod acknowledges Crazy Eights as notably flexible, offering ample room for modifications through the introduction of various rule variations. Among these adaptations is a common rule involving Queens, where playing this card leads to the next player skipping their turn.

Q: How many cards do you start with in Crazy 8?

A: If you’re not familiar with the game, it involves utilizing a standard 52-card deck. In this setup, two or more players begin with a hand of 5 cards each, and a single card is placed face-up between the players.

Q: How do you play Crazy 8 for kids?

A: Eights in this game are dubbed “crazy,” signifying their status as wild cards. Any Eight is fair game on any card, disregarding colour or number constraints. When an Eight is played, the player making a move can specify the colour that the next player must match. The game progresses until a participant successfully plays their last card or reaches a point where no player can execute a valid move.