The objective of every hand is to get rid of your cards on to the discard pile. Every card you discard must either match the suit or the rank of the top card on the discard pile. The player that gets rid of all their cards first scores points, and all the remaining players lose points based on the cards remaining in their hand, as described in Scoring. The first player to reach a predetermined score is declared the winner.
Every hand begins with 5 cards dealt to each player and one card is turned over to start the discard pile at the center of the table. In a match with random seating, the position of the dealer is initially chosen at random, and in a match with fixed seating, the player in the first seat is initially the dealer. Play begins with the player to the left of the dealer and continues in clockwise fashion. Every subsequent hand, the player to the left of the dealer becomes the new dealer.
The next player to play may play a card that matches either the suit or the rank of the top card on the discard pile. If the player is unable to play or chooses not to play, the player draws a card from the remaining face down pile of cards and the turn is passed to the next player.
An eight is wild, meaning it does not have to match the suit or rank of the top discard in order to be played. Additionally, the player selects the new suit of the discard pile (it does not have to be the same suit of the played eight).
When an ace is played, the direction of play changes. If the direction was previously clockwise, it becomes anti-clockwise, and if the direction was previously anti-clockwise, it becomes clockwise.
When a queen is played, the next player's turn is skipped.
When a deuce is played, the immediate next player must either play a two, or pick up two cards and pass. If the next player plays a two, the next player again must play a two or pick up the requisite number of penalty cards and pass. This continues until a player fails to produce a two, and it will result in the player picking up two cards for every preceding two played in the sequence leading up to their turn. After a player picks up the penalty cards, plays continues as normal with the next player and is not forced to play a two.
When a player runs out of cards, the player collects points from all the other players based on the cards remaining in their hand. If there are no more cards to be drawn from the stock pile, play continues until all players pass and cannot play. The player the lowest amount of points remaining in their hand collects points from all the other players with the point differential used to calculate how many points are exchanged.
The match ends based on the number of players playing and the match length chosen prior to the game. A match may end immediately after one hand is completed, or 25×, 50× and 100× match length options may be chosen. The numbers indicate the multiple applied to the number of players to determine the target score. For example, in a 2-player game with 50× chosen, the game ends after any player exceeds 50 × 2 = 100 points.
At the end of a hand, the remaining cards of each player are assessed the following point values: 50 points per eight, 10 points per face card, 1 point per Ace, and points equal to the rank for all other cards (e.g. 2 points per deuce, 3 points per trey, etc.). The point total is deducted from the player's score and awarded to the winner of the hand. If the hand ends as a result of all players passing and an empty stock pile, the point differential between the winning hand (the hand with the lowest point total) and the losing hand is deducted from the score of the player holding a non-winning hand and awarded to the player holding the winning hand.
There are many popular variants of Crazy Eights with rules that deviate from the standard set of rules outlined in the above section. These rules may be set prior to creating a new custom game of Crazy Eights.
8 cards per player: The number of cards each player is dealt at the start of every hand may be set to 8, instead of 5.
Multiple cards may be played per turn: In the standard rule set, a player may only play one card per turn. This variant allows a player to play multiple cards of the same rank per turn. In the event where multiple penalty cards are played (e.g. four twos), the penalties are cumulative (in the example of four twos, the next player may have to draw 8 cards).
Eights not wild, or do not allow the player to select a new suit: The wild-ness of the eight and the ability to select the suit after an eight is play may be disabled.
Twos always force the next player to pick up: In the standard rule set, a player may avoid picking up penalty cards if they can produce an additional two when confronted with a two. This custom rule forces the next player to always pick up the penalty cards (cumulative based on the number of twos played sequentially up to their turn), but that player is allowed to play after picking up. If the player produces an additional two, the cumulative effect continues to the next player.
Skip a turn, switch directions, and force next player to draw 5 penalty cards: Different cards may be set that cause the next player's turn to be skipped, the direction of play to be switched, or to force the next player to draw 5 penalty cards. The 5 penalty cards may be set to one-eyed Jacks (Jack of Hearts or Spades), or the Queen of Spades.
Forced moves: In the standard rule set, a player may draw a card from the stock pile and forfeit their turn even though the player may have a legal play in their hand. With forced moves enabled, the player must always play and may not draw from the stock pile if they have a legal move.
Allowing play after drawing from the stock pile: This rule option allows any player that draws a card from the stock pile an option to make a legal play to the discard pile after drawing (or may pass their turn normally, as in the standard rules).
Continuous drawing from the stock pile: This rule option forces any player that draws a card from the stock pile to continually draw cards until the player plays to the discard pile.
Reshuffling discards: If there are several discards in the discard pile and the stock pile is exhausted, the discards are reshuffled and placed back into the stock pile and play resumes. This differs from the standard rules where after there are no more cards to draw from the stock pile, the discards remain in the discard pile and play continues until all players pass.
How to play: Crazy Eights
How to play: Crazy Eights