One of the simplest card games is Crazy 8's, and with that having been said, it has so many variations that it can become a little complicated. The primary and sole objective of the game is to be the first to get rid of all the cards in your hand into a disposal pile.
Crazy 8's is for any number of players from two on up to what is reasonable. A standard 52-card deck (with the jokers removed) is all that is necessary unless there are so many players that other decks need to be added. A child has only to be old enough to recognize suits and identify the different cards in order to play this game.
Crazy 8's - Standard Form of Play
To begin with, the dealer shuffles the cards and deals out five to each player unless there are only two, and then the number of cards dealt is seven. After dealing, the remaining part of the deck is placed face down on the table and the top card is turned face up beside the deck as the first card to be played on.
The player to the dealer's left begins play. Based on the card that is face up, the player can do one of four things.
- He discards one of his cards on top of the exposed card that is a card of the same suit or of the same type (number, King, Queen, and so on).
- If the player has no card that can be discarded, but has an 8, he can use it and call a suit of his desire, which the next player has to honor.
- If he does not have a card that can be discarded, he draws the top card on the deck. Here is where different variations allow for different rules. Some play the game so that the person drawing has to continue to draw cards until one is playable on the discard pile, and some have a set number of cards to be drawn, and if no play is possible, the turn passes to the next player to the left.
- The last option concerns an eight being the face up card. If it is an eight, the first player gets to name a suit and discard any number or face card in that suit.
Crazy 8's - Continuing Play
Each player who follows has the same options as the first with the exception that they must follow the suit of the Crazy 8 as called by the previous player. The following player can also play an eight on top of the one just placed and change the suit.
Play continues until a player discards the last card in his hand and wins the round. For some, this is all that is done and there is no scoring, but under some rules, points are counted for the cards remaining in the other players' hands. If points are counted, when play finally ends for the session, the player with the fewest points wins.
Crazy 8's - Scoring Points
- Number cards count at face value, except for the 8's.
- Face cards count as 10 points.
- The Aces count as 1 point.
- Eights count as 20 points.
When Play Gets Stuck in Crazy 8's
Under some forms of play, if the deck is completely drawn out, play continues with players discarding or passing until there is no play for anyone to make, and everyone counts the cards in their hand.
Other forms of play allow the dealer to reshuffle the discard pile with the exception of the top card. Play continues from where it had stopped until someone goes out. The cards are shuffled as many times as necessary to complete the game.
Calling Last Card in Crazy 8's
Under most forms of play, the player who only has one card left after a discard must call "Last Card." Failure to do this before the next player takes a turn can result in any player calling for a penalty, and the guilty player must draw two cards from the deck. If play returns to the player before someone calls a penalty, there is no infraction.
Many other variations exist, and of course anyone can create their own rules and variations.