The Crazy 8s Guide

One game that can claim a long history is the Crazy 8s, otherwise known as Swedish Rummy or Eights. It allegedly claims its roots to a mid-1600s French recreation called Hoc. It offers a fast and exciting play, and is tagged as a stops game since any player may be prevented from taking a turn without an appropriate card.

Crazy 8s may have anywhere from two to four participants using a standard deck of 52 cards. Its goal is straightforward: be first to discard all cards.

The game starts with the designation of a dealer. The number of cards dealt to each player depends on the number of players; a game with only two players has each one getting seven cards, while having three or four competitors means each one receives five cards.

After hands are dealt, the remaining cards form the draw pile and are positioned face down in the middle of the table, with the top card turned up to start the play. The play moves in clockwise rotation and starts with the competitor to the dealer's left. On each turn, the participant must lay down a card on the discard pile that matches the top card either by suit (spade, club, diamond or heart) or by rank (three with three, king with king, etc.).

If a participant is unable to match the face up card, he must get from the draw pile. Note that it is an allowed strategy to keep on drawing cards from the pile even if there is already a matched suit or rank. Once the draw pile is gone, a participant who cannot match the top card must pass his turn.

The eight cards are wild and can therefore be used on any card. Using an eight allows the player to control the game as he now determines the suit that must be next played. The next participant then has to match that suit, stop it with another eight, or lose his turn.