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- The basic game of Crazy Eights uses a standard 52 card pack, or two such packs shuffled together if there are a lot of players. The dealer deals (singly) five cards to each player (seven each if there are only two players). The undealt stock is placed face down on the table, and the top card of the stock is turned face up and placed beside the stock to start the discard pile.
Starting with the player to dealer's left, and continuing clockwise, each player in turn must either play a legal card face up on top of the discard pile, or draw a card from the undealt stock. The following plays are legal:
if the top card of the discard pile is not an eight, you may play any card which matches the rank or suit of the previous card (for example if the top card was the king of hearts you could play any king or any heart);
an eight may be played on any card, and the player of the eight must nominate a suit, which must be played next;
if an eight is on top of the pile, you may play any card of the suit nominated by the person who played the eight.
The first player who gets rid of all their cards wins, and the other players score penalty points according to the cards they have left in their hands - 50 for an eight, 10 for a picture, and spot cards at face value (one point for an ace, two for a two and so on).
If the stock pile is exhausted, the standard rule according to most books is that play continues without drawing. A player who cannot or does not wish to play just passes. If all pass, the game is blocked. Play stops and everyone scores for the cards remaining in their hands. However, a variation played by many groups is that when the stock pile is exhausted, the played cards, except for the last card, are shuffled and stacked face down to make a new stock.
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