Crazy Eights v. Uno

By Alyson McCullough

Everyone enjoys a good, competitive card game every now and then and playing games is a good way to spend quality time with family or friends. Most children will have positive memories from playing these games with their families and they will want to use the same traditions with their children someday. Two of the more popular, classic card games are Uno and Crazy Eights. Both games are fairly simple and easy to learn. Children are easily occupied by playing either of these games and they can start at a young age. Whether a person has played them both or not, they would not need much time to get the rules of the other game down.

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights was invented in the 1930s and was originally played with a standard deck of cards, today there are colorful cards making it easier to match other cards. To start, each player is dealt five, seven, or eight cards and the rest of the deck is placed face down in the middle of the table. The object of Crazy Eights is to be the first to discard all of the cards in your hand. The card on the top of the deck is laid face up beside the rest of the cards, creating a discard pile and a way to start the game. Going clockwise or left of the dealer, each player takes turns discarding cards that match either the color or the number of the card discarded before. If a player does not have a card they can play, they must draw from the face-down deck until they can play. If someone plays an eight, they can declare a color that has to be played next, regardless of the color of the eight card. In some games, the eight card is a rainbow color to represent the wild card. If you want to make the game more of a competition, you can play multiple hands of cards and count the remaining cards in each player's hands for points. Some people play where a person can only draw one card at a time. You can designate cards to do other actions such as skip cards or reverse cards to make the game a little more interesting. The youngest age to be able to understand the rules of Crazy Eights is four years old and typically children will stop playing it around twelve years old.


In 1971, Merle Robbins was lead to the idea of creating Uno because he allegedly had an argument with his son about the rules of Crazy Eights. Therefore, they are very similar games.  In Uno, the same starting rules such as everyone is dealt seven cards, the rest of the deck is placed face-down with one card beside it face up to begin a discard pile, and it goes clockwise, left of the dealer. To discard players must match color, number, or if it is an action card, you can play the same one on it. For example, if someone played a red reverse card, the next player could play a yellow reverse card. But with Uno, there are already designated wild cards, draw four cards, draw two cards, reverse cards, and skip cards. If a player does not have any matches, they must draw from the deck until they can match something. This one could also be played in a way that players are only allowed to draw one card and play continues. If a draw four card is the first card in the discard pile, players must exchange the card for the next one in the deck, but if it is a wild card, the first player is able to choose the color to start play. Play continues until a player has one card left and they must say “uno” if a player fails to say it and another player says it, the person that played it must draw two cards from the deck. This game can also be played for points with multiple hands. The points for each card is: draw two is 20 points, reverse cards are 20 points, skip cards are 20 points, wild cards are 50 points, and draw four cards are 50 points. The first player to have 500 points loses the game. The ages listed for the Uno game is seven years old and older.

The most popular card games for families to play include: Go Fish, Uno, Slapjack, Phase 10, Rummy, War, Skip Bo, Crazy Eights, Spoons, and Monopoly Deal.