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A New Twist On Crazy Eights

Updated on December 9, 2014

I wondered if Crazy Eights could be simplified some if the number of suits was reduced from four to two. Instead of playing with Hearts, Spades, Diamonds, and Clubs, play with Red (Hearts and Diamonds), and Black (Spades and Clubs). Call the game Cuckoo Hearts.

Preliminary Thoughts

It seemed like a reasonable idea. If a Nine of Hearts was the card showing on the discard pile, you could play a Five of Hearts or a Five of Diamonds.

Then I asked myself about Eights. If someone played an Eight, they could change the suit from Red to Black. But if a Nine of Hearts was showing on the discard pile, someone could play a Nine of Spades and change the suit from Red to Black. An Eight would lose some of its power.

So I thought about it some more. Red and Black were each double-suits. How about other double-suits?

Other Double-Suits

Hearts and Spades each use a heart symbol. (The spade symbol is a heart with a stem.) And the Diamond and Club symbols are both diamond shaped. (If the stem on a Club symbol was a circle, it would be a diamond of circles.) So there could be a Heart (Hearts and Spades) and a Diamond (Diamonds and Clubs) double-suit.

And hearts and clovers are both soft, while diamonds and spades are both hard, (the spade being the metal blade of a garden spade or a sword). So there could be a Soft (Hearts and Clubs) and a Hard (Diamonds and Spades) double-suit.

So three double-suits could be used, Red and Black, Heart and Diamond, and Soft and Hard. The Eights could be used to change the double-suit from one to another.

The double-suit descriptions would have to be printed on a sheet of paper to make them easier to use, and a coin would have to be used to mark the current double-suit.

Red and Black
Hearts-Diamonds and Spades-Clubs
Heart and Diamond
Hearts-Spades and Diamonds-Clubs
Soft and Hard
Heart-Clubs and Diamonds-Spades

How to Play Cuckoo Eights

The game Cuckoo Eights is played much like Crazy Eights.

Two to Six can play with a standard deck of playing cards.

The players each cut the cards, and the player with the highest card becomes the dealer.

The dealer shuffles the cards, and deals them one at a time clockwise around the table, beginning with the player to the dealer's left and continuing until each player has 5 cards. (If two are playing, each player is dealt 7 cards.)

The dealer places the remaining cards face-down at the center of the table as the draw pile. The dealer then lays the top card of the draw pile face-up to start the discard pile.

The double-suit diagram is laid on the table, and a coin is placed on the Red-Black double-suit.

The players then take turns playing beginning with the player to the left of the dealer and moving clockwise around the table.

On your turn, lay a card face-up on the discard pile that is the same double-suit as the top card on the discard pile. Or lay a card face-up on the discard pile that is the same rank as the top card on the discard pile.

Or if you have an Eight, you can if you wish lay the Eight face-up on the discard pile and change the double-suits being used by moving the coin to a different pair of double-suits. Declare the specific double-suit in play.

If you don't have a matching card or an Eight, draw cards from the draw pile until you find a card that you can play. Play that card, and your turn ends.

Keep playing until a player runs out of cards. That player wins the game.


It would give the original game an interesting twist.


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