OBJECTIVE OF CRAITS: Be the player with the lowest score at the end of the game.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 5 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: Standard 52 card deck

TYPE OF GAME: Shedding game



Craits is a hand shedding game that plays very similarly to Crazy Eights.  It does have a couple major difference though.  Each hand consists of a different sized deal.  On the first hand, players will be dealt eight cards.  On the second hand players will be dealt seven cards.  This continues all the way to a one card hand, and then it progresses back up to eight.  This means that a game will last for a total of fifteen rounds.

Also differentiating Craits from Crazy Eights is how each card works in the game.  Most of the cards have a special ability (much like Uno).  There is a lot of to remember for this game, but it is enjoyable to play and worth the time to learn.


Craits is played with a standard 52 card.  To decide who shall be the dealer, each player should choose a card from the deck.  The player with the lowest card deals first.  That player should collect all of the cards, shuffle thoroughly, and deal.

Each round requires a different amount of cards to be dealt.  On the first round, 8 cards will be dealt to each player.  Round two requires 7 cards be dealt to each player.  Round three requires 6 cards dealt.  This continues until each player is dealt one card.  Then, the deal ascends back up each round until the final round where each player receives 8 cards again.  For a shorter game just play the first eight rounds.

Once the dealer has dealt the appropriate amount of cards, the rest of the cards are placed in the center of the playing space as a draw pile.  Dealer should then flip the top card over to become the discard pile.


AceUsed during the crank.
2Begins the crank.
4Skip the next player.
5All other players draw a card.
6The same player takes another turn.  If that player cannot play again, they draw one card.
7The next player draws a card.
8A wild card that allows the player to change the discard pile to a desired suit.
9Player can change the discard pile to the other suit of the same color.
10Play reverses and moves in the other direction.


Beginning with the first card being turned up by the dealer (which counts as the dealers first turn), each card played has a special ability that must be followed by the following player.

Typically, on a player’s turn they must follow the ability of the previously played card, and they must play a card that is of the same suit or color.  If a player is unable to play a card of the same suit or ability, they must draw one card from the draw pile.  Play then passes to the next player.

The exception to this rule occurs when a 2 is played.  A 2 initiates the crank which is explained in more detail in its section.

Once a player has only one card left in their hand, they must announce it by saying so.  If a player fails to do this, an opponent may interject by calling that player an idiot.  If this happens, the idiot must draw two cards, and they lose their next turn.

A round ends once a player goes out by playing their last card.  That card’s ability must still be followed by whoever it applies to.  For example, if the final card is a 7, the next player still draws a card.


Playing a 2 activates the crank.  When the crank has been activated, all players must play either an ace or a 2.  Each ace or 2 adds to the crank count.  Once play passes to a player who cannot play an ace or a 2, the crank ends, and that player must draw cards equal to the total value of the crank count.

For example, if the follow cards were played, 2-A-2, and the next player could not play an ace or a 2, that player would draw five cards from the draw pile.  Play would then pass to the next player and continue as normal.


A round ends once a player plays their final card.  They are awarded zero points for the round.  All other players will earn points based on the cards remaining in their hand.  Points are awarded as follows:

3-50 or used to cancel out another card in hand


The 3’s have a special ability at the end of the round.  If a player only has 3’s left in their hand, they take away fifty points for each one of them.  However, a player can also use 3’s to cancel out other cards in their hand.  For example, if a player is left with 3-2-8 at the end of the round, they can use the three to cancel out the 8 (since that is the highest valued card in their hand), and be left with a score of 20 points.

The player with the lowest total score at the end of the game is the winner.

Mark Ball
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