OBJECTIVE OF SWITCH: The first player to play all of the cards from their hand wins the game  

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 4 Players 

NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 cards 

RANK OF CARDS: (low) Ace – King (high) 

TYPE OF GAME: Hand Shedding Card Game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 7+ 


Switch is a variation of the popular game of Crazy Eights played in the UK and New Zealand.  The rules described in this article are based on how the game is played at Cardgames.io.   

Players try to be the first to get rid of all the cards from their hand.  Many of the cards have special powers that can sometimes be tied together to form combos.  Switch is a very exciting variation of Crazy Eights because of the powers it includes. 


For 2 – 4 players, a single 52 card deck is best.  For 4 – 8 players, two decks shuffled together is recommended. 

Shuffle the cards and deal seven to each player.  The rest of the deck forms a draw pile in the middle of the table.  Turn the top card over to begin the discard pile.  Allow the youngest player to go first. 


On a player’s turn, they can play one or more cards from their hand.  To do so, the card must match the suit or rank.  If a player cannot add a card to the pile (or if they choose not to), they must draw one penalty card from the draw pile.  This ends their turn. 

Play passes left and continues until one person plays their final card. 


Players are allowed to play more than one card of the same rank.  For example, if the top card of the discard pile is a 5 of Hearts, and the player has a 5 of Hearts and 5 of Clubs, they may play both cards.  First, they play the 5 of Hearts.  Then they end their turn by playing the 5 of Clubs.  Of course, if the player had three 5’s, they could play all three. 


Many of the cards have special powers.   

Ace:  A wild card that can be played without matching.  The player also chooses the color that must be followed. 

2: The next player must draw two.  2’s can be stacked forcing the next player to draw 4, 6, or 8.  If a player adds multiple 2’s to the discard pile, the draw penalty increases. 

7: When a 7 is played, that player gets to play all the other cards in the suit from their hand.  If the final card is an action card, its action is activated.   

8: The next player is skipped. 

10: Reverse the direction of play. 

Black Jack: The next player must draw 5 cards.  Black Jacks can be stacked with the next player drawing 10 penalty cards. 

Red Jack: One Red Jack can block one Black Jack.  If two Black Jacks are played, two Red Jacks would have to be played to block both of them. 

Black Queen:  After playing a Black Queen, the player exchanges their hand with the opponent on their left. 


The first player who adds their final card to the discard pile is the winner. 

Mark Ball
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