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

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-5 players


TYPE OF GAME: Hand shedding

AUDIENCE: Kids, Adults


Vandatta is a Swedish hand shedding game that plays similarly to Crazy Eights.  In this game, 8’s are wild, but Aces are the only other special card.  When an Ace is played, all the other players must draw a card.  There are also some different rules regarding how a player can go out, and players are able to play multiple cards of the same rank.   


 Vandatta uses a 52 playing card deck.  Shuffle then deal 7 cards to each player.  The remaining deck is placed face down to become a draw pile.  The top card is turned over to start the discard pile.  If the turned up card is an 8, it is shuffled back into the draw pile.  If it is an Ace, it remains and all players must immediately draw a card from the top of the draw pile.

Aces and Eights are special cards.  When an Ace is played, all other players must draw a card in turn.  The player that played the Ace gets to go again.  Eights are wild, and the player who played it gets to choose the suit that must be played next.

Deal passes left each round.  Play one round per person in the game.



The player seated left of the dealer starts the game by playing a card that matches the turned up card’s rank or suit.  A player can play an Ace if it is the same suit.  Eights can be played at any time.

If the player is unable to play a card, or they choose not to play a card, they must draw from the top of the draw pile.  The card they draw is played to the discard pile or added to their hand.  If they do not play the card, they must draw again.  A player only draws up to three cards.  If they do not play a card after the third draw, their turn ends.


Play continues as described above with each player shedding cards from their hand.  

If the top card is an Ace, a player can either play another Ace or an ordinary card that matches in suit.  An 8 cannot be played on an Ace.  

If the top card is an Eight, the next card must be an ordinary card in the suit that was called.  


If a player has more than one card of the same rank, they can play all of them during their turn.  For example, if the top card is a 3 of Clubs, and the player plays a 5 of Clubs, that player can also play the other 5’s in their hand.


When a player plays their second to last card, they must declare last turn.  Failure to declare results in three cards drawn.  If the player is able to play more than one of the same rank as their final turn, they must still declare last turn.


A player ends the round by playing their final card.  A player cannot go out by playing an Ace or an Eight.  If the player’s last card is an Ace or an Eight, they must draw one card

Play one round for each player at the table.


Players earn points for the cards remaining in their hand.  

8’s = 10 points each

Aces = 5 points each

Other cards = 1 point each


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

Mark Ball
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