Crazy Eights is a shedding-type card game for two or more players where the object is to be the first player to get rid of all their cards onto a discard pile. There are a lot of different versions and different names for this game. It is known as Mau Mau in Germany and Tschausepp in Switzerland. Other names include UNO, Rockaway and Screw You Neighbour.
A basic 52-card deck is used when there are five players or less. When there are more than five people playing then two decks are often shuffled so 104 cards are used.
The dealer will then deal between five and eight cards (depending on which variation you choose) to each player with the remaining cards placed face down in the middle of the table. The top card of this stock will be turned face up to begin the game.
The player to the left of the dealer starts by trying to discard a card that matches the rank or suit of the card on top of the discard pile. If they have an eight they can play. If they can't shift one of their cards they must draw a card from the stockpile until they get one that they can play.
After playing an eight they nominate the suit that the next player should play.
The first to get rid of all of their cards wins the round with the other players getting penalty points depending on the cards they have left in their hand. One point for an ace, two points for a two, three for a three, and so on up to ten for a face card and a whopping 50 points if they are unlucky enough to hold an eight.
The first player to reach a pre-defined amount of points wins. This is commonly 100 points for two player with an increase of fifty for each additional player.
Hearts is a popular card game for four players belonging to the Whist family of trick-taking games. The object here is to avoid winning tricks that have hearts, and also the dreaded queen of spades. It has some similarities to Spades and Bridge but differs in that players can avoid scoring some penalty points by avoiding winning any tricks at all.
It grew in popularity when Microsoft included a version in their Windows operating system although it is thought to have evolved from a spanish game from the 1700's called Réversi. In that game, the jack of hearts and queen of hearts scored negative points in the tricks. By about 1850 it had morphed into what we know as Hearts today. With each heart worth a point and the queen of spades worth 13 points.
Hearts is played with one deck of cards and each player receives 13 cards. Each hand starts with players passing three cards to their opponent, apart from every fourth hand when no cards get passed. Whoever is holding the two of clubs has to play it to begin the first trick. The other players have to then follow with a card from the same suit. If they don't have one they can play any card. Whoever has the highest card wins the round and starts the next one. You want to avoid winning any tricks that have penalty cards, the queen of spades or hearts, because the points get added to your score.
You cannot start a trick with a heart, until hearts have been broken - which basically means played on another suit. So if it is your turn to start and no heart has been played yet then you may not play a heart as your first card. Some versions of the game don't let you play the queen of spades unless hearts has been broken as well, while in other variations she doesn't break hearts and you can always play her.
When all the cards have been played the penalty points are totalled up and whoever has managd to score the least points is the winner of that hand. Once someone reaches 100 points then the game is finished and whoever has the fewest points total wins.
It's generally a bad thing to score penalty points, but there is a twist. Shooting the Moon! If you can get all of the penalty cards, the queen of spades and 13 hearts, then the other 3 players get 26 points each and you get none. This is what is known as Shooting the Moon. It's a risky move, because all it takes is for another player to get just one of the hearts for you to end up with a whole lot of points.