Baby-Eating Eights

Original Playing Card Game

One of the first games I ever constructed (with the help of many friends) was a card game based on Crazy Eights. We started playing by the normal (and quite boring) rules, and slowly, one card at a time, ended up adding rules to the ones that were already in place. By the end of the day, we had a card game that could no longer be accurately described as “crazy”. It had reached a whole new level of crazy. Hence, Baby-Eating Eights, because what’s crazier than eating babies?

I wrote these rules some years ago, and in reading through them again, I realize how poorly some of it is written. I could and should edit it to make it more clear, but I like the nostalgia of it, so I’m leaving it as it is, excepting a few spelling errors.

Anyway, here are the rules for Baby-Eating Eights.

Baby-Eating Eights Official Rules

In Baby-Eating Eights, the main objective is to get rid of all your cards, while making your opponents pick up as many cards as you can make them.

First, make sure you have a deck with 54 cards, the Jokers are required for the game. Also, make sure the two Jokers look different enough that it is easy to tell them apart. Choose one of these Jokers to be the “Guarantee Joker” this will come into play later. The game begins with every player sitting in a relative circle and the “Dealer” shuffling the deck and shuffling out 6 cards to each player. The dealer then flips the top card of the remaining cards over, and places it face up next to the rest of the face-down cards. The player to the left of the dealer plays first. From this point, play continues as such, whose ever turn it is must place a card on top of the pile of face up cards, the card this player drops must be either the same number or suit as the card before it. Almost every card, however, has an effect. Depending on the number (and in same cases, suit) the effect is determined. Below is a list of each card and it’s effects. If, at any time, a player can not match the card last dropped, that player much draw from the face-down pile until they draw a card that is playable. A player can not voluntarily draw, if the player has a card they could play, the must play it, the cards that ignore this rule are Eights, Jokers and the King of Hearts. If the player does not wish to play one of those cards, that player does not have to. If, at any point the draw pile runs out, take every face-up card, excluding the card last dropped, and shuffle them together. If you wish to shuffle before the pile actually runs out, set the face-down cards aside and place them on top after the remaining cards have been shuffled.

Ace of Clubs, Diamonds or Hearts: The next player in line draws two cards from the face down pile.

Ace of Spades: The next player in line draws four cards.

Two: The next player in line is skipped.

Three: The Three has no immediate effect, however it stops the effect of the next card played on top of it, excepting Wilds, which function normally.

Four: Reverse the order players drop cards.

Five: The player who dropped the five chooses any player, that player draws a card. The player is allowed to choose themselves, if they wish.

Six: Sixes and Nines work together. Any Six can be played on any Nine, and vice versa. Essentially, Six and Nine are the same number. If a Six or a Nine is placed on top of a Three, the player who has to match the Six or Nine can not alternate numbers, if a Six is dropped on a Three, a Nine can not be dropped on the Six.

Seven: The player who dropped the Seven chooses any opponent, both those players fan their cards out, face down, and each chooses a card from their opponent, without looking at it first, each player puts the card they chose into their hand.

Eight: Eights are Wild, meaning they can be dropped on any card. Also, the player who drops the Eight, chooses the suit the next player must match. The suit of the Eight has no matter in the choice the player makes.

Nine: Nines and Sixes work together. Any Nine can be played on any Six, and vice versa. Essentially, Six and Nine are the same number. If a Six or a Nine is placed on top of a Three, the player who has to match the Six or Nine can not alternate numbers, if a Nine is dropped on a Three, a Six can not be dropped on the Nine.

Ten: When a Ten is dropped, the next player draws one card, and the player who dropped the Ten gets to drop another card. It is possible to “chain” Tens, making the next player draw multiple cards.

Jack: The Jack has no effect.

Queen: When a Queen is dropped, the player next in line drops all Jacks they have, then the next player does the same, this continues, ending with the player who dropped the Queen. The last Jack dropped (The Jack on the top of the pile) determines what the next player (The player after the player who dropped the Queen), has to match. If a Queen is played, all players must drop all Jacks they hold.

King of Spades, Clubs or Diamonds: The next two players’ turns are skipped.

Kind of Hearts: The King of Hearts, or the Suicide King, causes all players to turn in their hands and shuffle every card, except the King of Hearts, together, once every other card is shuffled together, the player who dropped the King of Hearts, deals six cards out to each player. Dropping the King of Hearts does not effect who’s turn it is or the order, so the player next in line, after the player who dropped the King of Hearts, has to match the King of Hearts. The King of Hearts also resets the Guarantee Joker, which will be explained later.

Joker: Jokers are Wild, meaning they can be dropped on any card. Also, the player who drops the Joker, chooses the suit the next player must match. Lastly, the next player in line must draw four cards. If a Joker is dropped on top of a Three, the next player doesn’t have to draw any cards, however, the player who dropped the Joker still gets to choose the suit the next player has to match.

That is the effect of each card on its own, however, there are a few rules that rely on multiple cards.

Four in a Row:
If, at any time, four cards of the same number are dropped in succession, with no cards in between, each player takes any card of their choice from their hand, and places it at the bottom of the drop pile. This can occur with Jacks during a Queen drop.

Guarantee Joker:
If any player plays the Joker that has been not designated the Guarantee Joker, then directly after another player plays the Guarantee Joker, the player who dropped the Non-Guarantee Joker, must draw the entire draw pile, no matter how big it might be at the time. Players are not allowed to shuffle the drop pile back into the draw pile right before the Guarantee Joker is dropped, however big the pile is at the time of the Guarantee Joker being dropped, that is how many cards the player must draw. When the Non-Guarantee Joker is played, regardless of if the next player has the Guarantee Joker, that player must still draw four cards, as per the Joker’s effect. From that point on, any player who can not match the card last dropped, their turn is skipped. If a card forces any player to draw, that player draws from the player affected by the Guarantee Joker. This continues until the drop pile and the draw pile contain a total of three cards per person playing. Therefore, if four people are playing, there has to be at least twelve cards total. This effect can only happen once per game, if the combo is dropped again, there is no special effect, simply the next player draws four cards. If the King of Hearts is played, the Guarantee Joker rule comes back into effect, and the combo can happen again. If the Guarantee Joker is dropped on the Non-Guarantee Joker, there is no unusual effect.

Team Play:
It is possible to play with teams. The Gameplay is much the same with a few exceptions. All players must sit across the playing field from the ally, try to space it out an even as possible. At no point are you allowed to announce to your ally what cards you have in your hand. Hand signals of sorts are allowed if an ally has an opportunity to change the suit and you would prefer a certain suit. The Kings of Spades, Clubs and Diamonds, rather then skipping two players, directly skip to your ally’s turn, no matter how many players might be skipped. Sevens can be uses to swap a card with your ally, however you are still not allowed to look at the card before you take it. At the end of the game, if either ally wins, the whole team wins.

Expanded Deck Size:
It is possible to play with more then 54 cards. It is recommended players use this rule when playing with more then 5 players. To do this, use all 54 cards from one deck, but in the second deck remove the King of Hearts, Ace of Spades and all Jokers. The rules when playing with an expanded deck size to not vary, players still are dealt six cards and draw the normal number of cards from any effects.

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