2015 Summer Game #10: Crazy Squares

This last week has been crazy. We’ve been working pretty much day and night on the second edition of RightStart™ Mathematics Level D to get it finalized and out the door to you all. Because it’s been so crazy, we’re going to keep the crazy theme going and play Crazy Squares this week!

Crazy Squares can be found in the Math Card Games book, game P23. It’s a multiplication game played like Crazy Eights. Or kind of like Uno. In this game, the wild cards aren’t eights or the special marked Uno cards. The wild cards are the squares of the multiples being used in the game!

To help the children with the recognition of the multiplies, use a multiplication chart or the Short Multiplication table found in the back of the Math Card Games book. I have it here for you as well as shown below.

crazy eights fig 1

Two to six people can play as individuals or as partners. Using the multiplication cards, select five multiple sets. Make sure all the players know which multiplication sets are being used. We’re going to use the 3s, 4s, 6s, 8s, and 9s for our game here. Remember the wild cards are the squares of the multiples, so 9, 16, 36, 64, and 81 will be our wild cards.

Shuffle the 50 cards (ten cards from our five sets) and deal seven cards if two are playing or five cards if more than two people are playing. The remaining cards form the stock and are placed face down in the middle of the table. The top card is turned up to start the discard pile. If the top card happens to be a wild card, hide it somewhere in the middle of the deck and turn over another card.

The players take turns playing to the discard pile. If the starting card can be from more than one multiplication set, the first player decides which set he wants it to be and calls that set. He plays a card from his hand to the discard pile following the called set.

crazy eights fig 2

Since he’s called 4s, he’s going to lay down the 24.

crazy eights fig 3

The next player must either play a card from the same set or play a wild card. She lays something from the 4s too….

crazy eights fig 4

When someone plays a wild card, he calls the new set.

crazy eights fig 5

Remember, many cards belong to more that one set. Since 9, 16, 36, 64, and 81 are our wild cards, we actually have nine cards to be “wild”: two 9-cards from the 3s and 9s sets, two 16-cards from the 4s and 8s sets, three 36-cards from the 4s, 6s, and 9s sets, 64 from the 8s, and 81 from the 9s. As you can see, this gives the players lots of chances to switch things around and get rid of their cards.

Whenever a player is out of cards for the particular set being played and has no wild cards, she must draw cards from the stock until she can play a card.

crazy eights fig 6

The winner of the game is the player or partnership who plays all their cards. If no one can play, the player or partnership with the fewest cards win.

Sometimes kids do not like this game to end with no one being able to play. If that’s the case and the stock is gone, grab all but the top card in the discard pile, shuffle them and use them to replenish the stock and keep playing. This changes the complexity of the game since no one can keep track of the cards played. It also makes the game longer, which kids love!

Hope you all have fun with Crazy Eights! I need to get back to shipping out RS2 Level D book bundles…..



  1. As a former high school math teacher, I LOVE the fact that this game enforces perfect squares. As a homeschool mom, I LOVE the fact that my children asked to keep playing the game.

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