Str8 Eight Instructions
Goal: The first player to create a sequence of eight cards in escalating value wins the hand. (Sequences need not remain in one group of multiples as represented by the color groups.)
Setup: The game is for two to four players. Each player starts with three cards, which are dealt facedown. The rest of the cards are placed facedown in a pile. Two spaces should be designated next to this draw pile, one for a discard pile and the other for pass cards.
Game Play: The first player draws a fourth card and looks within the hand for a card that is notated with a bull’s-eye (any card numbered 1 through 8). If the player has such a card, it can be used to begin the sequence and is placed directly in front of the player. If the player does not have such a card or chooses not to play a card, one card from the hand must be discarded faceup. A player’s turn is over when a card has been either played or discarded, restoring the hand to three cards. Play progresses to the left, with the second player having the option of choosing the top card from either the draw or discard pile.
Once a player has begun a sequence, he or she may then play only a card of greater value, equal to any of the numbers listed on the right side of the last card in the sequence. The player may not remove a card from the sequence.
When a pass card is played, all players pass their hands in the direction described on the card. Pass cards can be discarded the same as number cards, but if one wishes to play a pass card, it must be placed in a separate pile next to the draw pile and opposite the discard pile. Subsequent players may not draw from the pile of played pass cards. However, if the supply of cards in the draw pile is exhausted, the pass cards, along with the cards in the discard pile, are shuffled back in.
Scoring: The winning player accumulates points equal to the total of all numbers in his or her sequence of eight cards. All other players accumulate points equal to the total of all the numbers in their incomplete sequences and subtract the total of all the numbers remaining in their hands. Pass cards count as fifty points each. If a player is able to complete a sequence of all eight cards of one color group (a Str8 Eight), that player receives the positive points from the opponents’ sequences, and the opponents still receive the deductions for the cards in their hands.
Winning: In a two-player game, the first person to accumulate 1,000 points wins. In a three- or four-player game, the first person to accumulate 500 points wins. In the case of two or more players surpassing the threshold first, the player who completed the sequence of eight on the final hand wins. If none of these players completed the last sequence of eight, the player with the most points wins.
Game Contents: 64 number cards, 6 pass cards.
Str8 Eight card sequence sheet
The card sequence sheet is a helpful resource to use while playing Str8 Eight. Reference it to count the number of potential cards that can be played from any other card or to strategize how to complete your sequence.
Str8 Eight FAQ
Does the game begin with the top card of the draw pile flipped to start the discard pile?
No. The discard pile begins when a player either cannot or chooses not to add a card to their sequence and does not play a pass card.
Who becomes the first player after the deal?
The player to the left of the deal is the first player. After each hand, the deal moves to the left making the first player from the last hand the dealer for the subsequent hand. Some people prefer to have the winner of the previous hand deal the next hand as an alternative method for rotating the dealer responsibililty.
Do I have to only play cards of the same multiples?
No. In fact, it’s very difficult to play all the multiples in one color group and that is why there is a scoring bonus for a “Str8 Eight” sequence.
Can I play backwards in my sequence?
No. The next card in a sequence must equal a choice on the right side of the last card in the sequence. However, we have heard of house rules that allow this action.
Am I supposed to match the number in the color arrows between 2 cards?
An addition to your sequence can occur when the large, black number of one of the cards in your hand matches a number within the color arrows on the last card of your sequence. Sometimes that will mean that the same numbered arrows will point toward each other (a yellow 6 when playing an 8 off of a 4), but most times it won’t. And this also means that you can’t just connect two arrows of the same color and number (such as purple 16 between 8 and 24).
Do I have to immediately play the card I pick up from the discard pile?
No. You can pick up the top card of the discard pile and hold it for future use or to keep it from your opponent.
Can I pick up more than one card from the discard pile in one turn?
No. Only the top card is available as an alternative to the top card of the draw pile. This ensures that each player’s hand is returned to 3 cards at the end of their turn.
Do I discard a card after adding a card to my sequence?
No. Playing a card to your sequence is your turn and discarding a card would reduce your hand to only 2 cards.
What happens if I mistakenly end up with 2 cards in my hand?
In the event that someone realizes they are left with only 2 cards in their hand, they should attempt to retrieve the card they mistakenly discarded. Otherwise, they should immediately draw the top card of the draw pile.
Can I pick up a played pass card?
No. Pass cards which get played remain in a separate pile and are not eligible as an alternative to the discard and draw piles. However, a player may elect to discard a pass card, though the next player may then choose to pick up that pass card and play it. This pile of played pass cards does get shuffled back into the deck when the draw pile is exhausted.
When a pass card is played, whose turn is next?
Play always continues in a clockwise direction throughout the game. The play of a pass card – whether to the left or the right – constitutes the end of that turn as all players’ hands have been returned to 3 cards. The player to the left of the player who played the pass card then picks a card from the draw or discard pile to begin their turn.
Do I have to play a pass card if it’s in my hand?
You do not need to immediately play a pass card if one is drawn or dealt to you. Feel free to save it for an advantageous time, but don’t get caught with one at the end of the hand!
Can I start a second sequence?
No. Once you begin your sequence you must continue it until a player has completed a sequence of 8. An alternate version of a two-player game where each player can work on two sequences simultaneously is fun, but attempting to create multiple sequences with more players often results in partial sequences which cannot be completed.
What happens if a game comes to an impasse?
This is unlikely to occur in a 3 or 4 player game, but more likely with 2 players. Typically it occurs when both players have 7 cards in their sequence and have their opponent’s winning card(s) in their hand, so all are unwilling to play a pass card and are unable to draw the card needed to win. If no pass cards are played or a card added to a sequence for an entire cycle through the draw pile, then all player hands are shuffled into the discard pile and play continues until a sequence in completed.
How many of each card are in the deck?
The numbers in a deck of Str8 Eight are all the numbers which exist in an 8 x 8 multiplication table, so there are more of some numbers than others. The Sequence Sheet which is included in each deck shows all the numbers and their relationships to each other. Simply count the number of times each number is listed on the Sequence Sheet to determine how many of each card are in the deck. Additionally, there are 6 pass cards – three for each direction.
Can I play Str8 Eight with more than 4 players?
Yes. However, you either need to play in teams on a communal sequence for 6 or 8 players or combine a second deck of Str8 Eight cards for 5 to 8 players.
Why is the game named Str8 Eight?
The quirky name was a fun way to emphasize the importance of the number 8 throughout the game and highlight how the goal of the game is to create a straight line by jumping through the multiplication table where numbers intersect. The game is frequently referred to as “straight 8” or “straight eight”.
Str8 Eight Game Tips
Use the Fours – Since the multiples of 4 coincide with numerous multiples in the 2s, 6s, and 8s they are particularly useful toward completing your sequence.
Don’t Play 24 Too Early – The number of options beyond 24 diminishes quickly, so hold off on playing that versatile 24 until the second half of your sequence.
End Game Planning – There are some fun interconnections among the larger numbers for a successful end game. Linking 24 to 35 to 48 is especially intriguing as there are two paths between 24 and 35 as well as 35 and 48.
Str8 Eight Tournament Rules
Setup: Arrange the number of participants into groups of 3 or 4, with each group at a separate table and a deck of Str8 Eight cards. It’s helpful to label the tables with numbers, letters or another naming device.
Tournament Play: Each group plays one hand of Str8 Eight according to normal scoring rules (see Game Instructions for further detail). When the hand is complete, each player submits their score for that hand to the tournament moderator. Once all tables have completed a hand and turned in their scores, the tournament moderator then orders all players from the highest to lowest based on score. Tables for the second hand are then assigned so that the four highest scorers compete at the first table, the next-highest four players at the second table, and so on with the lowest scorers playing at the last table. After each round, the score from that round is added to each player’s cummulative score and new groupings are determined for the following round. The player with the highest cummulative score at each table becomes the dealer with the second highest cummulatively scoring player seated to his or her right and the lowest cummulative score to his or her left.
Winning: After a pre-determined number of rounds (four is optimal), the player with the highest cummulative score is the winner of the tournament.
Miscellaneous: Each round of a tournament typically lasts 30 minutes and a 4-round tournament usually yields a winner with a score greater than 500 points. The tournament format is a good way to casually meet new people as seating changes automatically and sorts players by approximate ability over the length of the tournament.
FourScore – A Str8 Eight Game
Goal: Be the player with the fewest cards in their scoring pile.
Setup: Remove Pass Cards from deck and place them into the box.Shuffle remaining deck consisting of number cards and place 4 cards face up, arranged vertically on the table signaling the beginning of 4 rows. Deal the remaining cards in equal amounts to all players (2-6). Place box in front of player to the left of the dealer.
Game Play: Each player chooses a card from their hand and places it face down in front of them. All players reveal their chosen cards simultaneously. Starting with the player showing the lowest numbered card, each player adds their card – if possible – to one of the 4 rows on the table. A player must add their card to a row if a legal play exists. Colored arrows must match with an arrow of the same color on the card at the end of the row. A card added to a row must also be either larger than the right most card in the row or lower than the left most card in the row. (Larger numbers are placed to the right; lower to the left) A player may place the same numbered card onto the last card on either side of a row, but not on a card in the middle of a row. If a row reaches 5 cards in length, the player who added the fifth card collects the remaining cards from the row, placing them in their scoring pile, and leaves the card they played as the beginning of a new row. If a player cannot make a legal play with their card on their turn, they collect the row with the highest numbered card in it, placing those cards in their scoring pile, and place their revealed card as the beginning of a new row. If two or more players reveal the same numbered card, the player closest to the box – in clockwise order – plays first and the box is moved to the last player to place a duplicate card. If a player matches a card to the end of a row or places a card onto a row – whether it is the 5th card or not – so that the numbers on the corresponding color arrows on the card played and the card played off in the row point to each other, that player may remove a card from their scoring pile, placing it into the box and out of the game. (ie. 14 placed to the left of a 12, the yellow arrow on the 14 shows a 12 while the yellow arrow on the 12 shows a 14) Once all players have finished their turn, another round begins. Play continues until all cards have been played from the dealt hands.
Scoring: Once all cards have been played, each player counts the number of cards in their scoring pile. Player with the fewest cards wins.
Special Thanks: Justin Brown, John Prather, and Aaron Wilson