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You’ve Got Crabs Rules: How do You Play You’ve Got Crabs?

Read the You’ve Got Crabs rules below and SEA what all the fuss is about.

You’ve Got Crabs is a short, fast paced game that pairs partners against other teams. It’s the perfect game for four our more people (it can be played with at least 4 and up to 10). The You’ve Got Crabs Rules are straight forward, but players need to brush up on these rules to make sure they are ready for play. 

What’s In The Box?

Before diving into the You’ve Got Crabs rules, you’ll need to go through everything in the box. It includes 78 cards, 28 crab tokens, and a crabbing license.

Step One

Teams need to be split into groups of two. When separated, the teams need to come up with a secret sign to notify their other teammates during gameplay. This can be touching an eyebrow, sniffing, pulling at an ear, or anything else. It should be a sign the other teams do not know. 

Step Two

Shuffle the deck, and put it face down on the table. This is known as the “Draw Pile.” Now, put the Crabbing License card next to the deck. Make sure to also leave room for discarded cards. 

Deal out two drab tokens to each player and place eight tokens on the table. Deal out four cards to each player and deal four face-up cards next to the Draw Pile. Depending on table rules, one member of a team can simultaneously swap cards from the displayed cards. They must then discard one card into the discard pile. 

The desire is to get four of a kind. When a player has four of a kind they will have “crabs.” Now is when the player uses their secret sign to tell their partner that they have crabs. 

If the partner sees the signal and yells out, “You’ve Got Crabs,” the team with crabs scores a point. However, if another team has picked up on the signs and yells, “You’ve Got Crabs,” the team with crabs loses a point. To keep track the crab tokens are available.

This continues until someone reaches a pre-determined amount of points. There is no established number of points in the game, so this is discussed and agreed upon prior to the start of the game. 

Imitation Crab Expansion Pack

There is an expansion pack option for the game. This comes with a pair of wearable crab claws and an Imitation Crab card. Whoever draws this card is forced to wear the claw hands.