It is a variation of "Oito Maluco" (Crazy Eight), which is a pastime for people of all ages. The very young ones, just for fun; teenagers, by bidding in various ways; adults, with real bids, by adopting the scoring system of "Pontinho" or "Taradinho". The number of players is not preset, and the game is more exciting with 7 or 8 people.
The objective is to get rid of all the cards. Two standard decks are used, dealing seven cards clockwise to each player. The undealt stock is left on a pile, in the middle of the table, the first one is turned face up as the starting card.
From then on, each player, at his turn, tries to follow the top card, by discarding either a card of the same suit or of the same rank. The discarded cards are piled up, and the card on top is always kept open.
Whenever a player cannot follow the card of the table, he will draw from the stock, one by one and as many cards as necessary to be able to discard. If the stock cards are over, the discarding pile is shuffled, and the last one is open to start a new discarding pile.
Players are allowed to draw even if they have a suitable card in their hands. The player who finishes first is the winner of that hand. When a player has only one card left, he must alert other players. If he fails to do so, he will have to draw two cards from the stock as a penalty.
When a player finishes his cards, the points of each player will be scored and recorded. If a player reaches 100 points, he will "blow up". In order to continue playing he will have to "drop" a chip in the pot, which will belong to the winner of the game. The game is over when one player gets rid of his last card and the other players all blow up at the same time.
The decisive cards in Mau-Mau are:
- Jack - works as a joker; the player who discards it may choose the suit he wants the others to follow.
- 10 - the game reverses direction. If it was going clockwise, it changes to counterclockwise and vice-versa.
- Ace - the next player is "skipped", missing his turn.
- Two - the next player will have to draw three cards and miss his turn.
If anybody ends up with a Jack, all players should score their points double. If anybody ends up with a Two, everybody will have to draw three cards. If a player has a Two in his hands when another player ends the game, he will also have to draw three cards for each Two he has.
Rank of cards:
Jack - 20 points
Ace - 1 point
Figures - 10 points
The remaining cards keep their nominal value. For example, a Five is worth five points, an Eight is worth eight points, and so on.