Game Development - Spar Redux v5.0

I've finally reached a point in the game's development and testing where I feel like the game is in a good state. I've coded the computer to play 1 of 3 different AI options. I've certainly played over 100 hands already and I'm pinning down the handful of sticking points I'm trying to address.

The best strategy is simply to play pairs if you can and play as close to the current card in play as possible. This means if there's a 5 in play, you should try to play a 5 as well. It ensures the lower cards are removed from your hand sooner than later.

So right now there is no incentive to not play in an ascending sort. Why would I play a 9 if there is a 1 in play? I have all those cards in-between in my hand I still need to get rid of.

The only ideas I have are:
1. Remove the ability for a 1 to defeat the 10 (or whatever's the highest card).
2. If you choose to pass, you draw the difference of the values instead of a single card. Example: if there is a 4 in play and the opponent plays a 7, if you pass you have to draw 3 cards.

There has to be something that gives people a reason to play out of order and there needs to be a little bit more risk-versus-reward here. Maybe another special card? I'd hate to do too much to the core rule set lest this game turns into Deuces.

Also, I plan on doing some actual artwork now. That should be a fun distraction.