Unlike other Mario Kart games, item probabilities in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are mainly dependent on the distance from first, not position(though position still matters). This is why 2nd place can sometimes get really good items like triple red shells. On the right is the item probabilities for Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U(we don't know the probabilities for Deluxe). Even though we don't know the actual length of a unit, we do have general benchmarks in the player circles on the minimap. The third item tier is a half circle away, the fourth item tier is a full circle away, and the next item tiers follow in full circle intervals. Thus, you can figure out the distances for each track that can get you a certain item, like lightning. This is very useful when bagging on tracks like Dry Dry Desert.

Double Box

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also reintroduced the double item boxes. In this game, you can hold two items at once. This opens up various new strategies for all positions. For example, if you have a coin as your first item, the next item is guaranteed to not be a coin. Thus, you can use this to get defensive items and counter the Boo item. Also, if you're around 9th place, you can chain together items like the Star and Bullet Bill to try and dodge Lightning. Finally, racers barely in front of the pack can take the double item box in order to prevent the other racers from getting it.