What is Slapjack?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Slapjack is an easy card game that can be played by fairly young children. The goal of Slapjack is to end up with all the cards. The abilities required are hand-eye coordination and the ability to recognize the cards called Jacks.

Slapjack is an easy card game that can be played by fairly young children.
Slapjack is an easy card game that can be played by fairly young children.

How to Play the Card Game Slapjack
The game of Slapjack is usually played with at least three players, though two can play. The dealer shuffles a single deck of card, with jokers removed, and deals to the players going around the circle or table, in face-down stacks that do not have to be exactly even.

The player on the dealer’s left begins by taking the top card from his or her facedown stack and turning it over so that everyone sees it at the same time while simultaneously, and without hesitation, beginning a stack at the middle point between all the players.

Players continue turning over cards one at a time in the same manner until a Jack is revealed. Upon seeing a Jack, all players must try to slap it first, once it has been placed on the table. The player who slaps the Jack first gets to take not only the Jack, but all the cards beneath it, which are turned facedown and placed under the pile he or she already has. Sometimes the player is required to shuffle the entire pile, and some times play continues without shuffling.

When a player runs out of cards, either he or she is out of the game or he or she gets a chance to slap the next Jack that appears, thereby restoring his or her card pile. Since the game is played both ways, the rules should be determined before play begins. The player to accumulate all the cards wins.

Notes About Playing Slapjack
It is easier to determine who was first in a Slapjack pile up if players leave their hands in place after slapping. If a player mistakenly slaps a card that is not a Jack, he or she gives the top card of his or her pile, held facedown, to the person who played that card, and that person places it on top of his or her pile.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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