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Rules to Play the Slapjack Card Game

Vibhav Gaonkar
If you're looking for a simple and easy card game to pass time, Slapjack's perfect. The story provides rules and instructions to play the game. Take a look!

Try Snap

Unlike Slapjack, players instead of slapping jacks, look for identical cards played on top of each other. For instance, if a 5 is played on top of another 5 (irrespective of suit or color), the first player to yell 'snap' and slap the last card, wins the pile.
Slapjack is one of the simplest card games that require a player to be alert and respond quickly. The game is mostly taught to kids as one of their very first card games. However, it can very well be enjoyed by teens or adults too, and is a great way to pass time.
A lot of people find Slapjack similar to Egyptian Rat Screw, and they're absolutely right. Both games do share some common rules. Firstly, both require cards to be played blind; and secondly, the winner is the player who acquires all the cards in the deck. So, here is a quick look at the Slapjack game rules.

How to Play Slapjack

Game Objective

➔ To be the player to acquire all 52 cards.

Game Setup

➔ The game can be played by a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 8 players. However, if you wish to include more than 4 players, consider using an additional deck.

➔ Sit in a circle, such that the center can be used as a play area. Then, deal all the cards face down to all players. It's not necessary that the players receive equal number of cards.
➔ Once all cards are dealt, the players should neatly form a pile of their respective cards (face down) in front of them.

Playing a Round at Slapjack

➔ The player on the dealer's left picks the topmost card from his pile and places it face up in the center. When playing a card, the player must necessarily place it away from him/her so that the other players can easily view the card. Also, a player should turn his card very quickly to avoid other players seeing the face of the card before him.
➔ The players keep taking turns in placing a card face up in the center until someone plays a jack. This is where the real fun begins. Once a jack is played, all the (alert) players try to slap the jack. The first to do so claims all the played cards along with the jack.
He would then turn the claimed cards face down, place them under his pile of cards and shuffle the whole (now larger) pile.

➔ The slapping rule is bound to create disputes; therefore, it should be noted that the player whose hand is directly on top of the jack (lowest) wins the pile.
➔ In case a player wrongly slaps the pile (when not a jack), he must give a card from his pile face down to the player of the slapped card as a penalty.

➔ If a player is left with no cards, he gets one last chance to slap at the next played jack. If he succeeds, he gets a new pile to play; if he doesn't he is out of the game.


➔ The game continues in this manner until one player wins all the cards, and he is declared the winner.

If you really liked Slapjack, you should surely try a game of Egyptian Rat Screw. Also, you can use the 'Snap' variation to make Slapjack more fun.