Slapjack Rules

Slapjack is an exciting card game that varies from the norm by requiring fast reflexes rather than savvy card playing. The game can be played with 2-8 players but it’s best played with 3 or 4 players. The object of Slapjack is to collect all the cards by being the first person to slap the Jack each time it appears.

Deal and Game Play

The dealer begins the game by dealing each player one card at a time until all the cards have been dealt. The cards should be dealt as equally as possible but if not, it’s no big deal. The game can be played as normal even if a couple players have an extra card. Each player should collect his cards and place them in a face-down pile on the table.

Next, the payers take turns revealing the top card of their piles and placing it in the middle of the table. If the card is a Jack, the first person to slap their hand down on the jack wins the entire pile of cards in the middle. If two or more people slap the Jack at the same time, the player whose hand is at the bottom wins the pile.

If a player accidentally slaps a non-Jack card, that player must give the top card of his deck to the player who played the last card. The receiving player then places that card on the bottom of his deck.

Players should reveal their cards in a manner that does not give them an advantage over the other players. For example, a player cannot slowly reveal his own card so that he can see it before the other players do. In most games, the players are required to move their cards face down to the middle of the pile and then quickly flip it over inversely.

The game continues in this manner until one player loses all his cards. That player may stay in the game until another Jack is revealed. If that player is the first to slap the Jack, he wins the pile of cards and may stay in the game. If that player slaps the wrong card or is not the first person to slap the next Jack, he is out of the game. This continues until there is only one player remaining.

Slapjack Variations

  • Reverse Slapjack – In this variation, the goal is to be the first person to get rid of all your cards. The last person to slap the Jack must take the entire pile of cards.
  • Heart Attack – This uses the same rules as Reverse Slapjack but it adds one twist to the game. As the players place their cards, they count out loud starting from 1. Any time the current count matches the value of the card, the players must slap that card. The last player to slap the card takes the pile.

Face cards can all be considered 10s or they can continue going up in value so that Jacks equal 11, Queens equal 12 and Kings equal 13. Aces can either count as 1 or 14. It really doesn’t matter as long as the players all agree on the rules ahead of time.