Slapjack – Interactive Guide With Video And Quiz!

James Daley
7 Min Read

Learn how to play Slapjack, a fast-paced and exhilarating card game for all ages. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything from the basic rules to advanced strategies, ensuring you can master Slapjack and enjoy hours of fun. Whether you’re new to the game or looking to refine your skills, this guide has something for you.

What You Need

To play Slapjack, you’ll need the following:

  • A standard 52-card deck of playing cards. For games with more than 8 players, use a second deck.
  • Up to 4-6 players for the optimal experience, but a minimum of 2 players can also play.

Who Can Participate

Slapjack is suitable for players aged 4 and up. It requires quick reflexes and attention but does not involve complex strategies or math, making it accessible to younger players and families.


The main objective in Slapjack is to collect all the cards by being the quickest to slap the pile when a Jack is played. Reflexes, attention, and hand-eye coordination are crucial skills for players aiming to win.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Setup:
    • Shuffle the deck and deal the cards face-down to each player. Ensure the cards are distributed as evenly as possible.
    • Players do not look at their cards and keep them face-down in a stack.
  2. Begin the Game:
    • The player to the left of the dealer goes first, flipping the top card from their pile face-up in the center to form a discard pile.
    • The next player does the same, and play continues clockwise.
  3. Slapping the Jack:
    • When a Jack is revealed, all players race to slap the pile with their free hand.
    • The first player to slap the pile wins all the cards in the center and adds them to the bottom of their deck.
  4. Penalties:
    • If a player mistakenly slaps a pile with a non-Jack card, they must give the top card from their stack to the player who played that card.
  5. Out of Cards:
    • Players who run out of cards stay in the game but do not take turns flipping cards. They can still win cards if they are the first to slap the next Jack.
  6. Winning the Game:
    • The game continues until only one player has all the cards.

Variations or Alternatives

  1. Math Skills Variations:
    • Addition Pairs: Slap when the sum of the flipped card and the top discard equals 10. Remove face cards and play with Ace (1) through 10.
    • Count and Match: Players count cards aloud as they flip them. Slap only when the count matches the card value.
  2. Saying “Slapjack!”:
    • Players must shout “Slapjack!” when slapping a Jack. Failure to do so means forfeiting the pile.
  3. Jokers as Jacks:
    • Include Jokers in the deck. They act as permanent Jacks that must be slapped as well.

Tips and Strategies

  • Stay Focused: Always pay attention to the cards being flipped. A moment of distraction can cost you the game.
  • Positioning: Keep your hand poised and ready to slap without covering the discard pile.
  • Bluffing: Fake a slap to confuse your opponents, making them hesitant to slap the next time.
Slapjack Quiz

Slapjack Quiz

1. What happens when you slap the pile on a non-Jack card?

2. How many players is Slapjack best with?

3. What should players shout when they slap a Jack?

4. What happens if a player runs out of cards?

5. Which cards can act as permanent Jacks?

Additional Resources

To further enhance your knowledge and skills in card games, check out these related articles:

For a deeper historical context and variations of Slapjack, you can also refer to:


Slapjack is a thrilling and dynamic game that combines quick reflexes, attention to detail, and a bit of luck. Perfect for family gatherings or casual play, it's easy to learn and endlessly entertaining. Ready to become a Slapjack master? Grab a deck and start playing!

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