Slapjack (Rules and Gameplay Instructions)

Eager to try a new undemanding game with family or friends? Slapjack rules are very easy – all it takes is good concentration and agility. These gameplay instructions explain all you need to know about Slapjack before you start playing.

While popular card-shedding games like UNO require you to eliminate all your cards (see classic UNO rules), Slapjack asks for the opposite: Your goal is to collect all the cards in play, leaving your opponents empty-handed. 

To accomplish this goal, all you have to do is pay attention to the played cards. Similar to Avocado Smash (check our Avocado Smash rules), the player with the fastest reactions has the best chance to win the game.

This Slapjack rules guide will cover the following: 

  • What is Slapjack?
  • What you’ll need to play Slapjack
  • Slapjack rules
  • How to play Slapjack (video tutorial)
  • FAQs
  • Other similar games to Slapjack (our guides)

If you want to learn how to play Slapjack, continue reading.

What is Slapjack?

Slapjack Card Game Info Image

Slapjack is one of the most straightforward and versatile card games you can play. Whether you’re looking for relaxed fun for a winter evening with your partner or a fast-paced challenge for smaller kids, Slapjack always works miracles. 

Number of Players: 2 to 4

Ages: 4+

Difficulty: Easy 

Length of Play: 10 – 45 minutes

Category: Card collecting game

Similar to: Avocado Smash, Egyptian Ratscrew, Speed

Main Objective: Collect all the cards by slapping them at the right moment.

Why We Love It: This game is simple, dynamic, and perfectly suitable for the entire family. 

What You’ll Need to Play Slapjack

All you need to play Slapjack is a standard deck of 52 cards.

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You can play with Jokers or without them – it does not matter. Just make sure that you have all four Jacks in neat condition since these cards cannot be recognizable from the back in his game.

Slapjack Rules and Gameplay

Slapjack rules couldn’t be much easier. Just take your cards, gather a small group of friends or kids, sit around the table, and follow the instructions below for the perfect experience. 

Starting the Game

Pick a dealer who shuffles the cards thoroughly and distributes them equally among the players. 

Players do not take the cards in hand or look at their face value. At this point, they just form a down-facing pile from the cards and place it in front of them. 

Now you’re ready to proceed to the gameplay itself.

How to Play Slapjack

  • The player sitting left of the dealer goes first. Then the game proceeds clockwise. 
  • When on a turn, the player flips the top card from his pile and discards it in the center of the table. It is essential to flip the card correctly, directing it away from yourself so that every player can see it simultaneously. 
  • Your turn ends right after discarding. 
  • The next player will follow the same routine.

Everything changes when someone discards Jack(of any suit). When this card appears, everyone rushes to slap it with their hand as fast as possible. 

The fastest player collects all the discarded cards on the table, flips them face down, and puts them under his pile of cards (discuss upfront whether they can be shuffled – it is up to you)

The player to the left of the slap winner starts a new round. 

What if you slap the wrong card?

If your hand is faster than your head and you slap the wrong card(e.g., King or number card instead of Jack), you must give the top card from your pile (facing down) to the player who took a turn before you. He puts the received card under his pile.

What if you run out of cards?

If you’ve discarded all your cards, you must skip the turn. Nevertheless, you can still get back into play if you manage to slap Jack and win some cards back. 

On the other hand, if you have no cards left and slap the wrong card (see above), you are out of the game permanently.

Slapjack Scoring 

There’s no scoring in Slapjack. After all, the goal is clear, and there are no exceptions: Whoever collects all 52 cards from the deck wins the game.

How to Play Slapjack – Video Tutorial 

Slapjack Frequently Asked Questions

How many jacks are in Slapjack?

Jacks are the most important cards in the game of Slapjacks, so before you start playing, make sure that your cards contain all four of them and that they are in good condition. Get a new deck if the Jacks are damaged and easy to recognize from the back. 

Why is it called Slapjack?

In the game of Slapjacks, players watch out for Jacks and try to slap them with their hands faster than the opponents. Combining the words “slap” and “jack” results in the game’s original name. 

Are Slapjack and Snap the same game?

No. Snap (also known as Irish Snap) is a variation of Slapjack, so the two games have many things in common but are different. Snap usually includes numerous optional rules, making the gameplay harder and less suitable for small kids. 

Other Similar Games to Slapjack (Our Guides) 

Are you looking for some Slapjack alternatives? Our guides to similar family-friendly card games will surely inspire you: 

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