"Jacks" is a game that has been played in cultures throught the
world. Many of us played as children and continued playing as
teens and adults. I have memories of playing on my grandmothers
floor with my aunts and cousins, all of us seeing who could get
to the highest level. Each Christmas or Thanksgiving we would
pick up where we remembered leaving off the year before. Such
memories to treasure and try to pass on to our young people today.
I tried to find a web site that had advanced level games of Jacks,
like "Pigs In The Pen" and "Around The World", but to my surprise,
there I couldn't find a single site with instructions for advanced
level. The sites I could find only discussed basic play.
I decided to try and list some rules and instructions to play some
of the games I remember playing as a child on our school play ground
at recess and some of those my aunts and grandmother played while
growing up. I hope you enjoy these and are able to master the
challenges. Good luck and have fun.
How to play Jacks
Set of 10 Jacks
1 ball (you can use the ball that comes in the sets or
if playing outside on a sidewalk, golf balls work great) Start of Game
"Flip" for who goes first. (see FLIPING below)
Begin by throwing the jacks out on the floor
Throw the ball into the air, pick up the correct number of jacks
Let the ball bounce once
Catch the ball (while still holding the jacks) with the same hand
Continues until you foul
If you foul, your turn is over and the next player takes their turn
Levels: Start with "ONESIES" you'll pick up one jack at a time,
and place them into your other hand until you've collected all ten
next level is "TWOSIES" Picking up two jacks at a time.
next level is "THREESIES", you pick them up three at a time
with one left over. You pick up the leftover(s) by itself.
Continue through to "TENSIES" then back down to ONSIES
You can then go on to "Advanced Levels" (see below)
Cart Before The Horse
If you pick up the leftover jack(s) before you've picked up all the evenly grouped jacks,
you are putting the "cart before the horse" and therefore must call "cart before the horse"
as you take the leftover jack(s).
Take all the jacks in the palms of your two hands held together palm up
Throw them into the air as you turn your hands over(palm down)
so that the backs are now upwards with index fingers touching to form a
surface onto which you will catch the jacks.
Throw the jacks into the air again
This time returning your hands to the palms up position at which you started
Catch as many jacks as you can
NOTE: When flipping for first, the player who drops the least goes first.
You may also decide to flip at the beginning of a game.
Flipping at the beginning of each level
You will Flip until you drop a jack
For instance, your first attempt to do Twosies). The level at which you drop
the jack(s) must be played from those dropped jacks. You continue from there.
Thus, if you drop 2 jacks on your third flip (threesies), you would have to pick
up the two jacks together (since at threesies you are taking them three at a time)
and then continue with foursies. How far you can flip is decided at the outset of
a game: flip only to fivsies, flip to tensies, flip all the way, and no flipping.
The first player to complete the agreed upon steps.
In Basic Jacks, the first player to complete the challenge of going from Onsies
to Tensies and back down again to Onsies. The next stage is to do Advanced Play.
Exceptions To The Rules
If two (or more) jacks are touching after your initial throw
Optionaly you may pick up the kissing jacks and drop them again